phone outage sign Phone outages can be detrimental to businesses. Each minute a customer cannot reach you is a potential sale lost or loyal customer angered. Businesses have little control over a planned or unplanned telecom outage. The downtime your company experiences due to a phone outage can cost around $5,600 per minute. Depending on the size of your organisation, that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars — or even into the millions of dollars for larger corporations — for each hour that a phone outage continues.

Planned Phone Outage vs. Unplanned Phone Outage

When it comes to a telecom outage, there are two kinds that businesses can experience: planned and unplanned. What is the difference between a planned phone outage and an unplanned phone outage?

  • Planned phone outages completely or partially impact telecommunications for all subscribers due to planned maintenance or services. Sometimes, telecom providers need to upgrade equipment or address a maintenance issue before it causes phone service to fail. A 48 hours’ notice is customary when a planned phone outage is necessary. Nexgen can help plan for redundancy options during scheduled downtime to ensure your business experiences minimal disruption.
  • Unplanned phone outages happen any time there is an unforeseen service disruption. This could be due to lines down following a nasty storm or an automobile accident involving nearby phone lines. Other common causes of unplanned outages include failed links to the service provider’s network, faulty equipment, and network congestion.

How Does a Phone Outage Affect Businesses?

There are several ways a telecom outage can impact an organisation’s bottom line. Here are some of the most common — and costly.

1. Lost productivity

This is, by far, the biggest impact a phone outage has on business operations. Access to reliable communications is a must-have for any organisation to succeed. If your phone service is cloud-based, and the outage involves your internet service provider, it can be doubly distressing. Small businesses, especially those that rely on cloud applications for many facets of running their businesses, are faced with employees who have nothing to do whilst they wait for service to return. Depending on work contracts and other arrangements, employers can find themselves paying for their employees to stand around waiting for phone service to return. Even once phone service is restored, the backup in work orders and other routine business the disruption caused can take some time to sort.

2. Damage to your brand

Losing access to your phone system can certainly affect your brand’s reputation. Customer-facing support systems are an important component of your brand. How consumers perceive performance, which includes response time to enquiries, is part of their overall user experience. If they cannot reach your customer service for hours on end, it can impact their relationship with your brand. If phone outages happen frequently enough, it can be all the motivation your customers need to back away from your business and find a more reliable replacement.

3. Lost opportunities

As the business adage goes, missed calls equal missed profits. Phone outages often are not the fault of the business. Yet, it impacts their bottom line by causing them to lose out on connecting with new customers to serve. Prospective customers may not be aware your phone service is down. All they know is that no one picks up when they call your customer service line when they’re seeking information about your products or services. Worse yet, it could be a dissatisfied customer looking for reassurance their bad experience will not be repeated and who gives up when they cannot make a connection.

Network outages happen. Make sure your business is ready for them with alternative methods of communication. Our network specialists can offer advice on the best workarounds.

NBN Outages and How They Affect Phone Service

phone with no serviceConnectivity issues are troublesome when your business relies on cloud-based services to conduct day-to-day operations. An NBN service outage can affect your business phones if you are using a cloud-based phone technology like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

How do you know if the NBN is down? The initial signs of NBN outages are your phone and internet service will stop working. There are several reasons why NBN outages occur. Leading causes include:

  • Nature-related events like storms and natural disasters can knock out NBN service.
  • Faulty installation of the NBN network to your location can cause you to lose connection.
  • Network congestion can slow your connection down or completely immobilise it.
  • Outdated technology can disrupt NBN service on a localised or network-wide scale.

The first thing that your business should do if the NBN is down? Reach out to your service provider to verify if the issue is on their end. Most telecom providers will post service disruption announcements to their websites and social media accounts. If Nexgen knows of a planned outage or becomes aware of an unplanned outage, our specialists will reach out to the designated contact at your business to help work through the problem.

Contingency Plans for NBN Outages

The best way for your business to manoeuvre when the NBN is down depends on the reason for the outage. Battery backup is one of the best recourses for an NBN outage due to a power failure. Battery backup units can provide power for up to five hours, which will keep your NBN connection running smoothly. A word of caution: battery backup only works if there is not an outage to the NBN. Severe weather and other natural disasters can knock out the network in addition to your power. If the NBN also is down, having a backup power supply will not keep you connected to the NBN.

Businesses with NBN Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), a battery backup, and a phone handset that does not require power have the best solution at hand. Wireless phone handsets rely on a signal from the base, which will not work during a power outage. Having at least one phone with a wired (corded) connection is necessary for this to work.

Mobile Service Disruptions

Some businesses rely on mobile phones for staying connected with customers. Small business owners find mobile options especially affordable when paired with cloud technology. If your mobile phones are not working, the first thing to do is check to make sure the problem is not on your end. Network-wide outages are simple to verify with the right outage checker tool. If the issue is on your end, your mobile phone may require servicing that is best left in the capable hands of your mobile phone service provider. Contact their customer service or tech service department for the best solutions.

If mobile outages are causing frequent disruption to your normal business operations, Nexgen can help find an alternative solution that is more reliable. From small businesses looking for cost savings to large corporations focused on access to add-on features, we have a phone system to suit every need.

Telstra Mobile Outages Today

There may be any number of reasons for a telecom outage. Some of the most common include weather events, human error, overloaded networks, and equipment failure. Regardless of the reason, every moment your business cannot communicate with customers is a direct hit to your bottom line.

As Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra has more than 18 million subscribers, representing 42 per cent of the market share. When Telstra experiences a telecom outage, it can have a huge impact on normal business operations. If your business needs to verify if there are Telstra mobile outages today, Nexgen tracks that information and makes it accessible to all consumers. Our notification system confirms more than just the fact that there is an outage. It provides:

  • The status of the outage
  • The services affected by the outage
  • The area impacted by the outage
  • The impact of the outage
  • The starting date and time the outage was first reported
  • The resolution date and time

Recommended Steps During a Phone Outage

phone cartoon no connection to wifiWhether a phone outage is planned or unplanned, there are steps your business can take to help soften the blow to your customers. Nexgen helps customers manage a phone outage to ensure minimal disruption to your business.

For a planned outage, Nexgen reaches out to customers in advance to offer workarounds. If your services will be impacted, you can expect one of our team members to provide the following  information:

  • Services that are affected by the outage
  • The date and times the service will be unavailable
  • Network redundancies to ensure availability

During an unplanned outage, Nexgen jumps into action to mitigate the negative consequences to your business. Our team advises customers of the services affected and the anticipated duration for outages. We provide real-time updates to service disruptions in several ways:

  • Social media posts
  • Email alerts to primary contacts
  • SMS when applicable
  • Live chat notification
  • Website notification and updates
  • Telephone system announcements

Choosing a Trusted Partner to Navigate a Phone Outage

Whether your telecom outage is planned or unplanned, Nexgen can arrange a diversion of your main number so calls never go unanswered. We can transfer incoming calls to a secondary number, such as a mobile device dedicated to your business. Our business phone specialists are available to discuss your options to ensure your business is never stranded during a phone outage. Phone us on 1300 020 402 or fill out an online enquiry to connect with us today.