Open Forum

Best Practices in Sending Outage or System Update Emails

By David Nobile posted 07-24-2017 13:05

We've all heard it before from our users. "Not another email from the HelpDesk" or "Anytime I see an email from the HelpDesk, I just hit delete"  While communication is paramount, at what point do we over communicate to our users.  And, do we need to communicate everything.  Not every incident requires widespread disclosure.  One could argue that it is better to over communicate, however, I wonder if sending too many emails delivers a wrong message.  We want our users to feel confident that our systems are online and without issues.  On the flip side, proactively letting our users know about the incident can go a long way to build trust.
Perhaps email is not the ideal way to deliver system issues.  I know most of our attorneys receive hundreds of emails a day and spend their time servicing their clients.  An email from IT could get overlooked, passed by, or even deleted.  Another thought would be to target only those users that are affected by the underlying issue.  Either way, there is the initial email, potentially a status update email, then the follow up email. 
So the question I find myself asking at times is; "To email or not to email"