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Alpine Communications Technology Workshops

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  • 1. Subscriber Training: Internet 101 & So Much More
    Presented by Sara Hertrampf,
    Alpine Communications
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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”.
  • 4. 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:
    TEC Store
  • 5. 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
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 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”.
  • 8. When?
    • Seasonally: Fall, early Winter, Spring, and a few Summer sessions
    • 9. Afternoon and evening classes
    • 10. By request
    • Conference Room
    • 11. Community Libraries
    • 12. Senior Meal Sites
    • Computer lab in the office
    • 13. New mobile computer lab of netbooks
    • 14. Use the libraries’ computers
    Circa 2005
  • 15. 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
    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
    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
  • 16. Hear Ye, Hear Ye
    We promote our classes through various media:
    Alpine newsletter
    Monthly eNewsletter
    News releases to the local papers
    Bill inserts
    Facebook Events
    Local Chambers
    Libraries post the events
    Web Banners
  • 17.
  • 18. 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
    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
  • 19. Is It Worth It?
    Our customers and the communities we serve view Alpine as a technology leader and educator.
  • 20. 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.
  • 21. Be prepared for:
    Repeat Offenders
    “For Dummies” books are your friends
    If you are not ready to host workshops, find other opportunities to teach:
    Ladies’ Day
    Senior Dining
  • 22. Thank you!
    Email: sara@alpinecom.net
    Website: alpinecom.net