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$#*! hit the fan, and one of your services or features is experiencing some downtime. Sure, you could hustle to fix the problem and cross your fingers that nobody notices. But, that’s bound to lead to some frustration, complaints, and even negative reviews. It’s far better to communicate with the affected people to let them know about the incident and when you expect everything to be up and running again. That proactive communication builds trust, and keeps everybody in the loop. Use this template to plan ahead, define what you should consider a big oops, who will do what, and how you’ll update your customers.
How to use the incident communication template
Step 1. Define what counts as an incident
When everything goes haywire and you’re in the midst of a service outage, you can’t trust that you’ll have a ton of mental clarity. Help yourself out by using the Defining an incident section of the template to outline some clear cut criteria for what counts as an incident. That’ll give you some direction about your next steps at a time when you’re going to feel confused and overwhelmed.
Step 2. Establish your roles and responsibilities
Most outages and glitches require a lot of hands on deck. In the Incident roles and responsibilities table of the template, list the roles of the people involved in helping you patch up incidents and then bullet out their core responsibilities. Make sure to also @ mention each person within the table so that they’re notified about where they fit and what they need to take care of.
Step 3. Identify how you’ll communicate
From emails and social media accounts to your service desk and Statuspage, you have a bunch of different methods for updating your customers. But, which ones will you use when something runs off the rails? Use the Incident communication channels section of the template to list each communication channel and how you’ll use it to update relevant audiences during an incident. Make sure to detail what types of incidents the team will report in each channel, which departments should use it, and how it should be accessed (for example, is there login information stored somewhere or do they need to request account access?).
Step 4. Save yourself some hassle with templates
Your goal is to work quickly when you’re working through an incident, so the last thing you want to do is invest a ton of time and energy into drafting communications. In the Incident stage templates section, create templated copy to communicate with your customers during each incident stage – from investigating all the way to resolved. You’ll need to add some details for your specific incident, but having the barebones copy ready to go will be a huge timesaver.
Step 5. Outline your incident values
Incidents are stressful, and they can quickly lead your team astray. The Incident values table of the template is all about identifying what your team values most during incident response and explaining how you’ll live by that value when dealing with an issue. Filling this out now will help your team respond in a way you’re proud of – even when all hell breaks loose.
Statuspage is the communication piece of your incident management process. Statuspage integrates with your favorite monitoring, alerting, chat, and help desk tools for efficient response every time.
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