Subscriber Training: Internet 101 & So Much More Presented by Sara Hertrampf, Alpine Communications
Our Company Founded in 1997 20 employees 6000 access lines Fiber-to-the-Home in two communities Launched FusionTV service last year We also offer Computer Security, Cellular, Monitored Security, and a Retail Center/TEC Store
The Beginning Alpine began teaching Internet classes when we started offering Internet Service in the late 1990’s. First classes were basic e-mail and Internet browsing classes. Classes were taught at the local libraries as we didn’t have a “class room” in our office. We wanted to help our customers understand and navigate this new-fangled place called “The Internet”.
Our Goals Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Promote dial-up and DSL service. Build and shape our company’s brand since we were such a young company. Cross-promote other services: SecureIT FusionTV TEC Store
Evolving In 2002 we started branching out by offering classes in our two new wireless Internet markets. Added new classes because our customers needs, desires, and skill-levels were evolving. New employees, new skills, new opportunities for sharing them with our customers Class length has shortened
Logistics Early classes held in the local libraries Transitioned to holding them in our newly-remodeled conference room, in addition to the libraries in our other exchanges Challenges to teaching outside of our office: Library firewalls, filters, access to software, travel, environment, “outsiders” attending
Who, What, Where, When, How Who teaches the classes? Started with former marketing manager and transitioned to me. PR/Marketing people get stuck with this stuff, right?! Customer Service Manager Lori Keppler, who started teaching as a CSR, volunteered to teach since she has a degree in computer networking and lots of computer skills. Plus she’s great with people! Greg Lovell, our former Product Specialist, taught more of the “techie” classes like “HDTV and Computer Buying Tips”.
Seasonally: Fall, early Winter, Spring, and a few Summer sessions
Afternoon and evening classes
Senior Meal Sites
Computer lab in the office
New mobile computer lab of netbooks
Use the libraries’ computers
You Teach What? Basics of Email Internet Browsing & Searching Photoshop Elements Computer Maintenance Intro to eBay Selling on eBay Using Your Personal Web Space Mac vs. PC iTunes iPod Training Computers 101 Alpine Web E-mail Sites for Seniors Online Auction & Travel Sites Webmail & Spam Filtering Microsoft Word & Excel HDTV & Computer Buying Tips Internet Kids Kamp 4th Grade 4-H Camp Facebook for Beginners Facebook for Businesses Twitter Fun with Photos and Picnik.com CD Burning Online Shopping Online Fraud Parent’s Guide to Internet & Child Safety Online Homework Helpers Cooking on the Web Get the Most of FusionTV Craigslist for Beginners
Hear Ye, Hear Ye We promote our classes through various media: Alpine newsletter Monthly eNewsletter eBlasts Alpinecom.net News releases to the local papers Bill inserts Facebook Events Local Chambers Libraries post the events Flyers Web Banners
Try, Try Again Class topics are forever changing based on: Customer demand & needs Early on customers needed help with search engines, using email, basic computer skills Customers are now more savvy and our workshops focus on hot-topics like Facebook, eBay, photo editing , Internet security/safety We anticipate what customers want, but sometimes we are wrong: Homework Helpers, Craigslist, Cooking Online Employees New employees bring a new set of skills and provide the opportunity to teach new topics Employees leave and those skill-sets go with them
Is It Worth It? Yes! Yes! Yes! Our customers and the communities we serve view Alpine as a technology leader and educator.
Lessons Learned Keep it fresh Don’t be afraid to try new topics Determine the skill level required for the class and clearly communicate the prerequisites Facebook for Businesses Free or Fee? We charge non-Alpine customers Limit your class size based on topic Can one person manage 12 people on 6 computers? Probably not very effectively…they will take over.
Be prepared for: Repeat Offenders Know-it-alls Newbies Blizzards “For Dummies” books are your friends If you are not ready to host workshops, find other opportunities to teach: Ladies’ Day Senior Dining Chamber Schools