Recently, Chase.com, the online portal to banking giant Chase - second only to Bank of America in size - experienced technical issues which brought all of their online systems to a halt.
The outage affected customers from Monday evening to Wednesday morning, and the problems didn't end once service was restored. When news that the site was back up and running, a deluge of customers poured into the portal, only to be stymied by an unresponsive server because of the flood of sudden traffic.
Much like other face-palm moments that have occurred in PR recently (AT&T iPhone launch, anyone?) there is much to learn from this incident. Commence bullet points!
- Transparency. Things go wrong. No business, organization or group is immune from it. When the worst occurs (and trust me, it will at some point), the worst you can do is leave your customers in the dark. Swift communication that explains to customers the issue, how they are affected, and what you are doing to remedy the situation goes a long way in making your members feel that they are in the loop. No one wants to be the last to know.
- Quickness. Think about this - 2 days without access to online banking is an eternity for most customers. Once your staff is alerted to a problem, its time to go into action mode. The biggest frustration customers had with Chase is that there was no official, unified response from the company. Which brings me to my next point...
- Unity. Each arm of your credit union should be working in tandem. A man who experienced difficulty during the outage said, “I went to the branch and they were clueless.” Keep everyone on the same page. Keep your branches up to date on what's happening because they are the ones who will deal with frustrated customers.
And of course the most obvious - don't have your online banking fail for little to no reason.
How would you have handled the Great Chase Blackout of 2010? Let us know in the comments!