“It’s the Book of the Year for Me!”

I had a wonderful opportunity Monday to be on Laura Steward’s I Heart Radio live show and podcast, It’s All About the Questions. She had read my book, The Extra Scoop, and said, “It’s

“It’s the book of the year for me!” – Laura Steward

the book of the year for me!” She even dubbed me Captain Customer Service! Like many of us, she has had those rare stand-out moments experiencing that “extra scoop” in customer service – the amazing thing a business does that is so good you want to talk about it.

She shared her story about being out of town and walking into an orthodontist’s office, in tears,  because she was in extreme pain from her braces. Even though she wasn’t their patient, they took care of the problem immediately, and didn’t even charge her for it. The “extra scoop” was when the orthodontist gave her her cell phone number in case there was a problem later.

“I remember her name. It was Dr. Lori Smith Orthodontics” Laura said. “She gave me a literal and virtual hug so that I’m talking about it on the air.”

I listened to her story and commented that sadly, we are conditioned as customers to expect a bad customer service experience, so when we get a great one like she had, it’s mind blowing.

The IT industry doesn’t have the greatest reputation for customer service. In fact, it’s generally the opposite. So for me, it’s always a true differentiation point. A lot of companies can do the technical work just fine but delivering a great experience seems to be a much harder thing for folks in our industry. So I’m very passionate about delivering a great experience. I know how I want to be treated as a customer. I have that in mind with every interaction with my own customers, and wrote The Extra Scoop to inspire other businesses to do the same.

You can listen to this broadcast on I Heart Radio – it’s 122 – John Mamon – The Extra Scoop or get the podcast on iTunes. It’s a very informing and entertaining show, and I hope you listen – and share your “extra scoop” customer service stories on ExtraScoops.com or the I Heart Radio page.

Order your copy of The Extra Scoop and see how you can provide mind blowing service to your customers! Ordering info.

See the Future of Video Conferencing – Oct 3, 2017

Technology Showcase

video conferencing

Peter Stewart, President, Joar Vaage, Founder & CEO, Kevin Lyons, Vice President of Cyviz, Brandon Beach, CEO GNFCC

Join us for appetizers, drinks, and some truly amazing technology!

If you work for a company with multiple locations or that has a network operations center, you’re going to want to see this technology. It’s video conferencing like you’ve never seen before – with full-wall screens so clear, crisp and bright and astounding audio – two rooms across the world feel like one. Come see it at the newly completed Cyviz Customer Experience Center.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Networking at 5:30 PM with beer, wine, and snacks
6:00 PM Kevin Lyons of Cyviz will introduce the technology

Register Now!

Cyviz Customer Experience Center
3780 Mansell Road
Alpharetta 30022
$10 Members/$20 Non-members

Outsourcing Can Lower Your IT Costs

 

Most small businesses are able to reduce – or at least control – their cost for IT service and support by outsourcing. When your IT person is an employee, you pay salary, benefits, ongoing training, overtime, vacation and sick days. Then you have to pay more to cover services when your IT person is out sick or on vacation. If an IT issue comes up that’s beyond that person’s ability to solve, you have to pay for outside expertise.

With an in-house IT person, or even a small staff, your costs are not as fixed as they seem, and your resources are limited. When you outsource your IT to a quality managed services provider, your costs are more fixed, and your resources are virtually unlimited. You pay a set monthly fee based on the environment you are having serviced, and you get a whole team to support your network. That’s generally lower than the cost of the necessary IT people you would need to staff.

When you outsource with mPowered IT, the main benefit is the proactive service. Our business model is to keep everything running so you don’t have to make services calls. But when you do, we have a friendly and highly responsive help desk, with a mission to resolve the issue quickly and thoroughly. We have subject matter experts to handle the more difficult problems. We’re never going to be stumped with a network problem! We always have resources.

Another cost-saving benefit with mPowered IT is our CIO level advice for your technology needs. Your IT person or staff may recommend technology based more on their own preferences than what makes the most business sense for you. We don’t have personal preferences, and we don’t sell technology, so we can provide unbiased advice on what will best serve your company. We can help you avoid paying for technology you’ll never use or need.

Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 to see how you can reduce or control your IT costs.

 

 

Your Next Network Attack Could Be an Inside Job

 

Most small businesses are vulnerable to security breaches because they’re an easy target – they don’t have adequate protections in place. And many who do take proper security measures assume that threats to their network are going to be from some unknown evil hacker.

Sadly, many successful attacks on computer networks were done by insiders – your own employees. And according to a Harris interactive poll, 36% of US workers would steal customer data or other electronic files. And the employee who has the most access, opportunity, and skill to carry out an attack would be your own IT person. A staff IT person can become disgruntled with your company, disenchanted, or just curious. That person has all your passwords and access to all company data, so they could cause serious harm if they wanted to.

By outsourcing your IT service and support, you eliminate the motivations to compromise your network. A good outsourced IT firm is highly service oriented, and you are the client, not the employer. You’re never entrusting your data to one individual, but to a reputable IT company that can supervise and oversee the work performed. And with mPowered IT, you get an IT company that aligns its business goals with yours – as in, we’re both more profitable when your network is secure and working as it should.

Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 to get safer, more effective network security.

Next Reason: Reduce costs!

 

IT Objectivity!

One of the most important services your IT person or outsourced IT company can provide is clear, objective information about your technology needs. Unless you’ve invested the time and research into technology, you need to gather that from those who spend every day working with it, and keeping up with the changes. What often happens with an in-house IT person, is they fall in love with technology. They may advise your company to make purchasing decisions based on a new technology they find amazing – but it may not actually be the most suitable for your needs.

A good IT outsourcing company listens to your business needs first, and offers solutions second, without any ulterior motives. A good outsourcing IT company will not let sales people get in the way of good technology people. In fact, a really good IT outsourcing company will not even sell products, so there’s no incentive to push any particular technology.

With mPowered IT, you’d also have access to a real technology executive – a CIO – who will function as part of your management team, working as your advocate. We can objectively inform you of what new technologies are available, and what makes the most sense for your business now, and as it grows.

mPowered IT aligns its business interests with yours. It’s in both of our best interests for your business to have the right technology, and to have it functioning properly. We know we’re doing our job right when your systems are ideal for your needs, and they perform so well you rarely even need a service call.


Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 to get true objective IT advice, and reliable IT service & support for your small business.

Next Reason: Your Next Attack Could Be an Inside Job

 

Better IT Knowledge, Availability & Efficiency

Small business often rely on the the most “tech savvy” employee to handle and troubleshoot the computers and servers. Once that person reaches his or her limits, especially as the company grows, it becomes painfully obvious that they need a real IT person. So is it better to hire a good solid IT person or to outsource?

While a staff IT person has the advantage of being on site and on call at a moment’s notice, he or she may be quite limited in knowledge and resources. To get affordable IT staff, you may have to choose those with less experience. If they’re career minded, you will be the training ground and launchpad for them to later find a better-paying job at a bigger company. If they lack that kind of ambition, they may not be right for your company anyway.

An outsourced IT company, like mPowered IT, has a vast pool of experience and knowledge, and to survive and compete, must stay ahead of the technology curve. Rather than relying on the knowledge and experience of one person, or a few staff IT people, you have a whole company with a full range of resources. mPowered IT has connections across many manufacturers and vendors, and can leverage those connections to get solid answers to the most challenging issues.

Internal IT staff often have to be self-reliant, and when computer issues come up that are vexing, they’ll have to go through a learning process, often with no one to help. This can significantly slow down processes. By outsourcing, to a quality IT company, you get help from someone who routinely deals with vexing issues. There is no learning curve; the problem simply gets fixed.

An outsourced IT company is also always available. You’re never without IT support – even for a minute –  because your IT person got sick, went on a lunch break, or took a well-deserved vacation. An outsourced IT company like mPowered IT, has 24/7 availability as part of its business model. And unlike many IT companies, our motivation is to keep your systems up and running, so you don’t even have to call for support!


Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 to see how much time and money outsourcing can save your small business.

Next Reason: IT Objectivity!

 

Big IT is not just for Big Companies

If you’re a small to medium business, especially one that’s growing, you may be struggling with managing your computer network. Most companies start out managing it with the most tech-savvy person on staff, and later hiring someone specifically for that purpose. Considering how much your business depends on its servers, workstations, and network security, outsourcing your IT may be the one of the best business decisions you can make.


mPoweredIT_Ensure Backup & Recovery-Schools_IT guy doing maintenance in server room
Outsourcing can provide you with:

  • A web based ticketing system
  • Detailed service documentation of everything happening in your environment
  • Full network documentation and reporting
  • Inventory tracking
  • Automated application and script deployment
  • 24/7 Proactive System Monitoring and Alerting
  • Automated patching, security updates, and user permission monitoring

In other words, the IT services large companies use to keep their systems operational and secure, are available to small business, for a fraction of the cost of hiring IT staff. As a small business, you need greater efficiencies to be profitable, and nothing can zap your resources and slow you down like dealing with computer and network issues.

Call mPowered IT at 678-389-6200 to see how much time and money outsourcing can save your small business.

Next Reason: Knowledge!

 

First Book Signing in Alpharetta for “The Extra Scoop”

Thank you to everyone who came out to support my first book signing on May 22. The event went well and there has been great positive feedback from industry leaders. A big thank you to the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce for hosting it.

If you would like me to speak on customer service, and do a book signing at an event, please email me at info@extrascoops.com.

 

Learn more about “Extra Scoops” or Order Your Copy

Book Signing in Alpharetta for “The Extra Scoop” May 22

You’re all invited to my book signing May 22 in Alpharetta. My new book, The Extra Scoop: Rediscover the Art of Great Customer Service was released in April, and is an important read for anyone running a small business. You can gain a competitive edge and increase profitability, just by delivering better customer service. In this book you’ll discover:

  • How to create a memorable customer service experience in any industry
  • How to spin miss opportunities into wins that keep customers coming back
  • How to own up to a service failure when your business drops the ball
  • How having employees that act like owners improves customer satisfaction

Bad customer service has been making headlines lately. We all saw the United Airlines passenger dragged off the airplane, and ending up with a bloody face. That’s one of the worst possible examples of how to treat a paying customer. The CEO did not handle it well and dug a deeper public relations hole for the airline. The United Airlines story went viral, and heightened the awareness of how companies treat their customers. Following that story, more horrible customer service stories started circulating. That’s the last thing you want to happen to your industry and your business.

While it’s unlikely your business would ever treat a customer like United Airlines did, it’s very likely that you unintentionally do small things that put off a customer, causing them to never come back. Wouldn’t you like to avoid that?

Register for the Book Signing May 22 in Alpharetta, GA

Learn more about “Extra Scoops” or Order Your Copy

What Does Backup Protect Against?

There’s no way to predict the future, and Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you don’t have a well-thought out recovery plan, your company’s data is teetering on the edge of a cliff without a safety net. Here are some of the scenarios where BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) proves to be most helpful:

User Error
We all make mistakes, like accidentally clicking a malicious link, dropping our computers, misplacing a mobile device or deleting something we intended to save. User error was cited as the leading cause of data loss in a 2015 Databarracks survey. Backup plays an important role in ensuring these mistakes don’t turn into serious problems.

 

Hardware Failure
Different hard drives, servers, desktops and other devices have varying life expectancies and refresh cycles, but hardware often fails. Whether it’s due to normal wear and tear, defects, or the unexplainable, businesses need to be prepared. BDR can help ensure that entire datasets are replicated and accessible should something suddenly stop working.

 

File Corruption & Software Failure
Software will also occasionally fail. Files and data can become corrupted and things may be deleted without warning. In addition to providing complete restores for entire machines, BDR allows for data recovery.

 

Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather
According to Climate Change Preparedness and the Small Business Sector, small businesses lose an average of $3,000 per day after closing due to a major storm. With the regularity of these events in certain locations and resulting power outages, small leaks and other less severe issues creating costly downtime, BDR is a no- brainer.

 

Insider Threats
If a disgruntled employee were to intentionally encrypt, delete, steal or corrupt sensitive information, having that data backed up ensures that it can be recovered and restored. This isn’t to say that BDR can necessarily prevent such behavior, but it helps to mitigate damage.

 

Cybercrime
Viruses, malware and cybercrime – especially ransomware – are an increasingly dangerous threat today. The Ponemon Institute’s 2015 Cost of Cyber Crime Report claims that businesses saw an average of 160 successful cyber-attacks per week. BDR can help you save money when attacked.

Download the pdf: Types of Incidents and Disasters

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