Over the past few months, business as we know it has changed significantly. Our clients and their customers are facing a new set of challenges and are relying on our technology to help them weather the storm. I am proud of the organization that we’ve built and that we’ve been able to rapidly respond to our clients’ needs.
When I look back at 2019, I realized that there were three things that turned S-NET into a better service provider and laid the foundation for our response to this new era in business communications.
At S-NET, our team is our secret weapon; without them, our company would not be where it is today. So creating a warm, collaborative family-like team culture has always been important for me. As the adage goes, if you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers and your business.
In 2019, S-NET grew exponentially and widened our product portfolio. We brought on many new employees, clients and partners. With a growing staff and the acquisition of SkyTalk this fall, it became increasingly important to ensure that everyone has the resources and support they need to be successful in their work.
So this year we allocated a bigger share of our attention to our staff, giving them more opportunities for growth, and promoting from within when possible. We have also invested more heavily in training opportunities that would help our team diversify their skill sets and stay engaged in their work.
Last summer, we also organized our most extensive team building to date at the Brookfield Zoo, enjoying a day of fun and games based on the DiSC Personality Profile. It was a remarkable experience that provided us with a deeper understanding of our staff, their personalities, and the unique talents and perspectives that each of them bring to the table. With valuable insights into our organizational culture, we were able to improve internal communication and reduce the risk of conflicts among team members, creating a team environment where every person’s input is valued and utilized toward shared goals.
Ensuring that everyone is pulling in the same direction is another important component of success, for every organization. When each person is working toward the same goals, a business can move forward at a faster pace. Teams that have a shared vision and a sense of ownership over the company’s success are unstoppable. But with a growing team, coordinating the efforts of different departments and teams can be challenging.
To ensure that we continued on a healthy growth path, 2019 was the year we made a more conscious effort to open our internal communication channels and keep our diverse team aligned with our company vision. We increased the frequency of our company-wide meetings to keep our staff in the loop and allow each employee to learn how they can help us reach our objectives. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss projects and goals, acknowledge major achievements in each department, and award employees who go above and beyond in supporting our shared vision. As a result, we can move forward and be successful as a unified team.
Listening to our customers has been our best sources of inspiration and direction, ever since my partner, Eugene and I, founded S-NET in 2006. Just like Jeff Bezos aims to maintain a startup-mentality as CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon, we are also striving to stay close to our roots and keep our client-centric focus, even as our company is doubling in size.
In 2019, we put more effort into keeping communication channels open with our clients and take their feedback into account as our services evolve. Creating services and software that feels intuitive, even for the least tech-savvy client, continues to be one of our most important goals. We aim to take the burden of training off internal IT departments and ensure that our technology simplifies our clients’ work, regardless of their level of tech literacy. Paying attention to all client feedback, from the tickets they open to the insights of our Client Technology Advisors, helps us achieve this objective and offer user-friendly productivity tools.
In 2019, we also continued to keep clients informed about any maintenance work or changes in our network that had the potential to impact their services, as well as about important events and launches at S-NET. Our monthly newsletters give them an opportunity to get better acquainted with technology, learn to utilize features with our new video user-guide series, and make the most of their current services. With monthly Meet the Team interviews, they can even get to know the staff they are interacting with on a regular basis.
Taking advantage of our boutique size to stay in touch with our clients and offer highly personalized customer care is our best line of defense against our largest competitors. Our clients know that purchasing their services from the 800-pound gorilla will not give them the personal attention they need to use technology successfully and build a thriving business. Only in boutique providers, like S-NET, will they have the strong, reliable partner that their business needs.
We finished 2019 stronger than ever. I am very proud of our team’s evolution, and all the changes and strategies we implemented to grow and improve. Investing in our people, creating a shared vision and direction, and listening to our clients’ needs have definitely helped us become a better provider than we were a year ago. We’re in a stronger position to help our clients weather the current storm.