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As one of the most recent additions to Online Tech, the differences in company culture from previous businesses remain fresh and notable. Coming from an agency background with a perspective across many industries and business models, it’s not been easy in Michigan to share a lot of good news. Companies have lost budgets, workers have lost colleagues, businesses have radically downsized or downright faded away. So at Online Tech, laughter was one notable difference. An increasing number of employees and meeting or exceeding quarterly targets another. A 3rd straight growth year? In Michigan?! Almost unheard of. It got the better of my curiosity going, that’s for sure.
There’s a lot of quiet, heads down work here, but a strong and definable team spirit that sets the context for our individual efforts. For example, every day at 3:30 sharp, we all get together for a 10 minute huddle. It’s always met with good spirits, and always right to the point. Each department – finance, sales and marketing, operations, & product development – brings 3-4 metrics to the meeting. All stats are shared company wide – across headquarters, all data centers, reps and techs on the road – everyone. We’re all on the same team here, every day. We all know exactly where the #s stand – revenue, pipeline, losses, support tickets.
Some of the metrics stand out more than others. Sure, the revenue and losses that translate directly to our overall profitability are key. But there are 2 metrics that make the entire company pause – all attention becomes riveted, and I’m not even sure people remember to breathe if these stats are anything other than “0”:
1) number of outages that result in any customer down time
2) number of tickets unanswered after 15 minutes or unresolved after 1 hour
Everyone in the company knows that as a data center provider, these two metrics are the lifeblood of our business. If we can’t stand behind our promise to be “Always On”, all other metrics will falter.
Every company responds to their customers. But how many have proactive, daily measuring and sharing of those metrics across the entire company? Instead of a harried response to emergencies, we find ourselves more often making process improvements that will further decrease the number of trouble tickets, our response time to them, and give our clients better visibility and access to the status and performance of their services and devices – before problems cause downtime. Instead of resentful frustration, we enjoy a steady stream of raves and enthusiastic testimonials and referrals – which makes daily life enjoyable for all of us. Remember that laughter differentiator?
Does it really make a difference to the bottom line? Our average length of contract has extended by several months in the past year. Our customer retention is higher. Our bottom line has increased 30% over the last year, our 3rd straight year of growth during some of the toughest times Michigan has faced.
Try it out. Choose the top 10 indicators of success in your job, department, or company. Take 5 minutes to measure them every day and share the metrics with everyone involved. See where you stand in a month, 3 months, 6 months. Maybe you’ll have more to laugh about and less to stress about.