Sometimes things go wrong

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I hate it when we get it wrong. It’s fair to say I spend most of my professional energy, and a large chunk of my personal energy ensuring we avoid getting things wrong as well as focussing on getting things so right that we delight our customers.

Of course this involves getting the right technology and also the right team who are motivated and inspired enough to be looking for ways to exceed expectations. In the web hosting business this means catering for the start-up business dependant on the Internet, as well as for the multinational enterprise migrating mission critical data onto our cloud.

On the whole, and for the vast majority of our customers, we do exceed their expectations. And that makes my day. I hear from customers all the time who are delighted with us. When systems go down we have had teams spend the night in the office to help the customer fix the problem, even when the problem wasn’t created by us. Basically we care. We really care.

But, sometimes we get it wrong. This can be for many reasons but ultimately I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that things don’t go wrong, but when they do I take it both seriously and personally.

We recently got it wrong for a customer who decided to go with one of our competitors. You know the one – they are big and fanatical. I used to work for them. A bit of healthy rivalry between us is inevitable and a good thing. However, I was saddened to discover that the aforementioned competitor had taken an email from the customer in question, in which they vent their frustrations with PEER 1 (we admit we messed up on this occasion), and had turned that email into a sales tool.

This is depressing because it doesn’t fairly or accurately represent us, or the great work that we do every day. If this specific incident was typical, or even occasionally true, we would not be in business and rattling the competition in the manner we do.

It also is exciting for me because it shows how much impact PEER 1 Hosting is making. I know most of the guys and gals that work for the competition. I hired lots of them. Most of them are great. They have the capacity to be brilliant. The reason that I would have hired them or anyone who now works for PEER 1 Hosting is because they have the vision, passion and care factor to allow customers to focus on the possibilities of the Internet, not the problems.

So, if our competitors come to you with a letter from a disgruntled customer, we will freely admit we got it wrong in this instance. We have similar horror stories from other customers who have come from other competitors. In truth, everyone in this game does. We won’t show you them. If a customer or prospect would rather only focus on the negative and only take in part of the picture, they probably aren’t for us either.

My final thoughts; if any employee working for one of our competitors wants to join a company that will never ask you to sling mud about the competition, please get in touch. We have much cleaner ways for you to get your hands dirty!

 

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About dommonkhouse

Dominic Monkhouse @dommonkhouse entrepreneur, smallholder, Geordie, kite surfing, snowboarding, dog owning, J109 sailor, pilot, husband, father and runner dominicmonkhouse.com
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