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Exceptional Customer Experience IS Avista’s Culture

We all know what company culture is, right? Sure. But can we articulate it?

At Avista, we have got our corporate programming manager, Amy Ariel to help put what we know in our gut into words. Here is what she says:

Company culture is our shared patterns of behaviors and interactions. It’s our cognitive constructs and the understanding each employee has learned through socialization to our company. It’s the growth of a group identity that we foster by engaging in social patterns unique to the group.

Company culture is our shared patterns of behaviors and interactions. It’s our cognitive constructs and the understanding each employee has learned through socialization to our company. It’s the growth of a group identity that we foster by engaging in social patterns unique to the group.

My gut says that company culture is the sum total of everything we are as a business.

Avista has a company culture that centers on the experience of our clients.

Last Thursday, I returned to (a very cold) Saint Paul from the CenturyLink Advisory Council meeting and Channel Partner show in Denver. I love this annual event. Sitting in a room with my colleagues from Crystal Technologies Group, Intelisys, Simplify, Inc., and other CenturyLink partners is invigorating. It is a little like the G8 of Technology Services. At the show we all get to hear about CenturyLink’s initiatives for the year and gain industry insights.

This year, CenturyLink shared with us some of the top issues they know they need to address in 2016. Most are in one way or another related to the way they work with their partners and serve their customers. They also shared that they are working on an internal culture change to focus on elevating the customer experience. They are not talking about just improving a few processes or hiring a couple of people. What they are talking about is going to be a lot more difficult.

The Avista Team lives and breathes customer experience.

At Avista, our culture is already all about customer experience. Terry Jones delivered the keynote. Terry is an author, venture capitalist, innovator, and keynote speaker. He is the founder of Travelocity.com, founding chairman of Kayak.com and current chairman for Wayblazer, a company designed around innovation and travel. He spoke about how small, innovative ideas can become major game changers. He talked about the ideas born in dorm rooms and over dinner that grew into Facebook, Kayak.com, and Travelocity.com.

Avista’s size does not compare with those giants, but we started with an idea like that. I have been in the technology services business a long time, and I have seen the gap between some great technology products and the customers who could benefit from them. I have seen – and experienced – the frustration of working with vendors who do not have the customer’s experience at the true center of their culture. Our idea over golf was, “what if we make the experience of our clients the product? What if we design strategic solutions unique to the needs of our client – without product bias – and put our client’s experience at the very center of the culture of our company?”

Avista was founded in 2005, and we have been serving our clients exceptionally ever since.

Our goal this year is to productize the experience and articulate it more effectively to our clients and our partners. We still work as an agent, of course. However, there is so much more we can offer. We are an extension of our clients’ teams and their trusted advisor. We listen and uncover what it is they need. We are here to advise them on how to take maximum advantage of the strategic technology solutions that fit best for their unique organization. Then we stick around throughout the implementation and lifecycle management of those solutions. With our project plans, regularly scheduled calls, and expert negotiation skills, we aim to deliver an exceptional technology experience for each and every one of our clients.

Customer experience IS Avista’s culture. We put our clients at the very center of everything we do.