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Stepping Up for Others Providing More Peace to Our Community
M y kids are not overly spoiled, but in terms of survival, they’ve never had to work too hard. They have a roof over their heads, loving parents, plenty of food every day, and they only worry about what they want versus what they need. Unfortunately, not every kid in our community can say the same. As the holiday season begins, I’m reminded of different opportunities to give back to families who haven’t been afforded as many privileges as mine. This year, both MicroTech Systems and my family will be stepping up their game for the sake of helping more people. MicroTech has always prepared a few boxes of Thanksgiving meals for local families and helped at the local food bank. My family also volunteers to help with Thanksgiving collection boxes and buying Christmas presents for a local kid in need. But we can do more. MicroTech has been helping local families get a Thanksgiving meal since we were just an office of eight employees. We now have 17 employees, and we don’t have an excuse not to be doing more. At home, I want to show my kids the benefits of not being entitled and instead teach them that they must think of others. It’s not just about helping others; it’s about asking yourself if there is more you can do. This fall, I was talking with some of my employees about giving back over the holiday season and ways we could improve. I often hear from customers that the reason they trust MicroTech for their IT needs is because of the peace of mind we give them. But while talking with
Heather, our office manager, I learned our company’s impact on feeling secure can extend far beyond the digital world. A few years ago, MicroTech had an employee who was balancing being a single mother while sorting through some legal trouble. Due to timing and other factors of her situation, this employee was not going to have the time or ability to prepare for Christmas with her daughter. Instead of letting that happen, Heather and her family took it upon themselves to get our employee and her daughter a tree, decorations, and gifts for Christmas morning. I’m so proud of Heather and her family for doing this, but I can’t believe this is something I just learned about this year. Heather took giving back to the next level. She and her family are a great example of stepping up for someone in need, whether you know the person or not. I’m happy that this employee and her daughter were able to continue their Christmas traditions thanks to Heather’s generosity, and it has motivated me to do more this year. Prior to the holiday season, I took time to find more opportunities for MicroTech to give back to our Idaho communities. Daily, we work to make sure people feel fulfilled and satisfied with their digital needs. We love to see our clientele grow, but part of helping our communities expand is providing a safe environment for everyone to thrive in. We’re not just here to service your technical needs. We want to create a better community in our real world.
The Chicken or the Egg? Why Nurturing Employees and Customers Is the Key to Retention
Get them hooked on your service. Have you ever asked a client why they return to your business? Do you think it’s because they can’t find your product or service anywhere else? Probably not. Think about the last time you returned to a restaurant. Was it because it’s the only place in town that makes amazing Thai food? Maybe, but it’s more likely that you enjoyed the welcoming host, attentive waiter, and positive experience you had there. Starbucks is a great example. Even with thick competition, they deliver consistent service and quality products to customers, whether in Oregon or London. And they do this by providing competitive wages and benefits to their employees along with training and learning opportunities. Employees who are knowledgeable and excited about what they are offering pass their enthusiasm on to customers. Own up to mistakes. Even the best businesses make mistakes. When it happens, own up to it. There’s probably been a time when you put in your order at a restaurant, only to receive the wrong thing. How did the business handle it? Did they admit their mistake and offer you a new meal? How a business treats customers when things don’t go smoothly is a good indication of how they’ll handle adversity in general, and that reaction starts with employees. Set the precedent for employees that a mistake is their opportunity to go above and beyond. A transparent environment will make employees feel more comfortable, which will make customers excited, rather than apprehensive, to engage with your business again.
Who comes first: employees or customers? When posed this classic business question, Southwest Airlines co- founder Herb Kelleher had an easy answer: employees. “If employees are treated right, they treat the
outside world right,” Kelleher explained. As Kelleher knows well, employee- customer relations
are a cycle — one that fuels recurring business. Engaged employees deliver service that converts to sales, a fact backed up by a Gallup report. Gallup cited a 20 percent increase in sales as a result of this process.
Even as you’re courting leads, you can’t ignore your existing customers. Likewise, even (and
especially) as you grow, you have to nurture your employees. The cost of losing either is too high. In the holiday rush, it’s important to not lose sight of your priorities.
Our Clients Say It Best
“Our law firm has used MicroTech for all our IT needs for many years. I couldn’t be happier with their performance and response time. I highly recommend them!” –Tracey Presler
“We have been using MicroTech for 6 months, and I wish we would have made the change earlier. They respond to tickets in a timely manner and have helped us ensure that our systems are running as efficiently as possible. Staff is friendly and professional. I would highly recommend MicroTech to anyone looking for a new IT company.” –Jason Stirtz
Up in the Clouds
How Cloud-Based Servers Can Give You a Piece of the On-Demand Economy
In today’s ever-growing on-demand economy, you have to be prepared for customers who expect immediate results. This style of industry is slated to hit $50 billion in 2018, and it’s a trend small- business owners can get in on, too. But is your technology prepared for this? Inadvertently, your company is likely participating in some sort of on- demand economy already. But if you hesitated when questioned about your preparedness, you may need to consider transitioning to cloud-based services to help streamline your process.
services already like Google Drive, Dropbox, and GoToMeeting, so the shift won’t be huge. Yes, you’ll have to adjust your process, but the change to a cloud-based server will give your customers an easy way to interact with your company, allowing you to foster more efficient ways to innovate your processes with expansion and trustworthy, reliable IT help.
So, how do you do it? Consider the three P’s.
Physical Decide what you need. Do you have the ability to do this right now? What options are best for you? How do you effectively switch gears?
Problems Though branded like the Titanic, cloud-based servers are also not “unsinkable.” Unfortunately, IT disasters happen, and you need to be prepared for them. Process You have the ability. You’re prepared for failure. Now, do you have a process set in place to make it work? It’s easy to get everything set up, but you can maximize the potential by creating the perfect plan. Integrating cloud-based servers to your business is a transition — one that can be done better with the help of proper IT services. To see how MicroTech Systems can help you, visit Microtechboise.com .
Wait — what’s driving this need-it-now economy?
As companies and technology progress, more services and products are available to consumers on an immediate basis. As customers become accustomed to this kind of service, they expect it more, prompting businesses to consistently update their services. But big names like Uber or Instacart aren’t the only companies that can benefit from this economy. Your small business is just a few steps away from offering this to your clients, too. You likely use cloud-based
Have a Laugh!
Holiday Roast Prime Rib
Ingredients 1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)
Inspired by Food Network
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• • •
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups red wine
Directions 4 cups beef stock
1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.
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Helping Our Community
Don’t Let Retention Slide in the Holiday Rush
Our Clients Say It Best
Stepping Into an On-Demand Economy
Holiday Roast Prime Rib
A Guide to Making Ideas Stick
Chip and Dan Heath’s ‘Made to Stick’ Uncovers What Makes Ideas Matter
Have you ever wondered why certain stories that have no basis in fact get passed around like wildfire? Whether they’re rumors, urban legends, or conspiracy theories, these tales can often gain more traction than important ideas and facts. In their book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip and Dan Heath explore the qualities that give ideas relevance and pass-around value. “An accurate but useless idea is still useless,” they write. This point is key to understanding why people get excited about certain ideas and ignore others. The Heaths argue that the presentation of ideas can have
presented in the form of stories. While these principles are relatively straightforward, they are often subverted in an effort to use business jargon and other neutered forms of language. The Heaths deploy John F. Kennedy’s famous speech about putting a man on the moon as an example of a compellingly relayed idea. “Had John F. Kennedy been a CEO, he would have said, ‘Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives,’” they explain. Nobody would have been excited about that.
just as much of an impact on their “stickiness” as the content of the ideas. After analyzing hundreds of examples, they note, “We began to see the same themes, the same attributes, reflected in a wide range of successful ideas.” “Made to Stick” explains those attributes using myriad examples to illustrate how stickiness works in the real world. Early in the book, the Heaths share six key principles, demonstrating how good ideas are made valuable and exciting by their simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, and credibility; are capable of rousing emotions; and are often
If you’ve ever thought that you had a great idea but couldn’t get your employees to buy into it, a lack of stickiness may be the cause. Understanding how to present your ideas in an inspiring way could unlock the key to increased productivity and growth like you’ve never achieved before. The next time you present an idea to your team, a group of conference attendees, or any other audience, ask yourself if that idea will stick. If it won’t, you’re just wasting your time. If you need a little guidance on how to make your ideas punch a little harder, “Made to Stick” should be on your holiday book list.
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