Author Archives: Jeremy Watkin

About Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Service at Phone.com and co-founder of CommunicateBetterBlog.com (and on Twitter: @commbetterblog ); a blog dedicated to learning about good and bad customer service with the intent of providing awesome customer service for Phone.com.

A Message Regarding the San Diego Wildfires

by Jeremy Watkin

For those of you outside of Southern California, a few words about the current San Diego fires and our Santa Ana winds.  Several times a year, heavy winds begin blowing from the east, temperatures rise and all moisture leaves the air — creating a climate of extreme fire danger.

For those of us based in the Phone.com office in Poway, California, we know these conditions all too well.  In the midst of the wildfires raging around San Diego County we first want to let you know that we are very fortunate that our office and employees have not been adversely affected by the fires.

We also want to wish all of our friends and customers in Southern California all the best during this time.  If we can be of any help, please let us know.

Do You Have a Phone in Your Car?

by Jeremy Watkin

Take a look at this great video we came across recently. Apparently the car phone was a technological breakthrough back in 1959. If I could speak with the creator of this video, I’d have a few questions.

  • Was it legal to drive and talk on the phone at the same time back then?
  • Were dead zones a thing?
  • Did this guy’s wife let him back in the house after seeing this video?

All I can say is that what was true in 1959 is true today — spouses want to know where their significant others are at all times. Good thing Phone.com has terrific mobile apps that make connecting with friends and family a breeze.

If you could speak to the makers of the 1959 car phone, what questions would you have?

Meeting Up With Other Customer Service Professionals In San Diego

by Jeremy Watkin

pizzaThis post originally appeared on our customer-service blog at CommunicateBetterBlog.com

A little over a year ago, I made a terrific connection with author and customer-service expert, Jeff Toister. After attending a webinar about his book Service Failure, I began reading Jeff’s blog and communicating with him on Twitter. We eventually realized that we live less than a mile from each other, and have met a couple times to hike and talk customer service. Eventually, we arrived at the idea for a meetup for customer-service professionals in San Diego.

Last week, Phone.com hosted the meetup by opening up our office and providing refreshments. I had the opportunity to share some of the key components that we strive for when we talk about achieving awesome customer service. It was fun to give a tour of our customer-service operation and answer questions from attendees.

Jeff followed up with a discussion on the common customer-service challenges that we face. You can read a terrific recap of the event on Jeff’s blog.

Without going into great detail on everything we discussed, I thought I would share a couple of my takeaways from the event. First, we had people from various companies attend, including the San Diego Humane Society and Ideal Plumbing And Heating. These are customer service people who have a completely different base of knowledge and skills, and yet they face many of the same customer-service challenges we do supporting customers over the phone!

Second, I realized that networking doesn’t have to be scary. The people at the event, like me, were looking for ways to better serve their customers. What better way than to talk about the challenges we face and what we are doing to overcome them?

Phone.com’s Response to the Heartbleed Bug

by Jeremy Watkin

heartbleedWe want our customers and friends to be fully aware of the Heartbleed issue.

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet.

Source: Heartbleed.com

This of course begs two questions:

What is Phone.com doing in response to the Heartbleed Bug? As of 11:00 PM Pacific time on Tuesday, April 8, our engineering team applied all of the necessary patches to the Phone.com network to ensure this vulnerability no longer exists.

What can you do to protect yourself as an Internet user? As many other companies have suggested, we recommend that you change your passwords for any online accounts that contain secure data and personal information, including your Phone.com account.

Finally, you may have received emails from many of the companies and online services that you use. The Heartbleed Bug potentially affects so many companies that it is critical that they update their systems. Here is a list of some of the major online services and the actions they have taken.

Also, please know that the security of your data at Phone.com is of the utmost importance to us.

Nine Strategies To Re-Engage At Work After A Vacation

by Jeremy Watkin

A vacation week marked on a calendar.My week off was fantastic—thanks for asking! 

If you’re like me, no matter how much you love your job, returning from vacation can be brutal. After a week on a beach somewhere, or in my case, the coastal redwoods of California, the last thing you want to do is return to the daily grind. Last night my eyes hurt from staring at a computer monitor for the first time in a week and I just wanted to crawl into a hole—or perhaps go back on vacation.

Enter the reality check. Assuming you’re like me and you enjoyed your job before you went on vacation, you may simply need a strategy for re-entering the workplace. As I reflected on my first day back, I came up with a list of strategies for future vacations.

  1. Take Time to Learn:  Read a book or do something inspiring while you are on vacation. Choose something that will get the creative juices flowing and help you do life and work better. I’m currently enthralled with the Steve Jobs biography.
  2. Enjoy Your Time Off:  Vacation is there for you to unplug, relax and get out of the routine. Take advantage of it and don’t feel guilty!
  3. Mark Your Next Vacation on the Calendar:  Begin planning your next vacation. Treat it as you would any goal that you strive towards.  Sometimes the lure of another trip on the horizon will serve as motivation.
  4. Make a To-do List:  Before returning to the office, make a short list of what you want to accomplish that first day back. Without a doubt, you will get hit with the unexpected on your return, but a list can keep you on track and help you feel like you accomplished something.
  5. Exercise:  Working out is a great way to reflect on your trip and prepare your mind for the coming week.
  6. Start with Relationships:  Arriving back at the office, take a few moments to catch up with your coworkers. You may find it energizing to know that you were missed and some will be genuinely interested in your trip.
  7. Ease into Your Inbox: Don’t try to conquer hundreds of emails in one day. Set aside an hour or two to work on it, and focus mostly on low-hanging fruit and any large issues that deserve immediate attention. The rest can wait for you to catch your breath.
  8. Don’t Expect to Get Caught Up Right Away: Don’t negate the good work you did de-stressing on your vacation. Set reasonable expectations and don’t heap a bunch of pressure on yourself to get everything done immediately.
  9. Plan Something Fun After Work: After that first day back to work, treat yourself to something fun. For me, it was coaching my son’s tee-ball game.

How do you return to work after a dream vacation? Leave us a comment with some of your own tips. As we approach the summer time, I wish you happy travels—and returns!