Customer Service and Support without equal
Effective monitoring - not just a technology solution
A lot of IT Managers go wrong when they are led to believe that their
"Business Continuity" problems will go away if they simply purchase enough
monitoring software. After building 9 large, professional NOCs I can assure
you that this perception just isn't so. Simply put, monitoring software
just isn't smart enough to make the same kinds of value judgements that
experienced Administrators do when a problem is detected. You can spend
millions of dollars (literally) on all kinds of correllation tools and bell
and whistle software and you still won't be much farther ahead than you were
when all you had running was the basic agent reporting on the health of your
servers. So what makes the difference between a mediocre NOC and a really
good one? People!
Great Customer Service Claims - Reality or lip service?
No company I've ever heard of will actually admit that they have
horrible customer service although many certainly do. In fact,
most companies that have treated me badly are run by people who are
well aware that this is going on ... and they don't care one bit.
The higher you go in the management chain at these companies, the less
responsive they are. Obviously, if the CEO isn't interested in the
problems his employees are causing and doesn't care about taking
care of customers, the lowly clerk or "support" person you're dealing
with isn't going to either.
I'm sure you've experienced the same thing.
You'll hear things like: "We have [some huge number] customers in
[some huge number] Countries and not one of them has every cmplained
about anything in the [some huge number] years we've been in business!"
... whether these CEOs actually believe this baloney or not
is debatable. But you, Mr or Ms Customer, need to run for your life!
There is a very well known, multi-national company that's into a lot of
different markets including computer server monitoring. However even if
they didn't charge way more than us for a much inferior product, we still
wouldn't consider them to be competition. Why? Because they are well
known Worldwide for having some of the worst customer service on the face
of the Planet.
They spout out platitudes like "we strive to provide the best customer
service possible" and "we care about your business and you as a
customer", but their actions speak a lot louder than their hollow
As an example, after a full 7 Months, this same company has been
unwilling/unable to put a cell phone in my hand that will actually work
for more than a week at a time. When you call their Third World,
care" line, you are greeted by unresponsive people who know about
as much about cell phones as I know about brain surgery. If you ask to
speak to someone else or to their supervisor, more often than not they
will simply hang up on you. Of course you can always call back and
spend the next 30 minutes on hold hoping you get someone slighly more
helpful next time.
This situation got so intolerable that I finally contacted the CEO who
apologized saying, "I'm sorry we're doing this to you". But so far, even
this multi-billion dollar company CEO has been unable to put me in
contact with someone in his
organization who is willing and able to help me. A pretty stunning
example of an organization that doesn't understand where their revenue
comes from. Yes, I eventually fired them as a Vendor and took my business
elsewhere... but what an expensive and painful lesson. Big is most
certainly not always better. And in this case, perhaps if the company
was smaller they would have actually cared a little about keeping my
Compared to monitoring your entire enterprise, keeping a $39 cell phone
connected is, or at least ought to be a pretty trivial matter.
And just to be clear: I didn't leave because someone else gave me a
better price or a free toaster for signing up. In fact, I didn't
voluntarily leave at all. I was FORCED away by a company that made it
clear they didn't want my business and convinced me that there was no
hope of this situation improving in the forseeable future.
So... do you really want to let an imcompetent, unresponsive company
monitor systems that are the life blood of your company? If
so, you deserve whatever happens to you. But don't say you weren't
Talk is cheap. Judge by what is done, not what is said
Here's the latest American Big Business Philosophy: Customers who
complain too much just aren't worth having. There's plenty of dummies
out there who will tolerate crap and pay their bills without complaint.
Why work hard if you don't have to, right?
Ever been "fired" by a Vendor because they thought keeping you happy
just wasn't worth their effort?
Or because their product or service was so lousy that
they knew they'd never be able to satisfy you even if they did put
in the effort? We understand because we've
been there too. Usually, the bigger the company is, the worse they are.
And if they start telling you about all of the "Customer Satisfaction
awards" they've won, run for your life!
All we can tell you is that we don't bust our butts to
make Customers happy because it's easy. We do it because if our services
aren't good enough to keep you happy at least most of the time, we aren't
going to stay in business long. How the other guys can get away with
extremely poor, unresponsive service and poor quality products is a total
mystery to us. But we're not going to try doing things their way just to see
if we can get away with it too!
Large Impersonal Organizations (or LIOs, as we say in the business) are
not always the best bet especially if you have a problem,
question or just need to speak with an actual person. Without excellent
customer service, a Monitoring Service Provider (or any Vendor, for that
matter) just doesn't have anything to offer.
If someone at Vigilance Monitoring treats you the way that these
wireless service and "proactive server applications monitoring" guys
treated me, two things will immediately happen. First, we will make it right. And
second, the person who treated you without respect will find out what
it's like to collect unemployment insurance. At Vigilance Monitoring, we
have zero tolerance for anything less than exemplary customer service.
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