Culture

Being an Expert For Dummies

 

I recently read a story that got me thinking. It goes like this:

Nikola Tesla visited Henry Ford at his factory, which was having some kind of difficulty. Ford asked Tesla if he could help identify the problem area. Tesla walked up to a wall of boilerplate and made a small X in chalk on one of the plates. Ford was thrilled, and told him to send an invoice.

The bill arrived, for $10,000. Ford asked for a breakdown. Tesla sent another invoice, indicating a $1 charge for marking the wall with an X, and $9,999 for knowing where to put it.

I did a little research, and the story is just a legend. However, like an Aesop fable the moral of the story rings true.  The value of an action is often less than the value of the knowledge behind that action…the proverbial knowledge bomb.

Something I have personally tried to achieve is always having the answer.  Sometimes the answer is “I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you,” even if it means I will be up until all hours of the night fighting to find the solution.

I often find that other people will settle by saying “No, we can’t do that” or “I’m not sure” and leave it at that…which confounds me.  My mission has always been to say “yes,” because it is possible, we just have to figure it out.

In a nutshell, being an expert means saying “yes” and doing whatever it takes to make it a reality.

Culture

Is There Still Value in Face-to-Face Interaction?

communication, digital, face-to-face, data center, Houston

We are currently in one of the most exciting eras for digital communication.  Between social media giants – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – and the vast array of digital communication options like text, email and web conferencing, people have more vessels for information than ever before.

The technological advances of the digital age have allowed global communities to be better connected and more collaborative than ever before.  Information is readily available through more channels than any other time in history.  However, what we’ve gained in availability, we may have lost in personal connection.

Visit any of your favorite restaurants and you’ll find people sitting across from one another, not talking, and eyes fixated on their phones.  I am not anti-technology and on occasion am guilty of the same. When my wife and I are out having dinner, I feel as if I should have made the reservations for three: me, my wife and her phone.  It’s not just after-hours where we see this phenomenon either.

In today’s business world, important information is relayed online or electronically.  The person receiving the information can’t hear our voice, see our body language or see our smile (or frown).  Many people entering into the workforce today may not have developed the “silent fluency” that comes from face-to-face interaction.

Call me old school, but I still find value in face-to-face interaction.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always been in customer facing roles throughout my career. I find that I am rarely able to deepen customer relationships, negotiate or close a deal, or solve a customer’s issue through email, text or social media.  There always needs to be a phone call or meeting to really understand the situation before I can act on it.

I appreciate the convenience of the digital conversation but not the sincerity.  There is still something very satisfying when telling someone they did a good job instead of retweeting them, shaking their hand instead of sending them a friend request, laughing at a joke instead of hitting the “like” button, or even having a face-to-face conversation over coffee or lunch.

Culture   Data Center

6 Reasons We’re Addicted to Customer Service

Houston, Data Center, Customer Service

Customer service is the #1 priority of almost any business, short of making profit, because that’s what keeps business going. The good-ole’ saying The customer is always right reminds us to hold customer satisfaction to the highest degree. Here are 6 ways we create raving fans and why we’re addicted to customer service.

#1 – Response Time

At FIBERTOWN, we ensure our employees deliver the highest standard of customer service by implementing a quick response time of 15 minutes. This response window applies to calls, emails or carrier pigeon. (Heavy delays may occur if using pigeons and is not recommended).  Our qualified technicians promptly respond and begin working on requests immediately.  This includes simple reboots, power ons and conference calls to troubleshoot issues remotely.

#2 – Choosing your Customer Service

In any market with multiple providers, customer service is seen as a key differentiator. Businesses that succeed in a cut-throat world are typically customer service-oriented and make this part of their business strategy.

Imagine two businesses that offer the same product, for the same prices and have similar distances to you.

  • What makes you choose one instead of the other?
  • Would a raving review about one of them affect your decision?
  • How about outstanding praise from the employees about the business or products?
  • How many times have you asked an employee about what they think about their level of customer service?

At FIBERTOWN, we have taken this to a whole new level, embedding our core values with customer-based proficiencies to provide the best service and satisfaction.  We are always open to ideas and feedback from our customers.

#3 – Always Available Satisfaction

At FIBERTOWN, we are accessible to our customers 24×7. We aim to be an extension of your team and involved every step of the way. We want customers to be familiar with each member of our team, from executives to night-shift technicians.

#4– Feedback is Always Positive

Customer feedback improves how we do business. We want to better serve you by hearing both positive and negative feedback. If you’re frustrated by a lengthy device manual and you can’t find what you’re looking for, I urge you to employ the assistance of our staff. We work hard to create raving fans through superior customer service.

#5– One-on-One Attention

You may have noticed our LIVE CHAT on the website.  We are here to address questions, concerns or even chat if you’re feeling lonely.  Sales, marketing, management, networking and customer service are all available on the live chat.

#6 – Expectations

At FIBERTOWN, we set clear and consistent expectations. Each member works to improve customer service by keeping up the PACE. We are passionate about what we do. Each member of the team is accountable for their own actions. We deliver creative and personalized solutions to customer issues, while working each day to achieve excellence. 

Culture   Data Center

The Story of a Data Center Super Hero

ESG-IT-Superhero-graphic

Since the inception of the high tech career, responsible IT professionals have struggled to maintain a normal work schedule knowing they could be called into action at any moment of the day or night.

For some, it feels like the life of super hero, always on-call for a shot at glory.

For others, it’s more like the life of a firefighter, waiting for the next fire to start hoping it doesn’t get you burned…or fired.

Imagine a bedtime scenario for an IT professional:

We see them getting in bed, still slightly wired from the numerous cups of coffee consumed while pouring through technical manuals that day troubleshooting an issue. An issue eventually resolved with the magical reboot of an end user device.

They climb into bed and fumble for their cell phone charger with the thought must be connected at all times. Then they confirm volume is set to max so as to wake the dead.

They anxiously drift off and a ding brings them surging back to life to check that “Patch Tuesday” has not claimed another victim.

“Ugh, it’s just that sales guy from the west coast. No chance I’m buying from you now, buddy. That’s what you get for spamming me at 11pm.”

They are wired with a hair trigger to respond at a moment’s notice. They know how fast they can get to the office at 3:27 am because they’ve done it once, or twice, that time they neglected to turn off auto updates on the old BES server, seriously when is that executive going to upgrade and use the exchange like everyone else?

Every department has similar aggravations. The finance group gets antsy when the quarterly reports are due. The accounting team dreads the beginning and end of every month, year and tax cycle. The marketing department bites its nails as the email campaign they’ve been pouring over finally launches. The goal is to minimize these hardships where we can.

For an IT guy, handing off this after-hours accountability is the best course of action.

What does that mean? Am I going to have to hire after-hours staff, then train them and provide management for them? Oh, what happens if they’re sick?

Monitoring-as-a-service allows for a third party to provide monitoring and escalation for you. Your service provider manages the staff and involves multiple individuals to interact in an emergency situation, so your IT team can sleep at night. They make your IT department of three: systems administrator, network administrator and IT manager become a 24×7 beacon of reliability.

How can I trust anyone with overseeing my critical infrastructure? They won’t possibly have the commitment my team will. What good does this unaffiliated third party do? We still have to wake up and drive to the office 3 am!

Your critical hardware is housed in a data center where a 24×7 staff that you trust and turn to keeps a careful watch over your infrastructure. When was the last time you called your data center for a server reboot? How long did it take? You should expect 15 minutes from the time the request hits their inbox to completion.

At FIBERTOWN, we are an extension of your IT team and involved every step of the way. You know each one of us from top to bottom because we are accountable to our customers 100% of the time. Our team is stacked with firefighters and super heroes. Ready to act at moment’s notice.