Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acted as the backbone for some of the most popular apps and websites in the world since its first launch ten years ago in 2006. Millions have signed on and relied on their services. It's for this reason, when the company’s Simple Storage Solution (S3) went out, a big lump of the internet went with it. A single typo entered on the server command during a routine debugging of its billing system turned out to be the culprit behind the massive outage that occurred last month. The problems that ensued managed to derail websites, still apps, and deliver broken links and images to users, leaving most businesses and consumers around the globe completely confused and up in arms.
Since the outage, all has mostly been set right with the world and the apps and sites that went down have been brought back online. Still, Amazon faces quite a bit of reputation clean up as they work to address the issue with customers who fear having their entire operation switched off once more. Here’s what Amazon should do to ensure customers that all is fine after the AWS mess up:
Turn Lemons into Lemonade
Very few companies will walk away from the shut down and feel positive about the experience. To truly restore good faith back into their company, Amazon’s best bet in making their customers feel better about the situation is to practice the age old tactic of gift giving. When slip ups like this occur, many companies combine their sincere apology with a discount offer to compensate customers for the inconvenience incurred. Amazon should do the same for those whose efforts to access AWS were rendered futile. While the millions of sites and clients affected by the shutdown would ultimately run up a bill in the millions for the e-commerce giant, the gift would be well worth it when it comes to restoring customer trust. This is especially true considering if Amazon were to provide affected customers with a discount valid for one week that could be applied site-wide, they’d likely make up for it in inflated sales. The promotion would probably pull in increased sales for themselves as well as those businesses who depend on their services. The action would help both make up for any profit they might have lost during the downtime and in turn make customers feel as if they’d benefited from what they lost out on. This is likely the best approach Amazon could taking in saving the reputation, customer base, and bottom line of the company.
Have a Backup Server
Now might be a good time for Amazon to consider having a backup server to provide their customers with the next time things go drastically wrong. Giving patrons the comfort of knowing that there’s a backup for their operation, will help them to feel reassured that they’re making strides to actually curtail the likelihood of future collapses. Offering customers with the option of duplicating their work onto another backup server will also do more than to assure them their data is protected, it will also keep Amazon safe from any backlash of future occurrences.
Stick To Their Words About Improvement
As soon as the breakdown occurred, Amazon was quick to explain the situation to their customers and promise they’d work to improve the product and their glitches. The company revealed that their strategy would start with making several medications to the way its systems were managed and operated. Still, despite Amazon’s attempt to assure their customers they’d be taking steps to provide solutions that would prevent similar situations from setting off, not many customers were impressed by the explanation. Instead, most customers had their minds still occupied by the notion that a single human error resulted in the complete takedown of a massive chunk of the internet. With so many customers now feeling wary about their future with the company, the most important thing Amazon has to do for its customers are stick to their promise of finding a solution. Of course, by this point most consumers should walk away from this experience with the understanding is fail-proof. However, in this particular scenario where only human error is to blame, Amazon has to do what it can to completely remove the capacity for similar occurrences to happen.