The Heart of SBC

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff
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by Cathy Brower

Recently, our publisher gave me an interesting assignment. He asked me to list the ways we differ from our competition. It got me thinking, and I'd like to share some of those thoughts with you. First of all, who is our competition? It's hard to say. We're not a business magazine, but we're also not a technology magazine. At least not a typical one. We're a hybrid. We differ from other business magazines because we focus on using technology to grow your business. And we differ from the other tech books because of the way we write about the technology.

We view technology as part of an overall business strategy, not as a commodity. We believe small business owners view it that way as well. We know that the most important thing to you is the return on your investment. So it is our job to help you decide where best to put your technology dollars. We don't just tell you what to use, we show you through examples. We recently overhauled our buyer's guides to reflect this mission more closely. We don't simply review products like other technology magazines, we talk to users and show how they've used these products to improve their bottom line.

Please let us know if we're on the right track. I have a new e-mail address, cathy_brower@ftmg.net.

P.S. I thought I would use my remaining space to vent a little. I want to recount my cell service horror story in the hopes of making you feel better. About four months ago my Qualcomm phone with cell service broke. I tried on several occasions to go to my nearest customer service location to remedy the situation. I was told on two occasions that their computers were down and they couldn't help me. My husband then tried for me and was told that he couldn't take care of it because he wasn't an authorized user, even though I had given him my password, etc. All the while they kept billing me for a service that I clearly wasn't using. Then came my telephone odyssey. On at least a half a dozen occasions I tried to take care of this by phone. A service rep would tell me to talk to billing, who would tell me to talk to collections, who would tell me to talk to the service rep. Finally, they said they would send me an empty box to return my broken phone and then they would send me a new one. Weeks went by and no box. The bills, however, kept coming. Just the other day I reached an actual human being who seemed to know what he was doing. He said he would send me a new phone right away and credit my account. I'll keep you posted. Send us your customer service horror stories.

This article was originally published on April 01, 2000
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