Ingredients for success: great employees
Employee culture has always been a core component of PEAK’s overall business. From setting quality standards to reinforcing work ethic and fostering innovation, company culture is indeed a key ingredient in PEAK’s recipe for superior internet service and support. We realized this several years ago and made it a priority to develop concepts for how we wanted PEAK to operate. Today we have defined principles and guidelines for our staff, but this process is largely driven by the pride and ownership PEAK’s employees take in their roles.
This is timely to mention because last month a few PEAK employees had the opportunity to participate in the Disney Institute hosted by Linn Benton Community College (and sponsored by PEAK). This is a one-day intensive class that teaches different principles by which Disney operates to make fantasy become reality at their various parks and events. This is a renowned seminar series and there is no doubt that Disney’s culture is crucial to their success.
After debriefing and understanding the class, I noticed many parallels between what Disney has achieved and what PEAK is working to build with its culture. The most notable attributes would be the emphasis on employee empowerment, quality service, and building from creativity. At PEAK, we believe reinforcing these attributes will keep our culture strong and yield better service to customers. So we continue to work towards this goal, knowing that at the core, improving PEAK’s company culture will be fundamental to improving our service.
PEAK Tech Tip video tutorial series is back
October marks the return of the PEAK Tech Tip video tutorial series. Each week PEAK’s staff will produce a quick video that answers your technology questions, ranging from gadget evaluations to software recommendations and technical support for your home PC. We will debut this series from the PEAK Internet Youtube Channel and post from the PEAK Blog and Facebook page. Be sure to follow PEAK on these sites to get the latest Tech Tip and other updates.
We are re-launching this video series to engage users with social and multimedia channels, but we need your input to keep the show going. What tips and tutorials do you need with technology and how can we help? Send a note to the marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question. In the spirit of PEAK’s new email system being released this month, the first topic will be covering the interface of the Zimbra email application.
Try it before you buy it!
Also a reminder, PEAK and Pioneer Telephone are teaming up to offer the Try Before you Buy and One Price Fits All promotions again this Fall. For a limited time, upgrade your broadband service to any package for no additional charge or upgrade from dial-up to any broadband service for one low entry price. These are great ways to experience all the great advantages of faster broadband. Call PEAK for more details.
Thanks! It is a pleasure to serve you.
Great turnout for PEAK Barbecue
August marked yet another successful customer barbecue for PEAK. We had several hundred people in attendance and numerous meaningful interactions in an afternoon dedicated to customers. All this dialogue is very valuable and I want to thank everyone that turned out to share the time. I personally received great feedback from the folks I was able to engage and I’m looking forward to sharing some insights with our staff to further improve PEAK’s offering of services. As always, I believe this event embodies the essence of our mission — to provide quality, locally-grown, personable service. It’s also an example of the commitment, energy, and innovative spirit that is synonymous with the PEAK name — so thanks again for coming!
What made the event so great? Sure, it was a venue for PEAK to offer gratitude to customers by preparing a meal and providing giveaways. However more importantly, the event served to create an illustration of the many projects and objectives I speak about in this letter every month. This year we had onsite resources for PEAK’s new modems and tutorials for their unique functionality like, time blocking and parental filtering. We also had a live demo of PEAK’s new email platform, set to debut in the fall. Lastly, if you took the tour of our facilities, you might have seen the new HVAC infrastructure in place within the data center, a recent a data center upgrade. These are great resources for you as a customer, so I hope you had the opportunity to meet our staff and see the facilities where we work hard to make your internet service great.
“Try Before You Buy” promotion is back!
As September rolls around, school is set to begin and that means it’s time to send your children back to the classroom. I know many of you are striving to equip your student with the tools for academic success, so be sure to include your home internet connection in this evaluation. As more educational curriculum integrates online resources and applications, it is important to have an internet connection capable of accessing these resources (this includes video and other multimedia content). For the next few months, PEAK will be running upgrade promotions aimed at giving you the opportunity to try faster speed connections for 90 days at your current service rate. If you don’t like the difference, switch back at no additional charge from PEAK. Admittedly, the logistics of providing this promotion are different with each service, so stay tuned for specific details on this “Try Before you Buy” promotion.
Willamette Valley Internet customers join PEAK
This month I also have the honor of welcoming a new group of customers to PEAK Internet. In August, PEAK Internet and Willamette Valley Internet reached an agreement to transition customers in the Salem area to PEAK Internet. I would like to reach out and welcome those specific customers and would also like to reiterate PEAK’s commitment to quality service and personable support. I am confident that in a short time we will earn the same trust and loyalty you gave Willamette Valley Internet. We look forward to the opportunity to continue offering you internet services, from a local provider you can trust.
Have a great September and thanks again for choosing PEAK!
2010 Customer Barbeque coming up August 26th
There is no better time for a barbeque! Join us on Thursday, August 26th at 5:00 PM for good food and great people at PEAK’s annual customer appreciation barbeque. As usual, you can look forward to PEAK staff cooking at the grill, ice cream for dessert, and an assortment of different activities to bring you closer to the activity at PEAK. Make it a first time visit or your annual trip out to the PEAK headquarters and don’t forget to bring your friends or family, even if they don’t have PEAK’s service.
The annual customer barbeque is a big event for us at PEAK. It’s an opportunity to relate with our customers on a conversational basis that is both sincere and genuine. I’ve mentioned in the past how much we value this kind of interaction with our customers, so tell us what you think and keep the comments coming. We feel like this willingness to engage with our customers through different chan¬nels is one of the reasons we have managed to stay successful over the years and I assure you that our commitment to this principle will not waver.
The best result of this engagement has been the great line of communication we have been able to establish with customers. This has been integral for supporting customers by providing tips to improve services and by providing insights for issue resolution. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to hear some of the flattering compliments about PEAK’s service. I am truly grateful for these comments and feel like this sincere feedback is one of PEAK’s most marketable attributes. Accordingly, I would like to share some of these compliments with the rest of the surrounding communities. So please keep those comments coming, you might find yourself in PEAK’s next marketing campaign!
PEAK to display at the Benton County Fair, debuting CLEAR wireless internet service
Be sure to catch the PEAK Internet team at the Benton County Fair, beginning August 4 and continuing through the 7th. This is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy sights unique to the county fair, including: 4H animal displays, carnival rides, and booth displays from local vendors. PEAK sponsored the Karaoke stage out in the event grounds, you can find our booth in that area. Stop in and enter for your chance to win tickets for the Willamette Country Music Festival (http://www.willamettecountrymusicfest.com/).
The Benton County Fair also marks the debut of CLEAR 4G wireless internet (http://www.clear.com), offered by PEAK Internet. CLEAR is next generation mobile wireless broadband that provides service with speeds up to 6 Mbps and it is now available in Corvallis. This is truly a superior mobile wireless service and we are glad to recommend this service as a reseller. Interested? We’ll have a display setup at our table.
Email overhaul begins in August
Along with PEAK’s data center cooling and battery back-up upgrades over the past two months, now comes customer email upgrades. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as I have mentioned before that updating the email platform is a high priority for us at PEAK. This complex upgrade process begins in August with mail account migration, then after some validation and final testing, we should be live with the new service in September (that’s when you’ll notice some changes). Stay tuned for user information on the new email platform.
Summer is starting to show signs of emerging and I hope you have all had an opportunity to enjoy this long overdue good weather. The summer season marks the beginning of a string of local events that PEAK supports and participates in, from county fairs to country music concerts and local art festivals. We encourage you to partic- ipate as well; you can find a calendar of all these events on the PEAK blog. Take a look and don’t miss out.
April proved to be a busy month for all of us at PEAK Internet. We just finished the first fiscal quarter and are already immersed in the projects coming up for the rest of the year. We also had people traveling all over the country attending conferences, staying up to date on all the best practices in our industry.
The changing broadband marketplace
What did we learn and what are what are we working on? It is apparent that the broadband marketplace is changing and new technologies are emerging that will bring an increasing amount of your home-based services direct to your internet-enabled devices. If you can, envision a world where your broadband connection delivers not only internet, television, and telephone, but also home security/surveillance, power consumption information, and a host of other home applications via cloud computing delivery. I feel PEAK is well positioned to offer all these services in coordination with our affiliates in telephone and electric cooperatives. As always, look for these partnerships to provide the best value along with local service.
One recurring theme from all the travels of the last month was the evolution of video and how the user experience continues to change. Specifically, at a DirecTV dealer conference last month, we learned about all the new functionality being added to their already feature-rich TV platform. The most notable additions include a Multiple Room Viewing option that allows content to be viewed throughout the household, from one HDDVR set. This service aug- ments the multiple television household and increases the ease of access to stored program- ming. Secondly, DirecTV is expanding its OnDemand movie offering with the addition of DirecTV Cinema, a movie service similar to Netflix. There are many more newsworthy announcements from the DirecTV conference readable on the blog.
Video is obviously a critical component of PEAK’s service offering and one that we want to get right. DirecTV has been a valuable add-on offered by PEAK for nearly two years and I hope all of you that are interested take advantage of the exclusive discounts we are able to provide. ESPN 3 (formerly ESPN 360) has been a success to this point and offers sports fans an online portal to thousands of live sporting events. In addition to these two options, internally we have been testing several Over-The-Top (OTT) video OnDemand services in search of the right complement or replacement for tra- ditional television service. We are hoping to have a service available to you later this year, but before we make a bold dash in any direc- tion, I would like to get your input. What type of video services are you interested in? What type of platform do you prefer and what are you willing to pay, if anything? Please help us out by taking a quick survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3RYJXBH that will give us some general direction in the world of video.
PEAK giving back
Lastly this month, I would like to note the following organizations that PEAK spon- sored or provided financial assistance to in the first quarter of year. They are: The Children’s Miracle Network, Santiam Spokes, The Diabetic Youth Foundation, The Monroe Community Library, and the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics. Personally, I have also joined the Safe Haven Humane Society’s, “Imagine the Possibilities,” fund raising committee to raise funds for a new facility in Albany.
As always, if you have any questions or comments please let me know. Have a great month and remember to honor your mothers on May 9th!
It’s great to see the sun shining and plants blooming, these are truly signs that spring is here in Oregon. Spring brings to mind many different activities — for some it marks a break from school, for others a time to clean the house and perhaps a family vacation. At PEAK, spring marks a time for us to celebrate another year of success and to honor our standout employees at the annual PEAK awards banquet. Each year our annual awards banquet is a time for PEAK’s employees to get together and celebrate as an organization. Our goal is to honor those employees that best exemplify our ideals of quality service and those that innovate within their position. We have over forty employees at PEAK and we need each one of them to help carry this organization forward. Each year I’m proud of what our award recipients have achieved to make PEAK a better Internet service provider. There’s no doubt that some of you might recognize some of the award recipients from various interactions. Gary Held, one of our longest tenured Technical Support Representatives, won the prestigious Employee of the Year award. Newcomer David Regan, won the Rookie of the Year award. David, a Systems Administrator, has been diligently working on our email operations, including the Red Condor migration and soon the move to a new email platform. Alan Batie was awarded the President’s Award, a special honor I specifically choose each year. In addition to these honorees, we also had Quality of Service candidates awarded at our ceremony for outstanding service.
Customer Survey Results We finally wrapped up the customer satisfaction survey this month. From an overall standpoint, I am glad to report that the majority of respondents reported the quality of service PEAK is providing as either “Excellent” or “Good.” I am also very happy to report that in a general sense, feedback indicates that our service is regarded to be improving, which implies sentiments that customers appreciate the effort we put into the daily tasks of providing Internet.
We’re not taking these results for granted and understand that with the good comes the bad. There is some great constructive criticism from the survey that will allow us to be proactive in areas where we need to serve customers better. Regarding these constructive criticisms, look for upgrades to the web email platform in the near future and also the option for an online payment interface. I also acknowledge comments regarding the need for better spam filtering. These are the issues that constantly plague Internet providers in general and we are not immune. I do, however, promise that PEAK will be constantly working to remedy these issues. This is what makes PEAK different, the promise to continue working on issues and to remain transparent with our communications.
I have one last observation from the survey regarding additional services PEAK should refine or offer in the next year. From the list of options there were five selections that stood out in importance and it was reassuring to see our priorities match up almost identically with the feedback. In fact, for many of the selections we already have offerings in place. The email client overhaul is well underway and a television over broadband offering is currently being tested. Additionally, if you currently have a ClearAccess modem at your residence, managed wireless and a hardware firewall are already available. This is truly insightful and we’re pleased to see the alignment between customer feedback and our strategic initiatives.
Have a great Easter!