On Super Bowl Sunday at 8:00 pm, with the 49ers down by 4 points and attempting a comeback, something strange happened on my TV screen. The screen froze, it had stopped streaming. I waited for a few minutes and then called my internet provider. Jack got all my information and then informed me that Sundays at 8:00 pm they often have “routine maintenance shut down”.

Really, on Super Bowl night? “I guess someone forgot to adjust for that” was Jack’s answer. He said sorry, but it did not matter as I missed the last few minutes of one of the most exciting Super Bowl games because someone “forgot to adjust”.

I completely understand that Sunday evenings is a perfect time for routine maintenance. But, with nearly 50% of the population now moved to live streaming, shouldn’t they adjust downtime for all major live events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, Grammys, and other high demand events? Shouldn’t the internet providers understand that we are putting our entire trust on them?


When Is The Right Time For Maintenance?

Any business must have a clear idea what role they play in the life of the customer. In the case of internet providers, they are becoming the main artery for communication and live entertainment. That puts them at a much higher level of responsibility. Before, when they were only offering online communication services, they could do routine maintenance on Sunday evening. Now, with businesses evolving, they need to find new time slots for maintenance when customers do not need them.

This is true for all businesses. Retail store employees trying to take care of inventory 15 minutes before closing may be efficient, but not customer centric. Instead, they need to look out for customers who rushed to beat the closing time and assist them. Restaurant staff starting to vacuum the floors with customers still dining is another example of that. In all cases, attending to the needs of the customer comes first and all maintenance should happen when they do not need the brand.

3 Steps To Planning Downtime (Maintenance):

  1. Have clarity on WHY customers need us
  2. Clearly identify WHEN customers need us
  3. Finally, schedule maintenance during customer downtime (when they do not need us)