When managing a high-stress system outage, the last thing on your mind is how you’ll communicate this to the support team and the organization. But by being proactive about communications, you can actually help alleviate panic and confusion.

It’s best to include a communications strategy as part of your issue resolution planning. By determining how and who is responsible for communications, you can better inform the organization and keep an already stressful situation from worsening.

By following communications best practices, you can ensure that your alerts are providing the right information when needed. You can avoid sending out confusing or vague alerts that only contribute to alert fatigue.

So how can IT organizations do to avoid alert fatigue?

Think About Your Audience

One of the biggest factors that lead to alert fatigue is caused by blasting out alerts to everyone in your organization, regardless of whether it actually applies to them or not.

When you have an IT issue, think about the people who are affected. In your IT alerting system, create groups for the people you most often need to contact. Think about creating groups for your IT support teams, IT leaders, key business leaders and groups for specific areas of the business – sales, production, finance, etc.

Once you have these groups set up, you can only notify the people who are affected by the IT issue. By sending out fewer, but more targeted, alerts you increase the chances that recipients will open and read your alerts.

Keep Your Language Clear And Concise

As IT professionals, it’s easy to fall back into the jargon you use every day. It’s critical that you use clear and concise language in your alerts. Remember when speaking to the business users that they won’t understand technical language. Using it will only ramp up confusion and make people reluctant to open and read any of your future alerts.

Send Your Message On Multiple Channels

Using an IT alerting system can streamline the distribution of your message. Don’t just rely on one channel and expect it to reach everyone. Most email inboxes are overflowing, greatly reducing the chance that someone will see your message promptly.

By using an IT alerting system, you have the ability to blast alerts to targeted groups via multiple channels – SMS, email, phone, pager, etc. This also increases the chance that people will see your message on their preferred platform.

Don’t Blast Alerts Too Frequently

Sending out too many alerts or alerts with repetitive information is another key source of alert fatigue. While it can be tempting to send out updates as soon as you get new information, it’s better to only send out alerts when you have significant updates. Think about what your recipient is interested in and tailor your messages to them.

It may be enough to alert them to the issue in the first alert, then update them with an expected recovery time in the second alert and then a final alert to let them know that the outage has been restored.

By following these four key tips, you can help avoid alert fatigue. Ensure that when you need to communicate with your organization, they’ll be paying attention by following these best practices.

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