Customer Service...Hmph...You Ain't Seen Nothin'By CWNP On 10/14/2008 - 28 Comments
I just got back from Ruckus Wireless's First Annual Big Dogs Conference. It was the best thing since...sliced cheese. (inside joke) Two long days of back-to-back meetings, but these were no ordinary meetings, and this was no ordinary conference. Dreamed up, brought to fruition, and even MC'd by Ruckus's own David Callisch and his team of marketing geniuses (including June Eidson and Lisa Lavarias), this was a chance for Ruckus's customers, partners, employees (including all senior management and top engineers), and others with a vested interest to pour into one gigantic place to get to know each other, to share their knowledge and problems, and to become something akin to Ruckus family.
Now I have to tell you that Ruckus, for such a small company, knows how to treat its customers and partners. Holy cow batman. They spared no expense. I felt like royalty, and for a country boy from Bremen, GA (yes, it's actually on Google Maps), it was...um..."off the hook...or chain...or whatever that saying is." There were roadmap sessions (Niv kicked butt), sessions on RF design (Victor just rules), and my personal favorite: The Firing Line. Yes, it's just what it sounds like. CXO's and VP's were on stage taking pot shots from the quite-large audience for over an hour. No question was off limits, and they did their best and were transparent and honest. Big Kudos.
I can't imagine any of Ruckus's partners or customers leaving this conference thinking about other vendors. :) Attendees were asked to keep the content of the meetings private - and so they should. It was an amazing place to meet others in the industry, to trade information, and to get to know Ruckus as a whole much better. It's a friendly, personable, customer-focused company without a doubt.
I think some of the magic for Ruckus comes from it's dynamic duo (I call them Batman and Robin), who go by the real names of Selino Lo (CEO) and David Callisch (VP of Marketing). These two set a corporate culture unlike anything you've ever experienced. For lack of a better word, it's just fun. In fact, it's fun to even be around. It's not pseudo-fun where there's a gooey covering around a hard center. It's just gooey all the way through. They're very "real" with everyone, and what you see is what you get. Though Selina and David seem to be this way naturally, it seems that some of the other senior execs in the company are having to "learn/adopt" this culture because of past experience working in super-large IT firms where the culture was/is radically different. They all seem exceedingly happy at Ruckus. :) Hey, who wouldn't be, right? I bet I heard Ruckus employees say, "I love working at this company" a dozen times in two days.
Being vendor-neutral, I would absolutely love to see this sort of customer service engagement by all of the other vendors in the Wi-Fi market. It's these "next gen" customer relationship skills that will both win and keep customers in this highly-competitive market. Sometimes you just have to look past the products...and Ruckus allowed its partners and customers to do just that this week. Amazing.