Tag Archives: service

srp installs solar energy systems

Energy Consortium’s Roadmap puts state of path to build industry

Imagine Arizona as the energy hub of the Southwest — where major regional transmission lines tie into infrastructure in the state and serve a growing regional demand for energy. Arizona would be a place where an increasing percentage of jobs are related to the energy industry, whether in manufacturing, generation, transmission, energy efficiency, service or technology innovation. Many of these jobs would be higher-wage jobs requiring a skilled labor force fed by Arizona’s schools and universities. Arizona could be a hub of energy-sector jobs, with factories making equipment for the industry and power plants shipping electricity to neighboring states via new power lines, all contributing to a better economy.

That is the essence of the Arizona Energy Consortium’s Energy Roadmap, which the group hopes with be a catalyst for the state’s energy industry in the same way Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap helped the state increase bioscience jobs by 41 percent and helped increase the number of bioscience establishments by 27 percent during its 10-year plan.

“It was important to create this document to give the energy industry a unified voice and direction,” said said Michelle De Blasi, co-chair of the AEC and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. “The energy industry is going to be here forever. We are always going to need energy. So the Roadmap was designed to make the industry better for everyone — consumers, developers, legislators. So it was critical that we get it right.”

This is the vision the Roadmap hopes to realize over the next decade: Arizona is the energy hub of the Southwest, with a diverse energy mix supporting reliable transmission, a strong base of manufacturing facilities, increased numbers of higher wage jobs, and world-class research institutions, resulting in increased economic development for the state and region.

Once that vision is realized, De Blasi said the state can expect to reap these benefits:
• Enhanced job creation and higher-wage jobs within Arizona
• Increased state economic revenue
• Enhanced energy export potential
• Heightened energy self-sufficiency and national and state security
• Increased transmission reliability
• Continued low cost energy

“This Roadmap is going to help Arizona be looked at differently from outside its borders,” said Chris Davey, co-chair with De Blasi of the AEC and president of EnviroMission, which is developing a solar tower in Western Arizona. “The Roadmap will create a sense of certainty, which appeals to the finance community. So when they are looking to invest, that certainty creates a more attractive environment for developers and investors.”

Davey and De Blasi said they will be rolling out the Roadmap this year, presenting it to groups throughout the state. For more information on the Roadmap, visit aztechcouncil.org.

ROADMAP CONTRIBUTORS

Arizona Commerce Authority
Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy
Arizona Public Service
Bridge Strategy Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
City of Mesa, the Office of the Mayor
Cleantech Open
Dircks
DIRTT
DMB Associates
Energy Services Coalition
EnviroMission
Faithful+Gould
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Greenberg Traurig
The Green Chamber – Greater Phoenix
Golder Associates
Hensel Phelps
Ikoloji
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals
J.D. Porter & Associates
Kolbe Connect
Matthew McDonnell
Ormond Group, LLC
RG Schmelzer, Inc.
Salt River Project
Stream Energy
Tucson Electric Power
Valley Forward
Valley Partnership

customer.service

Is Your Company Naughty or Nice?

Generally, companies try to stay on their best behavior all year long. But during this holiday season—with decked halls, crowded malls, shrinking bank accounts, and frayed nerves—providing great service is even more critical than usual. Much like Santa, customers have their own “naughty or nice list,” and Ron Kaufman says they won’t hesitate to give you the business equivalent of a stocking full of coal (i.e., taking their business somewhere else) if you make your way into the wrong column.

“There’s no better time of the year than the holiday season to uplift your customers with great service,” says Kaufman, author of the New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet (Evolve Publishing, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9847625-0-7, $24.95, www.UpliftingService.com). “Unfortunately, there’s also no easier time of the year to do or say exactly the wrong thing.”

Often at the holidays companies find themselves overbooked and short staffed. Supplies of popular items run out of stock. Departments aren’t prepared for the increased volume of customer inquiries and complaints. Employees are too distracted by holiday events or travel plans or shopping lists to give customers their full attention.

“These practices are precisely what land companies on customers’ naughty lists,” says Kaufman. “But usually, these are not isolated incidents. Instead, they are evidence of a bigger problem in the organization’s overall service culture.”

Kaufman is at the head of a growing worldwide movement to uplift service in general—for customers and for colleagues. His new book takes readers on a journey into a world of uplifting service with dynamic case studies and perspective-changing insights. Readers learn how the world’s best-performing companies have changed the game in their industries through service and the action steps anyone can take to achieve an uplifting service transformation.

“Holiday happiness and great service needn’t be incompatible,” says Kaufman. “In fact, one of the true forces driving the holidays is our desire to take care of the people we love. And that’s what’s at the core of uplifting service—taking care of the needs and concerns of other people. When companies build a service culture that keeps this top of mind, they’ll find themselves on the nice list every time.”

How can you be sure to land on your customers’ nice lists? What behaviors will banish you to their naughty lists? Read on for a few tips from Kaufman:

To Stay on the Nice List:

Make it seamless. For many of your customers, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year. They will be shopping, ordering, and asking more questions than ever across every possible channel: in person, over the phone, at their computers, on their mobile devices, at work, in their cars, and from home.

“When you provide integrated, smooth service across channels, you’re making your customers’ lives a lot easier,” he says. “From web to email to ATM, to counter to SMS to phone calls, to social platforms and home deliveries, when all information about your customers accumulates and moves seamlessly, then your customers can get what they need from you quickly and get back to doing everything else in their lives.”

Customize for your customers. Sure, your customers know they aren’t your only customer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be treated that way. Personalized service makes people feel special.

“When you offer options, choices, range, and variety and create more value through customization and personalization, your customers will feel like they’re your favorite,” notes Kaufman. “Implement processes that allow you to recall your customers’ questions, preferences, and choices in all future interactions. Then customize your offers and suggestions for their next visit or purchase. This increases your value each time a customer comes to you, and helps you become the vendor, store, or supplier they are glad to talk about and comfortable recommending to others.”

Say “Yes!” to service recovery. Companies on the nice list know that great service recovery turns “oops” into opportunities. Don’t treat customer complaints like they’re annoying or a waste of time, advises Kaufman. Instead, be grateful when unhappy customers give you a chance to win back their business. Why? Because for every customer who does complain, there are several others who had the same problem, but didn’t give you a second chance.

“Companies that ‘get’ service recovery understand when a customer complains, he is really telling you what he values,” points out Kaufman. “If he says you weren’t fast enough, he values speed. If he says he’s tired of not being able to get anyone on the phone, he values human interaction. ‘Nice’ companies quickly seek to identify what complaining customers value. And then they make sure that employees are empowered to make amends and offer an appropriately generous and valuable new action.”

Remember that happy (engaged) employees = service with a smile. Especially during the holidays, it can feel like the businesses, stores, and restaurants we frequent have been invaded by employee drones. Many service providers seem exhausted, frazzled, and too overwhelmed to do anything more than provide the minimum service to keep customers moving along.

“Companies on the nice list know how important employees—both customer-facing and non-customer-facing—are to providing uplifting service,” says Kaufman. “Your employees should be switched on and energized by their role at your company. When they’re clearly aligned, vigorously supported, and joyfully connected to the brand, to colleagues, and to customers, then job satisfaction fuels customer satisfaction in a virtuous cycle.”

Weave yourself into the fabric of the community. Uplifting service works because it makes everyone feel good, from employees to customers to other community members. When your company plays a socially responsible role in the community, then good feelings of service spread farther, and employees want to provide great service because it is so gratifying.

“When your company contributes and participates in the wider community, uplifting the commercial, civil, cultural, environmental, and economic eco-systems, people notice,” says Kaufman. “They’ll want to give you business because they know you give right back to their community. Being your customer makes them feel like they’re contributing, too. Many companies do this with local sports team sponsorships, school internship opportunities, highway and park adoption schemes, and other neighborhood development programs.”

To Get Stuck on the Naughty List:

Specialize in the run-around. Doing business with a company should be a choice, not a chore. But unfortunately, many companies make receiving service very difficult for their customers.

“Companies on the naughty list aren’t streamlined,” notes Kaufman. “Customers have to give the same information to one person after another as they’re passed from department to department seeking help. Departments are so siloed that customers can feel like they aren’t even talking to people who work at the same company.”

Treat customers like a number. Have you ever been to a business, office, or other facility where you had to literally take a number and wait for it to show up on the electronic sign before receiving service? It doesn’t feel so great, does it? That’s how customers feel when you don’t bother to get to know them as individuals.

“When you don’t personalize service by taking the time to learn your customers’ names or implementing systems that remember their needs, you make customers feel like they’re just one of many,” says Kaufman. “There’s no bond, nothing to make them feel any loyalty to you. Make one mistake and they will immediately go somewhere else.”

Exhibit a “the customer’s always wrong” mentality. If turning unhappy customers into loyal customers is what lands companies on the nice list, then the quickest way to land on the naughty list is to treat complaining customers like they’re ruining your day. This can mean anything from blame shifting to “punishing” an unhappy customer by making the interaction even less pleasant than it already is.

“Companies that don’t have a solid service recovery program react to complaining customers by seeking to avoid blame,” notes Kaufman. “Employees point the finger at their colleagues or back at the customers themselves and say, ‘It’s not my fault!’ They’re too focused on passing the buck to even take notice of the customers’ real needs. And to make it even worse, these companies tend to bog down customers even more by requiring a morass of receipts and time-consuming paperwork before they receive even a mediocre level of service.”

Put unhappy, clock-watching employees in front of customers. Naughty companies hire employees who are interested only in working for a wage, and it shows.

“For these companies, service with a smile is a pipe dream,” says Kaufman. “More like service with a grimace! You know you’re at a naughty company when a service representative won’t look you in the eye, has no energy to smile, and treats you like the service they provide is a chore. You might leave having received the product or service you need, but you won’t leave feeling uplifted or wanting to return.”

Put the bottom line on a pedestal. Some companies on the naughty list treat customers like a number; others treat customers like a dollar sign.

“Companies that put the bottom line on a pedestal above their customers can make customers feel like they’re being tricked or swindled,” notes Kaufman. “They offer deals that aren’t backed by great service. Or run ads touting low-cost products that don’t offer real satisfaction. Customers end up feeling as mercenary as the companies they buy from. Both parties may have completed a deal, but neither was uplifted by any lasting value.”

“What companies should be asking themselves now is, How can we make sure we’re on our customers’ nice lists?” says Kaufman. “There’s no better time of the year to assess your company’s service culture. What are your customers experiencing today? What will they expect from you tomorrow? Are you ahead of your competitors, or lagging behind?

“When you commit to creating an uplifting service culture where everyone is fully engaged, encouraging each other, improving the customer experience, making the company more successful, and contributing to the community at large, you’ll spend every holiday season on your customers’ nice lists,” he adds. “And you will reap the benefits year-round.”

105833409

IO strikes deal with Simplicity Web Hosting

IO, the leading provider of next-generation modular data center technology and services, announced the company has been awarded a contract by Simplicity Web Hosting, which provides single and multiple server colocation, shared web hosting, web design, remote backup and disaster recovery plans for businesses of all sizes.

IO will provide Simplicity Web Hosting with Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) delivered out of the IO Phoenix and IO New Jersey data centers. A key decision driver was IO.Anywhere® modular data center architecture which efficiently supports a high-density computing environment. In addition, Simplicity Web Hosting will deploy IO.OS, the world’s first secure data center infrastructure operating system, to remotely track and manage their data center environment from a single pane of glass.

“We’re focused on making it less complex for businesses to leverage the Internet. With IO, we’re able to provide enterprise-grade technology to our customer base, but also reduce our capital investments and only purchase what we require – with new capacity delivered fast,” said Rick Baranowski, President, Simplicity Web Hosting. “With IO.OS we’re able to gain real-time visibility into our entire data center infrastructure, whether it’s in Arizona or New Jersey, making us better equipped to make well-informed decisions.”

IO owns and operates the largest commercially available modular data centers in the United States to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Design Certification, IO Phoenix and IO New Jersey. The IO.Anywhere modular data center platform is managed and optimized by the first secure data center operating system, IO.OS, which transforms the data center into an enterprise IT appliance to maximize resiliency, efficiency and utilization. Organizations can deploy on-site or as DCaaS to support cloud computing, high-availability applications, disaster recovery, data center consolidation and other strategic technology initiatives.

IO designs, engineers and delivers data center infrastructure for the world’s largest enterprises, governments and service providers. IO owns and operates data centers for hundreds of customers, and has leveraged this experience to build a next-generation Data Center 2.0 cloud enabling technology platform. IO.Anywhere modular data centers provide enterprise-class infrastructure that can be delivered as Data Center as a Service and rapidly deployed as a product to customer sites anywhere in the world. IO developed the first data center infrastructure operating system, IO.OS, to provide the intelligent control needed to maximize utilization, resiliency and energy efficiency. IO is a privately held company headquartered in Phoenix. For more information on IO, please visit us on the web at io.com.

FRONTIER AIRLINES Q400 AIRCRAFT

Frontier Adds Service At Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Frontier Airlines is joining two other carriers in providing service from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Monday’s announcement by the carrier followed about a year of negotiations.

The addition of the Denver-based carrier will triple the number of destinations reachable from the airport.

An exact flight schedule hasn’t been released.

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith says having Frontier as a third carrier legitimizes the airport.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air began serving the airport in 2008, and Florida-based Spirit Airlines since earlier this year.

For more information about Frontier Airlines and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, visit Frontier Airlines’s website at frontierairlines.com and visit Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport’s website at phxmesagateway.org.