Steamboat Springs Qwest Communications has started a program to put a human face on its business for consumers.
Steve Miller is the new community focus manager for Denver-based Qwest in Northwest Colorado. He has an office in Vail, and promises to visit Routt County often.
"There will not be a physical office (in Steamboat) where you can actually walk in," Miller said. Instead, he will host community meetings and be available by telephone and e-mail. He said the program is a result of "the simple fact that Qwest has long identified the value of customers, but not necessarily on a personal basis."
The first line of contact for most customers here has been with field technicians making repairs or installing service, Miller said. He believes the company's field techs are dong a good job of communicating within their areas of expertise. But Miller said customers don't want to have to order service in order to get a question answered.
"Qwest wanted people who were versed not just in the products, but could tell customers how things like phone service, cell phones and DSL work," Miller said.
Miller intends to visit Steamboat often to reach out to the community through service clubs and the Chamber of Commerce. Part of the reason for that strategy is Qwest's desire to get closer to property managers at multi-family residential properties.
Miller also wants to conduct community forums, where customers will be encouraged to ask questions about their bills.
Miller has lived in Colorado's mountain communities for 30 years. As recently as five years ago, he said he was employed in the cellular industry, and he understands how those services meet the needs of consumers.
Qwest is in the process of trying to get out of the cellular business, Miller said, but that doesn't mean the company will ignore the popularity of that service.
"Qwest is currently looking for a buyer for its cellular service footprint," Miller said. The intent is to derive many millions of dollars in capital that can be reinvested in other telecommunications services, such as the availability of voice mail in rural areas, Miller said. Qwest has begun selling long-distance service in several western states including Colorado.
The plan is to find a buyer with resources to invest in more cellular infrastructure.
Qwest would then forge a working relationship with the buyer of its cellular business, he added. Miller said his job performance will be measured by customer service scores on Colorado's Western Slope and the number of events and face-to-face meetings he conducts. Consequently, he's eager to form his own working relationships with customers in Steamboat and other mountain communities.
-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or