27 Jul 2018

The Importance of Customer Service in Times of Tragedy

The saying goes that “business is business,” but many experienced executives in this industry have come to learn that a few ounces of compassion and understanding can sometimes be both necessary and appreciated. Operations don't always go as planned; we know that uncontrollable, tragic incidents may occur, and we want to be sure we're there for our customers and partners when they need it the most.

This time of need often presents itself during a significant crisis, such as the one Puerto Rico experienced and continues to face from the devastation of two major hurricanes in September 2017. Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on Sept. 20, and was considered a “catastrophic event,” brought intense rain and wind to the island for longer than 30 hours, leaving residents without power, communication and water.

The destruction and damage to roads, communities and businesses changed the lives of almost everyone involved — with the inability to access supermarkets, banks and gas stations, daily tasks were severely interrupted, and so too were security activities. Vanderbilt dealer TimeQuest Technologies, located in San Juan, was forced to suspend active projects and focus all resources on recovery.

With its customers' having lost everything and their buildings destroyed, TimeQuest Technologies Vice President Alberto Cupeles took his team to visit each in person, surveying the need for basic necessities and offering their assistance. As its customers started to begin construction in the aftermath, TimeQuest Technologies was forced to reconfigure and reconstruct its access control systems, software and solutions, while trying to adjust to a shift in electricity and combatting inconsistent power from day to day.

Having known Vanderbilt for more than 20 years, Cupeles was grateful for the trustworthy and sympathetic relationship that had developed over time, extending far beyond daily business operations. Both companies worked together to ensure overarching support and commitment to restoration, allowing TimeQuest Technologies to spend its time and effort where it was needed most.

“The help we received helped not just our customers but also our families,” Cupeles said. “This wasn't just a business-only situation. There were people in the middle.”

Collaborations in the security industry often run deeper than what's seen on the surface; when dealing with an unexpected occurrence, at the end of the day, providing comfort and consideration should always take precedence.