Pingdom is an application performance monitoring (APM) tool that is designed to make it easy to keep your finger to the pulse of your website or application. When application outages occur, you can receive a notification via SMS (text), Twitter, Email, etc. You can read more about Pingdom here. But what about notifying your customers?

As with New Relic, Pingdom can transmit uptime and other performance data to hosted status pages automatically and translate that data into terms relevant to your customers. This is achieved through an integration with StatusCast. Just as Pingdom sends you (or your IT team) a notification, StatusCast sends a notification to those customers impacted by the application outage (or whatever other performance issue there may be). In this manner,

StatusCast helps you get ahead of the wave of confusion and frustration from customers as a result of unexpected application downtime.

Application Outages vs. Scheduled Maintenance

Not all application outages are unplanned – but not all customers understand that. Most times, customers probably won’t pay attention to an email about upcoming maintenance. It isn’t until the moment that they try to access your application or website and cannot that they care about the maintenance schedule. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t alert them ahead of time, only that you should make it as convenient as possible for customers to learn/remember about that maintenance.

Much of customer confusion and frustration can be avoided by simply doing a better job at setting expectations.

A hosted status page can serve as the go-to means for customers to find out when your application will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance or to periodic testing for things like system stress and disaster recovery.

Tailoring Notifications from Your Hosted Status Page

Notifications from Pingdom to your hosted status page can be set to send immediately, scheduled after a certain time or to only send upon manual engagement. The recipients of these updates can be filtered by differences like system components (e.g. geography, server, etc.) or even the recipient’s IP address. All of this means you have the flexibility you need to only send relevant messages to relevant end users, at the right time.

As an additional benefit, StatusCast is designed to be simple enough that non-technical staff can use it. Once your DevOps or IT team clarifies what audiences are impacted by what triggers in Pingdom (or whatever APM you’re using), your Marketing team can take care of actually crafting a message that your average end user can understand, that appropriately sets expectations with your end user customers, and that includes other relevant information you’d want those customers to be aware of. This empowers Marketing to do what they do best.

 

Image courtesy of the Pingdom blog.

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