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Fifteen Minutes? Try fifteen years!

May 22, 2015

It’s the start of a long Memorial Day weekend here at moon-base Kronos, so how about a feel-good story? It feels good for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t have to write it. It’s a guest post from Melissa Spinella, our Services Marketing Manager! Secondly, it’s a story about delivering the experience our 1,000’s of customers expect, and independent recognition of our great support team… Some of who will be working this long weekend. Thanks Melissa, and thanks Kronos Support Services!

fifteen minutesArtist Andy Warhol predicted, “In the future, everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” While Kronos may not be in the movies and TV – oh wait, we ARE – and you may not see us in huge retailers like Smoothie King – oh wait, you DO – our fifteen minutes of on-screen fame doesn’t seem to be the reason for our success. Our fifteen YEARS of excellence in customer satisfaction is! Kronos recently received the NorthFace ScoreBoard AwardSM from the Omega Management Group Corp. for excellence in customer satisfaction for 2014 – one of only two companies to have done so for 15 consecutive years! I know what you’re thinking – this award must be fixed – but seriously, the numbers don’t lie.

Kronos software support 2014

We solicit customer experience data through our voice of the customer program – specifically, through our customer surveys. We survey thousands of Kronos customers each month via email, phone and online surveys designed to assess our customers’ experience throughout their relationship with us:

  • Customer Relationship Survey (asks how we are doing overall)
  • Customer Satisfaction with Professional Service Engagements
  • Customer Satisfaction with Support
  • Customer Satisfaction with Education Services

The Omega Management Group, an independent third-party company, audits the results of the support surveys from our customers. Kronos also makes it a priority to seek out customer feedback, ideas, recommendations and comments through many channels and we use them to improve our products and services. Many of our product improvements are drawn directly from the Customer Surveys, Product Enhancement Requests, Advisory Boards, and Customer Forums. We listen, we learn, and we improve.

At Kronos, we put customer experience first and strive to provide our customers with the experience they expect every day. Want more details on Kronos’ results? Check out our Customers Come First datasheet!

Green Guy Day 1

May 21, 2015

Todagreen guysy is my first day as a “Green Guy” representing Kronos in the Spiceworks community, so I need to adopt the right persona for the role. As usual, I’ve done exhaustive research on green guys, and have come up with an “Elite 8″ of role models to choose from. Let’s review them to determine which personality is the right one for me in Spiceworks:

  1. The so-called “Cosmic Cutie” from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Well, author Doug Adams despised the little blob created by his publisher, so while many of the IT folks in Spiceworks may love the book, they hate the green guy.
  2. Yoda – Total bad-ass who’s acquired great wisdom in his 900 years, but I’m afraid people may tire of responses like, “When use Kronos, you do…”
  3. Kermit – I don’t know. He seems cool, but after what Family Guy has done to him… Actually, that’s none of my business.
  4. Vancouver Canucks Green Guys – Two words: Too annoying.
  5. The Hulk – In a community, you’ve got to keep your cool even when you’re angry.
  6. The “Toy Story” green guys – After what they did with “the claw” to save the crew in TS3, they’ll always be cool with me, but their communication skills are a bit lacking.
  7. Green Army guys – Respect ’em, but a community forum is no place for a flame-thrower.
  8. Mike Wazowski – Smart, funny, with a singular focus. Plus, he went to Monsters U. Yeah, I’ll try to be like Mike.

“We all start out wide eyed.
I want to go back to that.”
– Mike Wazowski

Community Overload

May 20, 2015

IMG_20150520_100302I’m still in a New York state of mind after two days in Manhattan and Brooklyn for the CMX Summit. New York City is a fascinating community of communities with thousands of neighborhoods, and communities based on ethnicities, professions, and passions. This was my first time in Brooklyn, and I was mesmerized by the neighborhoods and the people… Monday night I sat on a bench across Metropolitan Avenue from the Knitting Factory and enjoyed a parade of hipsters, parents, children, and grand-parents. It was peacefully beautiful.

communityAt the CMX Summit, the passion of the community is, uh, community. Well, community as defined here in #2, or, as Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup defined it; community is simply “people talking.” Scott also described what community building can create for its members:

  1. Support
  2. Collaboration
  3. Opportunity

The conference was organized, well run, and energetic. Maybe because the average age in the place was probably 30. Without me, maybe 28… It was so cool to hear the many different perspectives on community from experts who have built and/or grown communities for Socratic, Duolingo, Vimeo, Coursera, and “to meet guys.

On Monday I attended a community workshop at General Assembly, a cool learning organization co-founded by Matt Brimer. Tuesday he shared 5 Key Learnings on How A Strong Brand Supports A Strong Community. Great stuff. Matt also co-founded Daybreaker, which has me plotting how I can start a monthly morning dance party at Kronos…

Where’s this all going? It’s going to “people talking” about workforce management. Stay tuned.

Bittersweet Cloud

May 19, 2015

“It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.”

Yesterday should have been a great day for me and for the Kronos cloud business. After a significant development effort, yesterday we announced a Cloud Readiness service to help new customers and thousands of existing Workforce Central customers “know what they don’t know” about deploying in the Kronos cloud.

That’s the good news and it will help customers experience an efficient move to the cloud. The bad news is that we’re losing one of the people most responsible for our success in having a Workforce Central cloud business at all. Andrew Manos didn’t start the cloud, but he helped build it up during a critical stage, and most of all, he helped our Sales organization understand and get (very) comfortable positioning and selling the Kronos cloud. The cloud readiness service? Yeah, Andrew was all over the development and testing of it. In addition to the work stuff, he’s just a solid citizen. Family. Work ethic. Yeah, he’s a Baltimore Ravens fan, but for today I’m going to let that go. Only today.

Thanks for everything, Andrew.

Manhattan… Shadoobie

May 18, 2015

This morning I was scanning my Medium Daily Digest in a breathless search for something to write about today. When I saw this quote, I knew the story would be my acorn. 

In the knowledge era, every employee is an executive. — Peter Drucker

Except there was no story. It was simply the Peter Drucker quote. That was easy. Maybe someday I’ll just post a quote as my daily output Here. Yeah… 

Anyway, a “random neuron firing” as (Work)Joyce describes it, zapped me back to a list of books a colleague recommended on Friday. One of the books is What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro. The same Joe Navarro who is the keynote speaker at the CMX Summit I’m attending here in the Big Apple Tuesday. The website says, “CMX Summit is the leading conference for community builders…” Yeah, we’re creating an online community for Kronos. What’s an online community, you ask? Well, Salesforce.com has an amazing community with 1.6 million members, so that’s what I’m shooting for. If you’re a Kronos customer, you probably received a survey on this Friday. Please let us know what you think.

As the slogan goes, “I love New York.” It’s no longer the grungy place Mick and Keef wrote about in the late 70’s, but it is a community of over 8 million stories. I’m looking forward to hearing some good ones over the next two days.

Lucille Gently Weeps

May 15, 2015

bbThe Blues is not my favorite musical genre, but it has affected my life. For most of us, there’s a soundtrack to life. Maybe you and your significant other have “your song.” “It’s a little bit funny,” but Elton thought so. Then there are the songs that punctuate your life and the major milestones of it. Music can bring be back to places and bring back people to me. What music has been along for your journey?

In 1983, I saw B.B. King play at the long gone Channel nightclub in Boston. I was a little apprehensive about the show because I didn’t know any of his songs, and he was an old man – just about the age I am today… In the steamy “pit” of the Channel, we were literally (yes, literally) bouncing off the walls for a couple delirious hours with B.B. and his beloved guitar, “Lucille.” I remember saying after the show, “If that’s the blues, then I want them.”

I had no idea where I was going with this for a (Work)blog, but while searching for just the right song, I found one from 1983! The clip opens up with a very brief response to an interview question where Mr. King talks about the effort he puts into playing “The Thrill is Gone,” so that even though he’s done it hundreds or thousands of times, the audience on THAT experiences it like it’s the first time he ever played it. We should all have that attitude toward delivering any experience to each other and to our customers.

RIP B.B.

Give and Get Inspired with Kronos

May 14, 2015

15-SEGL-social-IconsI’m proud we have the Kronos GiveInspired program. One of the cool things the program does is match the charitable giving of employees. So when I donate to help the victims of the earthquakes in Nepal, the company will match. Nice. We also support charitable organizations near our local offices around the world. Again this year, Kronos is the lead sponsor for the Martini Spring Fling, a wicked fun evening to support Summer Experiences in Greater Lowell, MA (SEGL). First, martinis, plus this year will be a nostalgic look back at the 15 years of SEGL including a reunion of past honorees, and the always popular silent auction. Here are just some of the items you can bid on:

  • Kate Spade Necklace
  • Kate Spade Leather tote/handbag
  • IDAZZ Jewelry
  • Gift Certificate to Roberts Salon in Belmont
  • Personal Trainer in a Duffle Bag
  • Vegas Package
  • Hyatt Regency, Newport, RI
  • Far Niente Winery Tour and Tasting for Four Guests
  • Tour/Tasting for up to Four Guests at the Nickel & Nickel Winery
  • UMASS Lowell Hockey Camp Scholarship
  • UMASS Lowell Hockey Game Package
  • Red Sox Tickets
  • Beautiful Beach Cottage in Falmouth, MA
  • Bruins Autographed Jersey
  • 4 New England Sports Memorabilia items

Uh, no, a signed New England air pump will not be one of the Sports Memorabilia items…

Last year, the SEGL team delivered $100,000 in grants to 13 youth-serving agencies in the greater Lowell area. This year, they hope to do even better, and the Martini Spring Fling is their primary fundraising event. So on Thursday May 28, 2015 at the Vesper Country Club, for just $100 bucks, you can support kids, bid on great silent auction items, and have fun with many Kronites including Barb, (Work)Joyce, plus (Play)Joyce and me.

I hope to see you there.

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