SolutionsIT wins customer service award

SolutionsIT has won the P.W. Enns Customer Service Award. The company will receive the award at the Business Awards Gala on April 4. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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A local IT service provider is being honoured for their customer service excellence.

SolutionsIT will receive the P.W. Enns Customer Service Award at the Gala on April 4.

“We’re very proud,” President and CEO Dennis Kehler said. “It’s very relevant to us because we are a service industry, so if our service is good based on what other people think, that tells us that we’re doing something right.”

SolutionsIT is a business to business company that provides support and benefits to other businesses to make sure their technology runs smoothly and stays protected. SolutionsIT works with small companies that run one computer to larger companies that have 10 to 20 sites across the country.

“We have to develop the ability to service customers without being able to sit at their desktops,” Kehler said. “We have to be able to be proactive… it’s not a matter of fixing problems, it’s a matter of steering around them, avoiding them. For a customer to see value in us they have to see things running smoothly. If the unthinkable does happen and they have a problem, that it gets addressed quickly and efficiently.”

“We tell ourselves we don’t really support computers, we support the people who use the computers,” he added.

Kehler said the company’s commitment to quality service is a journey, not a destination. “We have to constantly be vigilant, and we’re very proud,” he said. “We have a great customer base, a good community that we serve, and to be recognized by it is a source of pride.”

SolutionsIT previously won the same award in 2013. Kehler said the company has been focusing on building their company standards and culture. “One of the challenges we have is that we’re operating at a different scale than some of the people doing the same type of work around here,” he said. “Those challenges are in how do we keep our service delivery where it is and not have it depend on one individual’s head knowledge.”

In 1987 Kehler took over Radio Shack with two staff members. At the time, Radio Shack sold Tandy computers and was just starting to roll them out into the business world. “At that time, a business might have one computer to do their accounting,” Kehler said. “Then as networking evolved and the internet evolved and now the internet threats have evolved, we’ve continued to grow.”

SolutionsIT now employs 40 staff in three locations, about 27 of them in the main office in Winkler.
“Going back to 1987 sounds like a long time ago, but it’s really not that many years,” Kehler said. “In those years we’ve gone from a few people had a computer to now very often many of our clients have three and four and five devices per user. All of these things are using the same network resources, sharing the same email address.”

Kehler said the award provides more encouragement to keep doing what they do. “The staff take pride in what they do, the staff take pride in winning an award like that,” he said. “They’re part of something that is unique in the area, they’re part of something that is appreciated.”

Being in the service industry, SolutionsIT is often working on things that are broken. “If your job is fixing things that are broken all day long and trying to make the person happy who’s not happy with what’s broken, that can sometimes feel a little negative,” he said. “When you do get recognized for something like this it is absolutely motivation.”

The P.W. Enns Business Awards Gala takes place April 4 at Winkler Bergthaler Church. Four other local businesses and organizations will be receiving awards at the event.