Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Is your website mission critical?

For some businesses, their website isn't just a static or even dynamic information giving tool. For some, it is more than just an advert providing information on how to get in touch. For some, it is the absolute life-blood of their business.

A few years back I worked for an airline. I can't remember the exact figures, but the website turned over approximately £300M per annum and that was approximately, for the sake of argument, 80% of the business.

If the website went down for any length of time, it was very serious indeed. In a very competitive market place where margins are tight, it could spell the end. Not only is there the immediate cost of lost sales and the added cost of having to increase the head count in the call-centre, but the damage to the brand is considerable. If customers have a bad experience, they can be quite unforgiving and go elsewhere.  The cost of trying to win back those customers is very high indeed, and may even be impossible if your competitors look after them right. Also, disgruntled customers tend to be more vocal than the happy ones - so you can be sure they will be telling anyone who will listen not to bother going to XYZ airlines!

So what can you do?

Well, I have blogged before about software testing and whether you need it or not. As the owner of a company which advocates and provides specialist software testing services, I would wouldn't I!?

So software testing can go a long way to avoid situations where your website, the life-blood of your company, is running smoothly.

However, it isn't the be all and end all. Sometimes, even the most robust software, well written and thoroughly tested can go down. Why? There are lots of reasons. Perhaps it relies on a flaky 3rd party service. Perhaps there is a power cut and the UPS only has 3 hours of juice in it. Maybe there is a hardware failure.

In these situations, day or night, you need to know about it, so you can fix it before your customers even notice if at all possible.

With it's expertise in test automation, my company can provide a bespoke system to monitor your e-commerce web site 24x7. In the case of an airline for example, we could drive bookings through the website, checking data returned during the booking process - did the seat assignment work, did the insurance booking work, did the car hire booking work, did the hotel booking work and of course, did the flight booking work! If any of these fail, an alert email and or text can be sent to the support desk and they can investigate. Get in touch if this is of interest to your business.

1 comment:

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