Customer Service Award
What the company does: BUMI (Backup My Info!), based in New York City, delivers online backup and recovery solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. BUMI serves more than 500 clients, including professional service organizations such as banks, financial businesses, insurance companies, accounting firms, hedge funds, and law firms who are looking to back up their data. Clients include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CitiStorage, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and M5 Networks. BUMI has grown from $29,000 in gross revenue in their first year to approximately $2 million in annual revenue today.
Best practice: BUMI’s personalized customer service makes the company stand out from other online data backup and recovery businesses. The company’s technical team proactively monitors customer accounts, anticipating potential issues and responding promptly and efficiently to their clients if any problems arise. BUMI’s proactive approach extends to their billing policy. If the company notices that a client’s bill has increased more than 10 percent, they will reach out to the client to make sure the increase was intentional.
BUMI’s customer service goes beyond their technical expertise. Guest speakers are frequently invited to the company to talk about topics related to BUMI’s clients’ industries, including hedge funds, real estate, and financial services. In protecting a client’s data, BUMI recognizes that they are also protecting the client’s own customers and employees. By better understanding the clients’ specific industries, BUMI’s employees can better protect and restore their clients’ information, and more accurately answer specific questions.
Tips for implementing your own best practice: According to Jennifer Walzer, CEO and founder of BUMI, great customer service starts at the top. “It starts by hiring the right people who want to be proactive,” she says. “I think that if you have a good heart, you’re empathetic, willing to learn, and enjoy people, you can be taught to be a great customer service representative.” As a CEO, the best way to ensure your employees are offering great customer service is to make sure they’re happy and confident in their jobs and the company. “Make sure every person in the company understands your vision. If they don’t understand what your goal is, how do they know what they should be doing in their role?” she says.
And part of taking care of customers is understanding them. Walzer’s practice of finding guest speakers can be easily implemented by other companies. Use your contacts and word-of-mouth suggestions to find people who do a good job of sharing information. Look for speakers who are both industry- and tech-savvy. Tell them in advance what you’re looking for and ask them to speak about subjects such as challenges, industry trends and news, changes in regulations, and even a basic overview of what they do. “Our team absolutely loves it,” says Walzer, “because it gives them the opportunity to learn.”
Michelle Court is the managing editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at email@example.com.