BlueChannel Values

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Teamwork is the cooperative and coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause. While the concept is simple, the execution of effective teamwork poses challenges.  Team members must know what the common cause is. We must rely on one another to be vocal and supportive, to each carry our own weight. Our uniqueness and expertise must be valued and respected. We must know and understand our processes and be accountable to one another. Teamwork is the primary core value here at BlueChannel—one we bring to every project in which we engage, one we integrate with every service we provide.

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Guidance as a concept tells us when we act as a guide we intentionally direct or lead. It’s about helping people make choices and solve problems. It’s about influencing decisions. About taking our knowledge and experience and offering it up as a platform from which you can leap and make informed choices. This entails great responsibility, and BlueChannel doesn’t take that lightly. It’s a question of maturity and knowing who we are and what we do best. We guide in our clients’ best interests even if it means a solution may not reside with us. This awareness of what it means to be a responsible guide while respecting your expertise in your industry is what sets us apart.

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Stanford professor emeritus in psychology Philip Zimbardo writes, “Heroes are people who transform compassion (a personal virtue) into heroic action (a civic virtue).” At the very center of BlueChannel, you’ll find real people. Good people. Virtuous people. It’s no accident. We value it within our team, and appreciate it in those with whom we work. Small acts of everyday heroics are a part of our normal work. Often, these acts go unnoticed, but they’re happening all the same. And it’s this voluntary, above expected engagement in our work and in our lives which make us heroes. We hope to lead by example, to show that all these little good things add up to leave a positive legacy and result in win-win scenarios for BlueChannel and our clients.

Recent Heroics

Heroic sales tax report

01/24/17 – One of our clients reached out needing help putting together a sales tax report from a CS-Cart site we developed for them. He explained the painful manual process he went through each time he needed the report. Data exports were timing out, he had to manually remove certain sales; in short, it was a nightmare. I put on my thinking cap and wrote a custom script for him to automate all the manual processes. He was so happy when he wrote after using it he called it a “heroic sales tax report” – how could I not add it to our Heroics section?

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It’s Sunday, but sure

09/12/16 – It’s great when clients take an interest in their own websites – especially those built on CMS platforms like WordPress or cart platforms like CS-Cart. But, there are times when mistakes are made and the site ends up a little messy or the client loses their access to the admin. When a client reached out to me on a Sunday asking for back end access to be restored, I quickly fixed his issue hoping to keep him invested in his site and not frustrated by it.

Say, that reminds me

07/20/16 – What’s the difference between working with a small development company vs an individual? Well, one advantage with the company is you get a diverse range of skill sets and experience, and the team works with many clients thereby giving that team more touchstones to what’s going on “out there” on the web. When a client asked me about free image editing software, it jogged my memory because another client had recently told me about some free photo editing software he was using. I searched me email and found the reference and was able to provide it to the other client.

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Good for you, good for us

06/16/16 – Because we’re a web host as well as a development company, there are times when what benefits us will also benefit our clients. A good example of this is when I learned of a security vulnerability on one of the eCommerce platforms we host and have developed on. I didn’t want our servers to be compromised, so I patched the software. The clients on that platform received a “free upgrade” and their sites didn’t get hacked.

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Memorial Day support

05/30/16 – We understand that business doesn’t stop just because it’s a holiday. That’s why I decided to help one of our clients get their half-sent newsletter 100% sent out even though it was Memorial Day weekend. I had logged into my email and saw their cry for help. Thirty minutes later, I was on my way, their newsletter was out and we’d earned the gratitude of yet another client in need.

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Server-side move

04/01/16 – When a local client was moving from one company to another, we just so happened to host both companies’ websites. She asked if there was a way to move her mail from the old company’s domain to the new. There is a time-intensive, manual way to do this via Outlook, but since both domains live on our server, I was able to perform the task in just a matter of minutes.

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Pop in on my way

03/02/16 – Walking from my office to the gym, I received a call from a client having email configuration issues. They were on the way, so I popped in, sat down, configured their email and went on my way. These face-to-face interactions are great and make me appreciate where I live and work.

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In-person support

02/03/16 – I love living and working in Steamboat Springs. I can walk to some of our clients’ places of business and provide in-person support and consulting. The face-to-face time means a lot. Recently, I was on such a call when I realized the client had called me in to help her with her Mac Mail connecting to Gmail. Even though neither product is a BlueChannel product or service, I helped her out anyway.

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Server switch good for all

01/29/16 – When a recent update caused some instability on one of our servers, we worked round-the-clock to restore service to 100%. Most clients don’t even notice these types of issues, but some do. Some call or email. Some more than once. When I felt one client in particular was feeling anxious, I moved his site to another server. It was good for us, too, because his site is a high-load site. So, he got instant resolution to the instability issue and we got to lessen the load on the server with the issue in the first place. Win-win!

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New Year’s Eve? No problem…

12/31/15 – While we at BlueChannel do observe holidays and take personal time, we understand businesses – especially web-based businesses – really operate 24/7/365. So, on New Year’s Eve, when a client wrote they were having trouble sending out a promotional email via a 3rd party system we hooked up to their site, I didn’t leave him hanging. I logged in, made sure things were set up correctly and helped get the email out.

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After hours restoration

11/19/15 – While we do try to keep fairly normal business hours, we realize there are times when situations arise requiring swift action regardless of the hour. So, when a new client needed me to restore some old links on her site, I got it done – even though it was 8pm. She was able to save some face with her superiors and I was able to exemplify what sets BlueChannel apart from other companies.

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I’ll be your computer geek

10/16/15 – Maybe you are the computer geek in your friends and family circle or maybe you aren’t, but you most likely know who IS the computer geek in your circle. Recently, a long-time client called concerned links to email addresses on his website weren’t working. They didn’t work on any websites, in fact. Turns out, they had no default email program assigned. I used TeamViewer to log in and showed him how to set up a default email program on three of their machines. Sometimes people don’t have a computer geek to call on, I guess, and since I had the know-how, I thought I’d fill the role.

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Free advice

09/01/15 – A long-time client informed me he was hiring an SEO company (a big one…) who intended to set up a new domain to develop content and drive traffic. Only problem is, when the client decides working with this big company is no longer worth the money, the content and traffic will not be owned by him and will no longer provide value for him. Sometimes I can’t hold my tongue. This was one of those times. I gave my free, unsolicited advice. We’ll see what happens.

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Workin’ late for an old friend/client

08/26/15 – A client I’ve worked with since the early 90’s requested I set up his new site on our server and handle the domain transfer from old to new. This was while my mother was visiting. And it was dinnertime. I did eat my dinner, but I also helped my client and friend. History matters.

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Nothing if not flexible

08/21/15 – A client’s site on a shared server was experiencing more and more frequent outages. We migrated the site to a new server, alone, to see what the real hosting requirements were.  Realizing the demands were quite significant, we worked with the client to upgrade their hosting package, thus stabilizing the site.  When one migration-related issue was reported to us late on a Friday afternoon, we dropped everything, troubleshooted the issue, and made a fix (related to a third-party WordPress plugin).  Happy Friday!

3rd party service change means working early and late

7/24/15 – One of our clients forwarded us a notice of upcoming changes from a 3rd party service used on their site to generate postage on-the-fly for their products. The original integration meant hours of custom programming, so the upcoming changes could’ve meant the whole system would break. To ensure things went smoothly, I came in early the day the changes were to go live. I worked with the 3rd party’s support team until after six that night, as well. We’re invested in our clients and want to ensure their downtime is kept to a minimum even when sometimes changes are outside of our control.

Saturday price floor fix

7/11/15 – I picked up an email from a client who has some real-time metal pricing set up on his jewelry website. The feed changed and all of a sudden all his gold pricing was returning zeros. Even though it was Saturday, I did a quick check and found gold had no floor price set. This hadn’t been an issue before, but after the change floor prices were necessary. I informed the client, made the change and we all had a better weekend.

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A transfer isn’t always just a transfer

06/10/15 – I recently had a client reach out asking for us to transfer their WordPress site to us for hosting. A lot of hosting companies would run this type of request blind and let the client know when the request was completed. I took the time to check out the files and found hundreds of them to be compromised by hackers. I cleaned the hacked files, notified the client and signed them up for our WordPress update service to avoid hacks in the future.

Does your right hand know what your left hand is doing?

04/30/15 – Recently I had a request come in from a contact at one of our client companies. She asked for us to make a change on a notification email sent out from a 3rd party application we manage for them. Unbeknownst to her, another contact at the company had been working with us to terminate that application and replace it with another. Because I was in the know, I was able to connect them so the notification email change could be made in the right place.

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Extra 2 hours

05/01/15 – I was performing a scheduled on-site email migration for a not-for-profit, very easy-going client. As I was working, questions were raised about internet speed, router configurations, etc. Even though I contracted for a certain amount of time to deal with specific email migration related issues, I stayed an extra 2 hours to help them through some general IT issues.

Urgent need to send to ConstantContact

3/13/15 – A client of ours has a pretty slick set-up which pushes content from WordPress to ConstantContact for mass emailing to certain lists. Usually, content is created and sent with no issues, but recently the client made an error and sent content to ConstantContact prematurely. He was able to stop it from mailing out, but the content he had pushed got flagged in the database so it couldn’t be sent again. He was under a deadline, so I quickly manually removed the flags in the db so the system could allow him to resend the content.

After hours support

03/09/15 – While BlueChannel does have set business hours, we try to remain connected well before and after. Recently a long-time client of ours had some issues with her computer affecting her ability to send and receive mail and I stayed late to help her get it sorted. That same night, Mick helped a client restore his site after hours by fixing an issue with the .htaccess file. It’s not always possible for our team to stay late,  but we understand that while our business hours may be closed, some of our clients still need to be able to conduct their business which is why we try to make every effort possible to accommodate our client’s needs.

I know it’s Christmas Eve but…

12/24/14 – A client emailed us on Christmas Eve having noticed a lead-in to an event they were promoting on their site was incorrect. I happened to pick up the email over the holiday break and the change was a quick one so I went ahead and made it even though I was technically off work. Our clients become our friends and it makes decisions like these easy to make.

Post this PowerPoint

12/22/14 – While developing a new site for a client, he sent us a PowerPoint presentation requesting it be added to the site. The PPT was a little lacking in terms of aesthetic appeal so I suggested we take a stab at recreating the information as an infographic. The results is much more “fun” and visually appealing. It also shows the client is a little more progressive and hip. I understand it’s currently being used in the sales process for in-person meetings as well.

Make custom changes to a WordPress plugin

12/11/14 – A client requested we make some changes to a plugin she was using on her WordPress site. After reviewing the requested changes, we realized they would involve making hacks to core code of the plugin. This makes keeping the plugin current and up-to-date more difficult down the road. Although it was work within our skill set, we cautioned the client against having us do the work since we’d probably have to do it all over again when the plugin was updated. It meant a little lost revenue for us, but we couldn’t lead our client down that path.

Implement SEO-related meta tags provided by an overseas company

10/17/14 – One of our clients forwarded an email from an overseas company with meta tags to add to his site for “improved” search engine optimization (SEO). A lot of development companies would just do as the client asked without reading the meta text and bill for the time. But when I read his, I told him it was full of broken English and wouldn’t represent his site very well. He agreed and provided new meta text a few days later.

Odd registration on one of our client’s WordPress sites

10/17/14 – I saw a user registration come in on one of our client’s WordPress sites. It was from a company in China and didn’t seem quite right given the nature of the client’s site. I notified her and her team and confirmed it wasn’t a valid registration. We discussed options and implemented a solution to keep it from happening again.

Contact form bouncing one of the addresses it submits to

10/7/14 – A client had a contact form that was supposed to submit the results to two email addresses. One of the email addresses was bouncing as undeliverable so we checked the form settings and saw that the second email address was missing a character. We fixed the email address, and the client was able to receive the form submissions at both accounts.

Migrate my web hosting to BlueChannel, but don’t move the DNS

09/29/14 – When a client directed us to move his web hosting to us, but to not move the DNS, I was skeptical. As a precaution, I checked DNS records and determined that the old provider was indeed handling the DNS zone.  If I had left the DNS intact, as the client insisted three times in writing, when that client stopped paying his previous provider, his website and email would have stopped working completely.  I took the time to explain the situation to the client, insisting we could safely move and host the DNS without downtime.  He was relieved I had not done exactly what he told me to do. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Beware the rabbit hole

09/22/14 – One of our clients asked us to address an issue on his site and wanted us to work against pre-purchased hours on file. We dug into the task and realized it was a rabbit hole (a task that, on face value, seems simple but, in reality, is time-intensive). Instead of burning through his hours without explaining the issue, I communicated that the task was likely to take longer than expected. The information helped him make an educated decision about where to allocate his resources.

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DNS digging

10/10/16 – DNS can be confusing – even when you know what you’re doing. We received a referral recently from a local company. The new client had about 30 email addresses with issues and domain problems. They weren’t sure who was handling what and they were confused by the language everyone was using. I stepped in and spent about an hour sorting out what lived where and how to change their DNS to fix their issues. Sometimes you need someone experienced to just step in and get things sorted.

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Going the extra mile

08/19/16 – The beginning of any relationship is probably the most important time because it sets the stage for how your future interactions will go. Recently some new clients (husband and wife) called me up separately and asked, essentially, the same questions of me. Instead of being frustrated by the experience of having to repeat myself, I learned from it and asked them to stop by the office together the next time they reached out. Having them both in the same room saved time and the meeting was productive. I also helped them set up several Gmail accounts and ensured they were set up correctly so their BlueChannel accounts used Gmail as a mail client.

Weekend work

06/24/16 – One of our long-time clients contacted me needing to schedule some work to be done over the weekend during low usage times on her website. Because she gave me ample notice, I was able to accommodate her and put in some early morning hours over the weekend.

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While I’m in there

05/24/16 – Because I spend a lot of time on the computer, there are some things I see that the average user might not. When a client popped by for help setting up his email in Outlook, I noticed quite a few incorrect settings on his machine not necessarily related to the services we provide. I pointed them out and showed him how to correct them. Just a little bonus for working with us – you get our support, knowledge and help.

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Rackspace warning

02/29/16 – A client stopped by my office for help with email on her phone. Her account is hosted at Rackspace where they impose a 1GB account limit. I suggested migrating hosting over to us and warned the limit would likely become an issue. Three days later, sure enough, she’d reached her limit and decided to migrate to us. I temporarily downloaded her mail off of Rackspace so she could use her account again until we performed the migration.

Friday/Saturday email digging

03/11/16 – One of our long-time clients emailed on Friday evening having issues with Outlook – sent email seemed to have “disappeared” as well as all her contacts. I responded and kept the conversation going well into Saturday morning. While the issues were Outlook-related, I provided information about best practices for managing email with Outlook including links to instructional videos. I also made some suggestions for things we could here to help circumvent these types of issues in the future.

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Friday on the way home

02/19/16 – I had just finished up my day and was getting ready to leave the office when I received word from a local client he was having trouble getting his email set up correctly. As it happened, the client’s office was on my way home, so I offered to pop in and take a look. Ten minutes after arriving, his email was set up and his thanks and appreciation sent me off happily into my weekend.

Sunday quick-fix

01/30/16 – I saw and email from a client on a Sunday morning. Her site was behaving oddly and I knew we’d been working on that server earlier changing some config files. I did some digging, found the issue and resolved it even though, technically, I wasn’t working that day.

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Changes on Christmas Eve

12/23/15 – I stopped by the office on Christmas Eve to check on a couple of things and give a quick glance at my email. I saw a request from a client for a few site changes – some of which were time sensitive. Instead of ignoring it and making him wait for four days, I quickly made the changes, shot him an email and went on my way. Made Christmas merrier for the both of us.

Quick DNS change before the holiday

11/25/15 – At BlueChannel, we have daily tasks and workload assigned but the nature of our business also means we receive unexpected client requests or we must address technical issues. The days leading up to a holiday are no exception. When a client called the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving to schedule a DNS change for later that same day, we agreed and got the change completed instead of making the client wait 4 days.

Three heads are better than one…

10/26/15 – Jeff sent me a request to look into an issue reported by one of our clients where a user had sent through an inquiry on a diamond but that user was an internal person and swore she hadn’t been on the site. I poked around the logs and looked at the code and reported back I saw no issues. Jeff kept pushing. Asked if there was any more information we could provide…any clues. I mentioned we could maybe find the IP address of the user who’d made the inquiry. I did. Jeff sent the info to the client. The client figured out his internal resource has mistakenly given her login credentials out to one of their users. Mystery solved! The back and forth and creative thinking were the keys. It took us all working together.

I like email on the weekends too

09/19/15 – I was logged in on a Saturday making some quick changes for a client and finishing up some internal tasks when I saw an email come in from one of our clients having issues logging into his email account. Turns out he didn’t realize the password was case sensitive. He appreciated the help on a Saturday.

Security on a Saturday

09/05/15 – I’m on my computer a lot…even on the weekends. So, when I saw one of our clients SSL certificate expired on a Saturday, I logged in and renewed it. The result was about 7 minutes of security warnings instead of a whole weekend. The client was very appreciative.

We actually read what you send us

08/19/15 – One of our clients has a very active ecommerce site we developed for him and he uses us for ongoing maintenance, enhancements and development. He recently asked me to peruse an update he was making to his Privacy Policy regarding security and specifics about how credit card data is handled. I gave him my two cents and signed off on the language. When he sent it again and asked me to post it live to the site, I re-read it as a courtesy, and let him know it wasn’t quite what we had talked about. He had misunderstood a few things and was glad to have me point out the corrections instead of just pushing it live.

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We’re invested in your success

07/27/15 – We love working with entrepreneurs. There’s something exciting about taking concepts and turning them into reality. Sometimes in that iterative process, as concepts get more fully realized and the code base takes form, we realize our original best guess about how to approach something might need some course-correction. This happened recently with one of our clients’ projects. When we brought him another idea/approach to consider, he appreciated it and agreed we should go in the new direction. He didn’t ask for it, but BlueChannel credited his account with a block of hours to offset the loss of productivity. It’s one way we here show our clients we are invested, reasonable and accountable.

Familiarity benefits

06/25/15 – Recently a client asked me to change a date for an event he was promoting on his website. He pasted two URLs for pages where the content lived. I happened to be familiar with the site and knew the event was referenced in two other locations as well. I made the change in the four places and notified the client. He was appreciative I’d caught the other two.

We aren’t Yahoo! support, but…

06/03/15 – We have no problem supporting our products and services and enjoy lending a hand when our clients need some help. Often, the lines get blurred between where our support should technically stop and when another service provider’s support should begin. Case in point, a client called to discontinue an email forward from an account we host to an account at Yahoo! No problem. One the same call, I helped him set up Outlook and his iPhone with the email we host. Still no problem. When he asked for instructions on how to set up his Yahoo! account in Outlook, I reminded him I wasn’t a Yahoo! or Microsoft representative. Still, I ran a couple searches for him and sent him links to the information he was after.

This change will affect your Google Analytics reports

5/1/15 – We recently replaced a 3rd party application for serving up content on one of our client website with another. We also provide the client with Google Analytics reports. When the change was made, we brought it to our client’s attention that the new 3rd party solution would need to be modified to allow us to continue with the reports. Had we not brought it to their attention, there would’ve been a big hole in their analytics.

Is this email address published? Because there’s no mailbox for it.

04/26/15 – We like to think we go above and beyond for our clients. For our email clients, we have systems in place to notify us when things go wrong. Recently I noticed an email address for one of our clients kept bouncing back as undeliverable. I checked the client’s mailboxes and, sure enough, that email address had never been set up. I wrote to the client and notified them of the situation and we got it all cleared up. Most hosts wouldn’t even have known about it, let alone done anything about it.

Found a workaround

03/31/15 – One of our clients has a weekly report which is automatically generated. Data is pulled from a database and dumped into a spreadsheet, then used to populate the report. Usually the system runs smoothly, but recent spikes in data actually exceeded the spreadsheet’s inherent limitations. We found a workaround and implemented it for the client without requiring them to first ask for the fix. And, we did the work for free.

Demo on Monday, work on Saturday/Sunday

3/15/15 – We recently completed a project for a client who wanted to demo it to a group of interested parties. He requested help uploading product information, images, and supporting documents late on a Friday and his demo was early on a Monday. While we usually request clients give us a little more lead time to help out, we understand sometimes things happen outside of client control. I ended up working Saturday and Sunday to get the site in shape for the demo.

Remove a form.

02/19/15 – I was asked by a client to remove a form from his website. It was a PDF file and he linked me to the page referencing it. Instead of just blindly following instructions and removing the PDF form and link, I dug in a little deeper. The page content also mentioned the form and there was a Spanish version of it, too. I modified the page copy and removed both the English and Spanish versions. It’s this kind of attention to detail and thinking things through that sets us apart.

Do you know what you purchased?

01/15/15 – One of our clients hired us to work on their large WordPress site. They had many areas on which to focus and they asked us to provide flat-fee quotes for the work. After a lot of back and forth, they hired us to perform a certain list of tasks related to their responsive CSS. We wrote up an agreement and outlined what we were to work on and what was excluded. When the project kicked off, though, I could tell they thought we were going to do things on the excluded list. Instead of forging on (since we did have a written agreement), I brought it to their attention and we re-worked the agreement.

Emergency migration

12/16/14 – A client referred us to company with a website hosted at Network Solutions. The website was repeatedly getting hacked, and Network Solutions kept shutting them down.  The prospect would then have to restore from backup and request their account be activated, a process which took about 24 hours. We grabbed their site files and databases, patched the security problems, and moved them to our hosting environment and managed update service…. by the next morning. One late night working makes a new client’s day.

Holiday checks and fixes

12/1/14 – One of our clients requested a notification be placed on his site over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we created a script to handle putting it up and taking it down at the appropriate times. Nothing beats a human pair of eyes, though, to ensure everything is as it should be. So, over the holiday, we logged in to make sure all was as it should be – it was. The same client had some issues with his newsletter over the holidays, too, so I checked it out, made some fixes and got it sent to the correct lists.

Set me up with an FTP site

11/14/14 – A client inquired about setting up an FTP site so he could exchange files with some of his customers. Based on his requirements, I suggested a low-cost, better-suited solution we don’t sell.

Secure FTP for a user other than the primary

10/16/14 – A client called because his client wanted secure FTP access to a subfolder on his system.  Our server automation software, Plesk, doesn’t allow secure FTP access to any users other than the primary one, so I created a brand new account for him, client.domain.com, enabled secure connections, and disabled web access.  A workaround that solves the problem.  Everyone is happy.

New client needs password over the weekend

10/04/14 – A new client who had recently transferred hosting to BlueChannel called in on Saturday morning requesting his email password. Even though our normal hours are Monday through Friday, I called the client back that morning and provided him with his password, and made sure he was able to log in. The client let me know that he appreciated our quick response since he was currently travelling and was locked out of his email.

Multiple recipients aren’t receiving email on my web form

09/28/14 – A client wrote in and said she was having problems sending out email to multiple recipients using a web form we had created earlier this year. After some minor troubleshooting, we discovered it was because she was using semicolons as separators instead of commas. I tweaked the form to accept both. Small change, but keeps the client happy and using the tool in an intuitive way for her.

Feed breaks over the weekend

12/19/16 – We may have published business hours at BlueChannel, but we understand our client needs are 24/7/365. When a data feed for one of our client’s sites started dumping “image not found” placeholder images all over his site, it just so happened to be Saturday. The client emailed and called and I was able to disable the feed and restore the site to an earlier version.

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Emergency restore

12/14/16 – Being highly responsive to our clients is something we take pride in and it separates us from our competition. We put power in the hands of our clients, too, when they ask for it; like the ability to manage their own email accounts. When a client recently deleted an email account for an employee who’d been let go and then realized they needed access to it, I performed an emergency restore on the account within 15 minutes of the request.

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Tracking down anomalies

08/30/16 – I love it when clients drop by because it gives me some face-time with them. Not long ago, a client stopped in because her webmail wasn’t working. I spent some time troubleshooting and discovered her cookies were turned off. Enabling them again allowed webmail to begin working again. It was not a very intuitive fix, but we got it done!

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Outbound in Gmail

07/06/16 – There a lot of ways to check email these days. When a client noticed her BlueChannel-hosted email was no longer able to be sent via Gmail, she contacted me. I did a little digging and learned Google had changed its policy regarding outgoing mail without notice. Gmail would no longer send her mail. I could’ve said “That’s a Gmail issue, not a BlueChannel issue.” Instead, I helped her set up her Gmail account to send mail via our server so she wouldn’t have to lose her ability to use Gmail as a web client.

A deadline’s a deadline

05/10/16 – We try very hard to only promise what we know we can deliver. We’d rather have happy clients than disappointed ones. So even though we recently had some unexpected things flare up which derailed us and upset our workload I dug in and worked some overtime and weekend days to ensure we didn’t miss a promised launch date for one of our long-time client’s projects.

TeamViewer saves the day

03/22/16 – Sometimes it’s difficult for clients to communicate what program, browser, and/or operating system version they are using and misinformation makes tech support very difficult. A client recently told me they were using Outlook Express for email and as I tried to walk him through the menus over the phone, he wasn’t seeing anything I was describing. I had him go to our site and download TeamViewer so I could remote into his machine. Once I was able to see his setup, I realized he was on Outlook 2007 and quickly resolved his issue. Seeing is believing…

Limits in Gmail

02/17/16 – We try not to get into the habit of supporting other companies’ products and services, but at the same time, we want to go above and beyond when our clients need help. So, when one of our clients contacted me upset because she’d hit storage limits in Gmail, I sent her information about how to find large, attached files so she could save them elsewhere or delete them entirely thereby freeing up more space. Even though Gmail support is Google’s responsibility, building strong relationships with our clients is ours.

A little knowledge shared

1/22/16 – We are a website hosting and development company. We’re also a domain registrar. We spend a lot of time at our computers which means we have a lot of knowledge about computers and software, in general. So, when a client wrote asking why she couldn’t open EPS or PNG files on her machine, I could’ve said the question really doesn’t have anything to do with the services we provide. Instead, I took the time to explain that her files needed to be associated with programs which could open them and that she could, in this case, also insert those files into documents and presentations. I also sent her helpful links and she was very appreciative.

Last-minute black Friday promo

11/25/15 – The holidays sneak up on us sometimes, so I wasn’t surprised to receive a call from a client who realized we would be closed for Thanksgiving and he hadn’t requested help setting up his black Friday promotion on his site. We batted some ideas around and came up with a great solution even though we had little notice and only hours to produce it before the holiday hit.

What a tangled web

11/11/15 – Sometimes it takes patience and persistence to provide the help our clients need. Recently, we redesigned a site for a client and helped them with a re-branding effort for their company. They didn’t have a great relationship with their previous developer who had set up things like PayPal accounts under her own name. When it came time for us to integrate with 3rd party systems, we spent hours figuring acting on our client’s behalf untangling the mess left by the previous developer.

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A client’s word

10/05/15 – It was Friday evening when I heard from our client. Reluctantly, I’d had to make the difficult decision to turn off their hosting for late payment after many attempts to reach them (I never do this without ample warning). Of course, they wanted service restored and explained their internal resource handling the account had dropped the ball. They gave their word payment would come in on Monday morning, so I restored their account. They called with their credit card first thing Monday, as promised. We put new contact information and processes in place to ensure the issue wouldn’t happen again and everyone began the week on a good note.

A promise is a promise

9/25/15 – I think we all strive for good work/life balance and, for the most part, we at BlueChannel have it. Our company culture doesn’t require us to work late very often and, when any one of us does, it’s usually an individual decision to do so. When I became concerned we weren’t going to deliver a project on the day we said we would, I dug in a cranked out some late nights to ensure we would. The overtime was worth it. We hit our target date. We take our client relationships seriously and a promise is a promise.

paul-decrette

Nav change on a Sunday

09/13/15 – I was working on a Sunday when a request came in from a client to update top navigation on their site. It was a simple change and I was working anyway, so I made the change. The client was surprised and happy to receive help on a weekend day.

We understand your position…

8/4/15 – What sets us apart sometimes is our ability to be human with our clients. Recently, Jeff had a conversation with a client hoping for a quick turnaround on a project even though our pipeline was full and we’d been waiting on feedback from her to begin. We managed expectations and said it would take about a week, but we ended up squeezing it in early and turned it around in about a day and a half because we knew she was getting pressure from her boss. We have a good history with her, so when we realized we could help her out, human-to-human, we took the opportunity to do just that.

On again, off again, on again…

6/19/15 – Paul and I were taking care of a forced merchant account change for one of our clients with a very successful ecommerce site. The bank said everything was ready to go and we implemented the change. Then the bank said, no, things weren’t ready. So we switched it back to the old merchant account. Then the bank said things were ready again and Paul switched it back on a Saturday morning. We understand this stuff can be frustrating for our clients, so we try to accept what is out of our control and be calm, cool and collected as we see our tasks through from beginning to end.

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Welcome back!

06/16/15 – I received a call from a past client frustrated by lack of response from her host determining why her site kept going down. She asked if we could look into it instead. I quickly found the issue was a result of some repeatedly hacked files. I suggested how to mitigate it and offered to move her back to us where we could keep a better eye on things and prevent future hacks. She said she was wanting to move back to us anyway. Felt great to welcome her back home.

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Sometimes on-site makes sense

06/05/15 – Setting up email on devices and machines isn’t particularly difficult, but when you don’t have familiarity with it, it can seem daunting. A client with a large local company recently asked about setting up email for all their internal users’ computers and devices. I suggested I come over and take it on because I can do it more quickly and efficiently. The time in their office also provided me valuable face time – something growing more and more rare in today’s business world.

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When the big companies make things harder…

05/27/15 – It seemed like such a simple request. One of our clients hosted at Rackspace asked us to change his password. We submitted a ticket on his behalf. A little while later, Rackspace informed us they’d removed his account entirely because it was set up on a legacy platform. After a lot of hoop jumping, phone calls and ticket back-and-forth, we decided to move the client off Rackspace onto our own servers where he’d realize the benefit of a newer platform and better, more personalized customer service.

Did you mean to omit that section?

04/28/15 – A client recently tapped us to revamp their website. She sent look and feel changes and an updated site map. We could’ve just developed the new site per her instructions, but a whole password protected section of the site was not accounted for in the new site map. When I brought it to her attention, she was so glad I took the time to review everything fully and ask questions.

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This isn’t an email issue, but while I’m here…

02/10/15 – I was performing some hands-on support for a client having some email migration-related issues. Each time I made a change, I stopped and started Outlook and it took a long time for the program to respond. I did a little research and found the issue to be fairly common and fixes well-documented. Although I wasn’t hired to increase my client’s Outlook performance, I implemented some fixes to speed up response time anyway. Instead of being singularly-focused, we like to try to make things better across the board when we engage our clients in their times of need.

paul-decrette

Custom server settings on a weekend

01/24/15 – A client’s webmaster contacted me on a Saturday when BlueChannel was closed. She was trying to complete an import into a shopping cart program, but was was running into problems. She requested we temporarily allocate a lot of memory to the account and increase the PHP timeout. I made the requested changes which allowed her to continue troubleshooting for her client throughout the weekend. My client never knew, but hopefully we made a good impression on the webmaster.

URLs don’t match category names

12/05/14 – A client contacted me early in the week to let me know that they would need to update their website to include their new services/programs offered to coincide with their new ad campaigns, and wanted to make sure I would have time to make these changes for them. Due to events outside of the client’s control, they were unable to provide me with the new content until late on Friday. I knew how important these changes were for the client since they had contacted me at the beginning of the week to see if I would be able to make them, so I stayed late on a Friday evening to ensure their changes went through before the start of their new ad campaign.

URLs don’t match category names

10/30/14 – I was asked to check out an issue on a CS-Cart installation for one of our clients. As I was navigating the site, I noticed the URLs for the product pages didn’t match the category names for the site. Though it didn’t have anything to do with the request I was tasked with, I notified the client of my discovery and explained how to fix it.

Order submitted sent to address no longer accepting mail

10/15/14 – We sometimes get notified when something goes wrong. An order was placed and sent to an email address no longer accepting mail. It bounced back to me. We didn’t want our client to miss a sale, so we notified him about it and encouraged him to check his control panel regarding the order and update the order notification email address. I suspect this is a level of service you won’t find at most hosting companies.

I’m afraid I don’t have budget left for this request

09/29/14 – This client was worried she’d burned through her budget for a change request. Because we keep careful records of all our communication, I was able to go back and reference our original estimate, check time spent to date, and reassure her she still had room to have work done. We’re in this together – we help by keeping things organized and documented.

My iPhone keeps giving email errors!

9/28/14 – A client on a basic, low cost account kept reporting email issues on his phone and insisting it must be on our side. After several attempts to assist over him the phone, and one in-person (not billed) visit to his location, I asked him to stop by my office at his convenience to test outside of his network. After unsuccessfully going through all the usual troubleshooting, we worked together to realize that he had turned off cellular service for “Settings” where the email accounts were setup to save battery life. This obscure setting was causing intermittent mail warning messages and problems for him. Once enabled, his email service started working perfectly and has since.

I want 4 logos in my new site’s header

09/14/14 – We were in the design phase of a site redevelopment when the client asked to include not only his primary logo, but three other logos in the header of his new site. While we like to give clients what they want, we also pipe up when we think a mistake is being made. I explained how this prime piece of page real estate shouldn’t create brand confusion and the three other logos could be placed as feature call-outs on the homepage instead.

I just want to tweak my current site

9/15/14 – I was contacted by a long-time client who wanted an estimate on tweaking her current site; adjusting layouts, navigation, etc. I reviewed it and did a little research. The site was about 15 years old and had received a few updates over the years, but certainly wasn’t current. I suggested instead of dumping time and money into a tweak, why not explore purchasing a WordPress theme. It will be current, SEO-friendly, responsive, mobile-friendly, and provide her with the ability to make updates on her own. We lost billable time, and she’s thinking about it, but we guided her wisely.