SERVICE—to customers and community—is “the Blanco I.T. way” and key to our ongoing success and prosperity. It is incredible how much business is generated when your heart is in the right place to take care of your community and your customers. It's a formula that has worked throughout my life and my business.
I came to the United States from Costa Rica in 1997 as a musician and started my IT business in 2001 as a side job. I have always been deeply involved in my community in Arlington, Texas, participating as a board member for several charitable and educational nonprofits, as well as my local Rotary Club and other community groups. In 2014, when I put out a press release announcing my full-time business, I was overwhelmed by the response. People from so many touchpoints in the community reached out to offer help or to hire me as their “IT guy.” It was really special to watch.
My first client, a former boss, paid me $1,000 as a retainer—I still have a copy of that check. Another early client asked me to build a website, which I quickly had to teach myself. I billed him $1,500 and he wrote me a check for $9,000 and wished me luck—he said to use it as seed money for my business. That generosity enabled me to start my company debt-free, something we still are today.
The same care I have for my neighbors and my community is how Blanco I.T. and all of our contractors treat clients. We are obsessed with customer service and want our clients to know that we are true partners in their success. We’re there to make sure that IT works for them and that they are well protected security-wise so they can make more money and grow their business. That dedication opens up incredible client relationships.
What does obsessive customer service look like? It’s availability, response time, courtesy, and attention to detail—all of which removes the technology burden from the customer.
When we go on-site to do a job, for instance, we're going to do everything with 100% excellence to the best of our ability. That means paying attention to the small details. For example, if we have to install an access point on a client’s ceiling, we remove the tile, measure it to find the center, place the access point in an aesthetically pleasing spot, and then vacuum any debris.
Obsessive customer service also means treating clients with patience and empathy when they call with issues, which is why we only have five-star reviews on Google and have never had to actively market for new clients.
It also means helping them when they’re in need. During the shutdown due to COVID-19 last year, we provided free service to our nonprofit and bar clients, telling them they could pay us when they were able.
We also regularly participate in fundraisers as well as donate money and services to our nonprofit and educational clients. And we're in the process now of gifting a website to a new nonprofit because it's something we believe in.
Blanco I.T. is fortunate in that we have many other clients from other verticals who are able and willing to pay a fair price for the services we provide and the cybersecurity that protects them, so we can afford to give some services away. Remarkably, when we do, more paid work always seems to come through the door—we have consistently grown 30-40% every year, and last year during COVID we achieved 125% growth in revenue.
But that’s not why we give back. The IT community is blessed with a unique skillset that is not shared by everyone, and that skillset can bring a lot of good into a community. If you help people thrive, they are going to reach another level in life. Service to others always returns in kind if you give with a joyful heart.