To broadband subscribers, it’s a simple but much appreciated courtesy: the maintenance alert. Virtually all ISPs establish brief time windows, usually in the early hours of the morning, during which maintenance is performed to keep networks humming and up to date. But for all those night people, an unexplained interruption in Internet service can be more than annoying.
Thus, the maintenance alert has become a gesture of good will among ISPs wishing to maintain a smooth customer experience, and has given rise to one of the most popular uses-cases for PerfTech’s in-browser messaging system. Some ISPs deliver maintenance alerts well ahead of time both to give ample warning and convey their continuous commitment to investing in their networks and improving the subscriber experience; others prefer to deliver alerts just an hour or two before the event so that only those customers most likely to be impacted receive the message. Note that PerfTech’s in-browser messages have configurable start-end schedules, so all alerts are terminated once the maintenance window begins, a feature that precludes receiving messages that are no longer relevant, unlike email notices.
For approximately the first 10 months of 2018, we looked at statistics to analyze response rates to maintenance alerts from 4 of PerfTech’s ISP customers: 2 mid-tier and 2 regional operators. During this time, more than 1.33 million unique subscribers of these 4 ISPs received branded, in-browser maintenance alerts. All included an “OK thanks” button; 3 of the 4 also included an “Opt out” button, which then allows an “Opt back in” option. The number of unique subscribers who received maintenance alerts, the “Ok thanks” rate, and the final opt-out rate (“Opt-out” minus “Opt back in”) follow:
ISP 1 ISP2 ISP3 ISP4
Unique subs messaged: 533,972 694,996 66,182 38,064
“Ok thanks” rate: 38.3% 37.4% 39.5% 52.6%
Opt out rate: 3.0% 2.0% 4.9% not offered
In sum, broadband subscribers seem to appreciate the heads-up alerts from their ISPs regarding upcoming maintenance windows.Even though many subscribers might conclude that maintenance windows are sufficiently late that they don’t need an alert, opt-out rates remain low, proving that subscribers still want to know when outages are scheduled.It is worth noting that all 4 ISPs also reported a dramatic drop in inbound calls to their support centers following a maintenance event.For many PerfTech customers, the maintenance alert has become a staple of their portfolio of use cases, and its implementation has been automated so that timely alerts are easy to launch.