The Easy Button: Why Cloud Services Should Encompass both Service and Convenience

I have had the pleasure of recruiting and hiring hundreds of new team members in my career and it remains one of my favorite parts of growing a company. To me, the challenge and excitement of finding quality players who meet the cultural and quality demands that the business deserves is the lifeblood of leadership.

The one question I always ask in interviews in order to gauge a candidate’s passion for taking care of customers and teammates is “tell me about an organization or company that you believe epitomizes a great customer experience.”

People have a tendency to light up when you ask them something like this and it rarely takes long for them to respond. While the answer can vary, over 20 years of asking this question by far the most frequent answer I have gotten is Publix Supermarkets.

For those of you who do not live in the southeast, Publix is very large regional grocery chain headquartered here in central Florida where I grew up and still live. Publix is known for clean stores, great service, taking care of their people, catering to customers and great sub sandwiches. Growing up in the 70’s every parent wanted their kid to learn customer-facing skills through working at Publix while in high school, and some of those kids now run multi-billion dollar businesses. In fact, I am not sure my mom will ever forgive me for taking a job selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door rather than bagging groceries back then.

Something changed in people’s answers about 3 years ago.

I rarely hear Publix anymore and not because it is not a fantastic company - it absolutely is. It is because 9 out of 10 interviewees now quickly answer Amazon.com without a second thought. They almost always answer before I can even finish the question. Then I ask why and the answer is so consistent and clear I can almost stop asking – “they make it easy to buy and get stuff.”

My family uses Amazon daily for many different consumer items and I agree that they have made it easy. In fact, I have never spoken to an Amazon person after hundreds of purchases. They may come across as friendly and helpful as a Publix employee, but I may never find out because they have made it so easy and consistent that a conversation is rarely needed.

The overwhelming lesson for IT business leaders is not that friendly, prompt customer service does not matter but that customers want you to make it easier for them to be successful. In the complex world of cloud services where a passion to serve, culture fit and performance will always be our top criteria for hiring – we have to race to pair our great people with processes, systems and tools, and ultimately shift how we approach delivering cloud-based IT services.

How can we apply innovative thinking to delivering “the easy button” for our customers? For Concerto, it’s a hybrid of Publix service and Amazon.com convenience because delivering seamless and predicable cloud solutions requires a deep understanding of the organization’s needs and responsive, high-touch customer service. Concerto has done so with fully-managed cloud solutions, cloud-centric desktop and IT services, cloud advisory services and industry leading uptimes. And we continue to innovate to make IT easy for customers.

Make it easy and we all win. Easy right?