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#17228 11/14/07 02:09 PM
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They always have the choice of a emergency mailbox 24/7. They leave a message and it outcalls to my cell. I call in and listen to their message then I decide whether it's a real emergency. I never give out my cell number to customers.

If the new people who call get upset with leaving a VM message (it IS almost 2008) that's the first step in the "weeding out" process.

I agree.

I see your point, however, to me an answering machine implies that the person calling isn't important enough, or that the company isn't big enough - to make human to human contact. Just sends a bad message, IMHO.

I would agree with you there about an answering machine. It looks real shabby for any business to be using one. On the other hand a voice messaging system can make a small company look like a fortune 500.

By the way, how long before your "frequent callers" realize that you are a one man show? How many can you help at once?

-Hal


CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: Some comments made by me are known to the State of California to cause irreversible brain damage and serious mental disorders leading to confinement.
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#17229 11/14/07 02:17 PM
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JW -

Everything you have just described is a new market opportunity for the hard working company. Imagine a company that actually talks to their customers, LISTENS, and resolves their problems.

What year it is doesn't make any difference. People want quality service. The fact they havn't gotten it in years doesn't change the fact.

Also, people are generally very forgiving if you explain why/what the problem is.

Ma Bell (whatever that is now) to this day has set the standard for excellence. Even with all the deregulation - you can bet if I picked up my phone and got no dial tone, not only would I be shocked... I'd be diappointed and somewhat pissed. If I didn't have a clear signal or a call dropped - well, I don't know what I'd do because in 43 years (my age) it's never happened, not once, save for the occasional tree falling over a line.

Microsoft and cell phone companies have lowered the bar beyond the pale.

Everyone expects crap cell phone service, crap software, crap customer service, ridiculous contracts and high prices.

I see a niche that needs to be filled. And it's so much easier (and enjoyable) to provide quality than crap.

#17230 11/14/07 02:38 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by hbiss:
My business is a bit different.

No, not really.

I get calls from people that need their software problem fixed... I don't have distributors, I don't order things, etc. If there is a problem, it's with my software, and it's preventing people from doing their job.

How about:

I get calls from people that need their telephone problem fixed... If there is a problem, it's with my equipment, and it's preventing people from doing their job.

Looks like you are in the same boat as most here.

-Hal
Yes, but if the phones go down, do you lose the productivity of the entire company? Can accounts payable/recievable continue to process thier data? Can employees log on and do their jobs?

If the phones go down, do you have to pay a staff to (in some cases) to reformat and reload every PC from scratch? Do you have to pay them to do that? Do you have to pay for the loss of revenue while that's going on? Are there backups to restore from?

Do the phones going down prevent manufacturing, packaging and shipping from doing thier jobs? Can the customer get status on their order if the computer network is down?

You are right, we are in the same boat. Both items provide critical functions. the loss of either can have disastarous results.

But I still don't see how any of this relates to me choosing to take calls in the bathroom.

#17231 11/14/07 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by hbiss:

By the way, how long before your "frequent callers" realize that you are a one man show? How many can you help at once?

-Hal
Ah - I'm not a one man show. I work for a larger company, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to telcommute. I will say I get more done from home than I have in 27 years in the IT industry, on a per job basis.

However, to your larger point.... I just write software. The better I do it, the less support calls I get. No software is perfect. It all has bugs. Catching and killing all the key ones are what's critical; the rest are released on either an emergency patch basis or wiating till the next minor release.

#17232 11/14/07 02:54 PM
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I see a niche that needs to be filled. And it's so much easier (and enjoyable) to provide quality than crap.


Most of us here also share your commitment to customer service but we have a life also. There can come a point where you start sacrificing your own life and even your sanity and health if you become too obsessed with your business and satisfying your customers.

Not being able to go to the bathroom without worrying about missing a call- well, in my opinion, that's a bit over the top.

-Hal


CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: Some comments made by me are known to the State of California to cause irreversible brain damage and serious mental disorders leading to confinement.
#17233 11/14/07 03:11 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by hbiss:
I see a niche that needs to be filled. And it's so much easier (and enjoyable) to provide quality than crap.


Most of us here also share your commitment to customer service but we have a life also. There can come a point where you start sacrificing your own life and even your sanity and health if you become too obsessed with your business and satisfying your customers.

Not being able to go to the bathroom without worrying about missing a call- well, in my opinion, that's a bit over the top.

-Hal
Agreed.

However it's the way I am..... and ... I don't have a life.

#17234 11/14/07 03:17 PM
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I have like 10 phones in my basement, just because I can smile
4 digital phones and 1 or 2 Single line phones on my Inter-Tel system, 1 digital phone on the Nortel, and a handful of SL phones on my POTS line.


Jeff Moss

Moss Communications
Computer Repair-Networking-Cabling
MBSWWYPBX, JGAE
#17235 11/14/07 03:34 PM
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Hey Matt

I really like the fact that you support software and you work for a large company. I was a one man show but I would not count on signing a big job that would feed my family that could not wait until I got done doing my business in the restroom that is the reason god made AA. PLUS I have never ever seen a fortune 500 company with a phone in the JOHN. Sorry to burst your bubble but as hard as I work during the day the last place I want to see a phone is in the restroom. I am on 24 hour call every day but if my boss calls he can wait until I get out the john. Any decent person can understand that.

#17236 11/14/07 03:36 PM
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Jeff, you gotta get a life, or wife. smile

Matt: At 43, if you haven't learned to settle down, and set your priorities in a better method, you due for some serious health issues sooner than you'd like. You don't have to believe me, talk to your doctor.

Hal is right on target. I as well started my business with 24/7 service available until I realized my kids were growing up without me and that the client/provider relationship needs to be a 2-way street.

I was on a residential repair job several years ago on a Friday night around 7 PM at a student's dorm. I get about 1/2 way done and they started to jab with lines like "What are you doing working here on a Friday night?", "Don't you have someplace else to be?" and "Man, getta life".

With that last one, I said "Fine, it's down the street, see you on Monday morning", packed up my tools and left.

From there on, only business clients with a service contract get service outside of normal hours.

I have a great life now!....and no I don't answer the phone while on the john....


Scientists say that the universe is made up of Protons, Neutron & Electrons. They forgot "Morons".
Dave. (CTUB) Canadian Techs Use Bix!
#17237 11/14/07 03:37 PM
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Yeah Dave, I know. It's a hobby, remember smile


Jeff Moss

Moss Communications
Computer Repair-Networking-Cabling
MBSWWYPBX, JGAE
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