Saturday 16 June 2007

Business Principles: The other guy did it! Oh really?!?

We have an ongoing Internet outage here in an Edmonton burrow that is affecting some of our clients.

The Phone Company in their great wisdom has messed up an entire city burrow with an infrastructure upgrade. There is no Internet connectivity there. Period. This situation has been going on since last Thursday morning.

Some of our clients have an ISP that rides on top of the Phone Company's infrastructure. That ISP is in the midst of what can be called a PR disaster of epic proportions.

How is that? The only point of contact for many of their customers with crippled Internet connections is their support phone number. That phone number currently has a fast busy due to an entire city burrow phoning it at once.

So, where does that leave the ISP's customers? Presently, completely out of the loop.

What does that mean for the ISP's customer base? More than likely shrinkage! :*Þ

A simple phone call by the ISP to the radio stations here in town with a request to broadcast a message indicating that there are wide scale problems with the systems in the burrow and that the problems are being worked on would go a long way to helping ease their customer's pain.

Hearing from the ISP, "it is all the Phone Company's fault" via their front line phone people - when one does get through - does not go very far with most people today.

Take responsibility, apologize for the mess, and let your customers know that you care about their concerns.

What is our role in all this?

To keep calling into the ISP for status reports every 3 or 4 hours so we can in turn let our client's who are affected by this whole mess know what is happening.

This little service that we are providing goes a long way towards setting us apart from the "other guy".

Howz that?

We are taking the time to call into the ISP on our client's behalf and then let our clients know how things are progressing - or not.

It shows our clients that we care about them and their business livelihood.

Taking that Extra Step in our Customer Service pays huge dividends in our client relationships.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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