Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Logo / New Site / More Support...Coming soon.

Check out our New Logo:

New Website is coming soon.

Vendor Relationships

This is one reason why I went into consulting. When I was a IT manager, I constantly had to deal with consultants, providers, vendors, that just wanted to sell their wares. And only came around when it's time for the upgrades. I went into the services arena to become a better vendor/Consultant/Service Provider to our clients and to other vendors, to establish long term mutual agreeable relationships. I fight for my clients. They come first.

This month, has been an eye opener for vendor relationships.
Client / Vendor relationship:
You pay me to perform a service, I perform that service. I look into the best possible practices for that client. If I cannot do the job/project - then admit it.
Either find another solution or find another partner.

I have been tested this month. I have no idea what's in the coffee creamer, but It's seems like nobody gives a shite.
  • Multiple T1's going down (1 for 56 hours) 1( for 18).
  • Providers just saying "that's it", it's all your responsibility.
  • Vendors not calling back clients, when the client wants to spend money.
  • Vendors being SO generic in their approach to a situation, that it's mind boggling we actually listened.

I have had it. Serious.

We monitor 24.7, but when working with partner's where you're sometime on egg shells because of lack of communication, it's not worth my clients and our time.

At TVG we are always looking at Vendors that are NOT about them, but about the customer end concerns.

These are a series of simple questions that I follow and expect our vendors should follow:
  • Does you address the clients best interest?
  • Do you take responsibility for a your results?
**aka is it always somebody else's fault?
  • Do you follow-up?
  • Do you offer a guarantee? (yeah right AT&- !)
  • Do you ask us how your doing?
  • Do you do a quality check?
You have to give everyone a 2nd chance, but when you give them a 3rd and 4th chance,
  • It's not worth at the integrity of the client.
  • It's not worth our time to save some money.
  • It's not our time to be worried the the vendor is not capable to handle what they were hired for.

So, in the end, we are always trying to balance those questions for ourselves internally, to our clients, and to other vendors.

The pain happens when you have to pull a client out of a current vendor relationship.
Might be a little headache, but it's in the best interest of the client.
Show them the proof and why it's it a good move. If you have a good relationship with your clients and you have been looking after them and they have been profitable because of your guidance, then it is a good mood. You're not going to steer them wrong. Do your homework.

We're on the hunt....lot's of good stuff out there.

Goes back to that old phase:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (especially if were paying for it!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kill'em with Kindness : part 1

A client a little bit ago, called and was upset about a follow up call. Our Support called and left a message, but then they called back after hours, it wasn't an emergency. We updated our ticket system, but the client never responded to the ticket. Who is to blame?

Nobody is the answer.
No, the answer is get the issue resolved and move on.

So what do you do when you have a good client/or annoying client has any issue that their needs are not being met?

You kill'em with kindness and get it resolved. That's what they are paying you for and expect.
Depending on what it is, it is usually a miss-communication.

  • Don't put it off - everyone hates this. Do it now.
  • Put on a smile before you call - See "It's about you" post.
  • Open a ticket/or take notes so it is clear.
  • Set a timeline/assign to team member
  • Follow-up - let them know it's done.

NOTE: Any clients that will be reading this - ALWAYS ENTER IN A TICKET :)
Entering in a ticket allow us to track every and any ticket you have. It keeps everyone accountable.

When this happens, I am grateful that the client comes to me personally and voices any concerns. That's why I got into this business, to make the pain go away.

Kill'em with kindness can also be applied to family gatherings where you know it's going to be annoying as hell, but in the end, everyone who moans or complains about life to you and you kill'em, will look at you as though you cared and listened.

Try it. See what happens.

Kick As* support, and have a good day

What is good customer support and what does it do for your company?

Customer support is mainly to resolve an issue for a client or customer, but it can have a side effect of brightening someones/client/customers day.

Good, friendly, thorough support can really put the client/customer in a good mood after the call.
You have the power.
That in turn will sometimes get a equally positive response and put you in a better mood.

Some people will not get this. This includes us TECH people.

This does follow a universal law(all you haters don't read).

I do believe that you attract what you think about and focus on. Additionally, your attitude is a good indicator of how well you are "tuning" in with the universe around you and what you can attract.

If you are in a crappy mood, EVERYTHING around you either is going break, not work, or frustrate the hell out of you. If your attitude sucks, the other person on the end of the phone will FEEL it and they inturn might turn angry.

Yeah yeah. Heard that before.

really? Try it. for 1 solid day, every time you pick up the phone, put a stupid smile, and kill the client/customer with kindness. See what happens. See how you feel. It works. It's not a trick.

Case in point: I called to get an RMA on a bluetooth device. I have not met a more friendly customer support person in my life. Granted I was not angry, but this guy exudes assistance. that's what I called for. I had to tell him. He said, "Thank you sir, that made my day". That in turn made free grateful.

At TVG when we are going to do our Support reviews, I am going to put that in our questions:
When calling TVG, after the call, are you in a good mood, better mood, or even more frustrated?

Go out and "make someones day" would you?

It's All about YOU.

Every entrepreneur goes into starting a business for many differnet reasons.

Some are the same: Be your own boss/Freedom/Express creativity/...
Some are not: Revenge on an old employer/get rich plan(scheme)/lame excuse to give mom/dad or even significant other.

Personally, I will never go back. It's 11:10pm on a Monday, still new at blogging, and I really love what I do. I can see the results of hardwork, I can see the results of planning, I can see the results of LACK of planning and bad management, I know my outcomes, I can see the future. I know my gut.

And most of all, I know it's all about me.

This does not mean I am an egomaniac. This means if I want any significant change in my life(personal or business), it has to start with me. I have to have an overwhelming desire to say - No more. I need to change. All I can say is it works.

I might be slower to the table than others, might not be as pushy, but I know what I want my business to be and I know what i can deliever.

Briefly, I started out as a IT manager of semi large TV Company. Then as the CTO/IT Manager of a larger Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, CA. I left that because the company imploded on itself, and I started consulting. It wasn't until I deceided to make a change, and not put up with the "comfort zone", that my company exploded. We have grown over 60% each year for the last 2 years.

So how'd you do it?

I know i have no followers at this point, but I will start to blog about what success has meant to TVG, how we are growing, our approach, the ups and downs, constant improvement, books to readyand how we have failed in the past and those failures which makes us better.

Is this then considered a diary entry? Oh no....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In the begining....

Just because it's in (Swedish- i believe) doesn't mean it's not universal.

Funny stuff.