If you aren’t aware, probably the biggest hosting company in Australia, WebCentral, is still having a major email outage (been over 30 fours for some people now). Now I don’t want to speculate why this has happened or how people need to understand that email is not a guaranteed method of delivery. What I do want to focus on is a business opportunity for a smart operator.
If you visit the Whirlpool forums you find this outage is costing people real money. Here’s but a few examples:
i'm the poor IT admin for my company who uses webcentral for over 5 years now, my CEO is sending me txt every hr to check whether it's back online, i'm still working on an instant backup plan now, tried to forward them to my other host, but looks like the webcentral email forwarding isn't working as well, can someone help pls....!!
We are talking about several hotels who's main booking engines had relied on WC for over 3 years. There is a significant loss of business from unconfirmed bookings. One stats showing 52% occupancy from the daily average of 80%+.. in dollars thats about aprox $9,000+/day per hotel. What a nightmare. The pointing began at us then we pin pointed at WC. We are red faced for ever suggesting WC. So much for the 99.5% server uptime guarantee claim.
Now, I spoke about how to use http://search.twitter.com in a recent post as a method of monitoring, in almost real time, what is happening with customers. Now let’s say, hypothetically speaking of course, you have a competing business. What would stop you also monitoring the same Twitter feed and then approaching each affected customer with an offer to change over to your business? Chances are pretty good that if can offer a solution a lot of people are going to jump ship right now since they are currently experiencing real pain and loss. With something like Twitter you can do just that!
If you step back and have a think about that and apply it to other areas then Twitter may be a great way to leverage some opportunities for very little cost. So while some may look at Twitter as a total waste of time, it is far more intelligent to learn how it can be added to your marketing toolkit to bring in more business. A good craftsperson knows it is not about the tool, it is how that tool is used. In this circumstance, I can really see how Twitter can be very effective if used correctly.