Atlantic Sails on Satisfaction

By Herman Mehling  |  Posted 2007-12-17 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In business for nearly a half-century, this solution provider is obsessive customer satisfaction.

Every product that Atlantic Tomorrow's Office ships carries the solution provider's Seal of Satisfaction, guaranteeing the customer certain levels of service.

The seal's language assures the customer a technician will be on-site within 4 hours of a call for support. If a technician fails to show within 8 hours, Atlantic promises to credit the customer's account an hourly rate.

And to show how serious the company is about its promises, Atlantic prints the phone number of its president, Larry Weiss, on the seal and encourages customers to "talk to the top" if they are unhappy about a product or service.

"The seal is the customer's insurance policy, guaranteeing 100 percent satisfaction," said Adam Weiss, son of Larry Weiss and the company's vice president of sales. "We put down in black and white what our responsibilities are toward our customers. Not many companies do that."

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The solution provider's service obsession translates to customer satis­faction, which Weiss said translates in turn to new business referrals.

Atlantic has been around long enough to boast that it knows how to serve customers. Founded in 1959, the company has grown from a five-person photocopier dealer based in New York to a 200-employee IT services provider with two offices in New York and three in New Jersey.

In the 1990s, the company transformed itself from a copier dealer after identifying an opportunity to also sell a whole range of computer hardware products, said Weiss. "We noticed that because everything was becoming digital and networked, we could offer to support a customer's entire network," he said.

Atlantic had revenue of $40 million in 2006 and expects to increase that by $10 million this year. It is one of the largest Ricoh dealers in the New York-New Jersey region, with thousands of customers in the area.

Stephen Pacicco, CEO of eHealth Solutions, in New York, said Atlantic's commitment to service has been essential to the virtually glitch-free rollout of an electronic medical records system for 4,000 users in 24 nursing homes in New York state.

"We've never heard them say they can't do anything or can't get to a location," Pacicco said. "Atlantic is always on top of everything. We need this level of service because a failure in the system could be critical. Serious downtime, for example, could result in patients not receiving timely medication or care."

The solution provider is selling and installing all the hardware for the eHealth project, as well as managing the IT support services. The project, which is about halfway to completion, will earn Atlantic about $5 million between the hardware involved and the services the solution provider has agreed to provide through an SLA (service-level agreement).

Weiss said a big growth area for Atlantic is providing soup-to-nuts network services with SLAs. The network services business is growing at a double-digit rate every year and accounts for about 20 percent of the company's revenue, he added.

Atlantic, Weiss said, delivers the same level of service to all companies—even the smallest—and is always trying to make improvements.

"We do weekly reviews of all midsize and large customers and try to do reviews of the smallest ones every 90 days," said Weiss. "We try to meet or talk to each customer once a month. We believe in feet on the street." Each year, Atlantic sends out a customer satisfaction survey to each of its 15,000 customers, said Justin Schwartz, the company's vice president of health care sales. "This is our way of getting feedback so we can improve our service offerings," Schwartz said. "In 2006, customers gave us an average of 3.65 out of 4.0. We had 97.8 percent uptime for all customers."

Herman Mehling is a freelance writer based in San Anselmo, Calif. He can be reached at hermanmehling@sbcglobal.net.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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