Business Network Health — Why You Must Prioritize It (and What It Could Cost If You Don't) When your network cannot deliver a seamless customer service experience, your company loses income. Here's how and why your business needs to prioritize its network health.

By Greg Davis

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As the world becomes increasingly connected through the web, your customers come to expect a healthy network when they do business with you. When your network cannot deliver a seamless customer service experience, your company loses income. In fact, companies in the United States lose over $75 billion a year due to poor customer experiences. While not all of those are related to network downtime, the cost of network downtime has recently grown to about $9,000 per minute.

The cost of a poor customer experience is clear. Yet what can you do to improve the customer experience? One thing to focus on is a healthy network with reliable connectivity.

Related: How to Bulletproof the Internet Connectivity in Your Office

A strong network supports customer journeys

Your customers rely on your network in a number of ways along their customer journey. For example, if they're researching your business, they're going to want to visit and explore your website. If your server is down, they can't — a barrier to entry.

Perhaps a customer is ready to make the move from research to purchase. They start an online chat with one of your customer service representatives. They finally get to a human after going through the chatbot, only to find that the network crashes, and they have to start over.

While these things might seem like small frustrations, they can derail your customer's journey, leaving you with lost revenue. You need a strong network to guide your customer from interest to purchase.

A strong network protects your customer experience investments

If you're a savvy business owner, you already know the importance of a positive customer experience. In fact, you probably have invested quite a bit into your CX tech. The average organization will spend over half a million dollars on this technology. While your budget may be smaller or larger than the average, it's still a significant amount of your overall spending.

You need to protect it.

If your CX tech is internet-dependent, like it is for most organizations, you need to know that you have network connectivity at all times. Without it, you've wasted your investment.

A strong network enhances contact center experiences

You need a strong network if your business has a contact center to connect with your customers. Not only will the network quality impact the quality of the voice experience, allowing your customers to clearly hear the customer service representative they are speaking with, but it also ensures that they can reach someone quickly. In addition, if you have any conversational AI you're bringing into your contact center experience, then you will need a network to keep it operating.

Related: How to Protect Your Business From Internet Brownouts

Potential causes for connectivity issues

Internet outages and brownouts have several potential causes. Finding the cause will help you find the right solution. These causes include:

  • Congestion: The more people that utilize the network, the more challenging data transmission becomes.

  • Infrastructure problems: An outdated infrastructure, both internally and from your ISP, can hurt your connectivity.

  • Power outages and other natural disasters: When the power goes out or a storm hits your area, you may lose internet.

  • Maintenance: When the ISP performs maintenance, your server may go out.

  • Cyber attacks: When criminals attack your network, it may go down.

Solutions to network problems

So, what is the solution to these common problems? Your customers require access to your business, and network downtime hurts that accessibility. Here are areas to invest in to ensure your network stays up and active:

1. Network backup plan

A network backup plan is the best way to avoid most of the risks. If you lose Internet access due to maintenance, a power outage or too much congestion, you can continue to deliver a positive customer experience to those who visit your business. One of the best ways to create a network backup plan is to partner with a third party that can step in when your network fails to ensure you always stay connected.

2. Cybersecurity

Prevent hacks and cyber attacks with a solid cybersecurity plan that includes firewalls, virus protection and internal password protection.

3. The right ISP

Your internet service provider (ISP) will go far in protecting your network connectivity. Ask detailed questions about the ISP's backup plans, customer service and downtime averages, and choose one with a good reputation.

4. The right connectivity

Finally, find a network that has the right connectivity. For example, switching to 5G can increase transmission rates and decrease the congestion you experience. Likewise, adding a second connection can safeguard against a network outage by re-routing and prioritizing data traffic. Talk to your ISP about their network connectivity, and ensure it's enough to keep up with your demand.

When you have network connectivity issues, you lose money. A poor customer experience is a good example of this. For your customers to trust you, you need trustworthy network connectivity. Invest in the right technology to keep your network up, and watch as your customer experience numbers increase as a result.

Related: A Strong Network Can Be Your Business's Best Safety Net

Greg Davis

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of Bigleaf Networks

Greg Davis is the CEO of Bigleaf Networks, with a record of scaling businesses through revenue growth, operations, and strategic acquisitions. He has 25+ years of tech leadership, leading start-ups to $100M+ in annual revenue. He has been on the board of directors for Bigleaf Networks since 2020.

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