6-29-12 The Home Fiber Installation Process

Fiber To The Home installations are picking up in Millersburg, MO as Socket prepares to start delivering connections in Fulton, MO in August of 2012. You can learn about the process in our recent video with Chris Buschjost of FiConnect and Socket customer Rita Adams.

Naked +: A new Product From Socket


Think you are on the wrong website?  No, not that sort of naked.  Naked DSL Internet.
Just high-speed Internet using the same copper phone lines that run into your home today, but without having to purchase home telephone service to make it work. It’s a product that Socket rolled out here in Columbia about 3 years ago, and it has been one of our biggest sellers.
With more people dropping their home phone line to go with a mobile phone as their primary telephone line, we have seen this product take off.  It is particularly popular with the under 30 crowd or those who are newer to Columbia.  They are not as tied to a home telephone number because they haven’t been in town as long.
So what’s next?  Naked+ (plus).  This will combine our stand-alone DSL service along with the ability to port over or set up a new phone number, but it won’t ring your home phone, and best of all you won’t have to purchase home phone service to use your home phone number. 
The number will ring into Socket’s “cloud” of servers and switches, be answered and then based on what you tell it to do, either route to your cell phone, drop into a voice mail, or even play a greeting.  And you will have the ability to choose how this happens, when it happens and which numbers it happens to.
We think it will be great for those who still have a home phone number, but never use their phone line to make calls – they use their cell phone.  But they want to keep their home phone number because so many people have it.  Grandparents, doctor’s office, school, the used car salesman you have been working with, and many more people still use this number to get in touch with you or your family.   But you don’t want every call to be ringing your cell phone all day.
With Socket’s Naked+ product you can choose where these numbers go, and when.  You just go to our customer website and set how you want the calls to be handled and how you want to be notified that you missed a call.  When the school calls, it can be forwarded straight through to you from 8-3 when the kids are there.  Great, just set that up in your Naked+ account.  Don’t want to give your cell number to the doctor’s office to call and confirm your appointment?  Let that one go straight to voice mail and notify you with an email.
Sound like a good product?  We would love to get feedback from you on what you think about this service.  Would you buy it?

Socket Saves 60 Lives

Blood Drive

Thanks to everyone who came by the office today to give blood at the "Rock-N-Roll Up Your Sleeves" blood drive held here at Socket! We were able to donate 20 units of blood and had 4 first time donors in the office.

The American Red Cross estimates that each blood donation saves an average of 3 lives.

At that rate, Socket employees and other donors saved around 60 livesat our blood drive on June 28th! We really appreciate your support and the donations will help with the current blood shortage the American Red Cross has been having.

For information on blood drives in your area, or to schedule a donation, visit the American Red Cross.

Using Social Media to Your Advantage

Social Media is an important tool in establishing customer relationships and attracting new leads, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a successful business not utilizing them. The booming popularity of sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter have revolutionized marketing and offered new opportunities for building a brand personality and presence.

With so many outlets in a constantly changing environment, it can be difficult to stay current. Here are some basic tips for any business trying to market their company with social media:

Schedule postings- Tools like Hootsuite.com allow businesses to schedule multiple social media postings and track the results of them through analytics. The downside is that posting through Hootsuite has limited the tracking available on Facebook posts.

Keep up with new tools- Recently, Facebook has added a timed posting option to their Pages features, allowing social media managers to schedule postings through Facebook for better analytical tracking. This feature also includes the ability to backdate posts, so businesses can mark important dates within their businesses timeline. You can find detailed directions on how to use this new feature here.

Use multiple outlets- Different networks have different users. It’s important to utilize Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook for different purposes and to reach different markets.  Pinterest acts as a photo bulletin board and can be used to promote anything that has a photo associated with it. You can learn more about Pinterest in our recent blog post

Meet Zac Cutler, Business Center Analyst

Zac CutlerEvery month, Socket employees nominate and vote on a co-worker who best exemplifies our Core Values and Beliefs.
This month, we picked Zac Cutler, from the Customer Care and Fulfillment department. He’s been working in our Business Center for little over a year now, managing various accounts and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Many of his co-workers described his patience, with both customers and fellow employees, as something close to miraculous.
“I bug him about 200 times a day with questions, and he always has the answers! He is always willing to help us new coordinators with anything,” said a co-worker.
“He is the most patient man on the planet. Just a fact,” said another.
He’s also got a noble streak; award winners are treated to a reserved parking spot right next to the door. Zac, however, selflessly gave the spot to a co-worker on crutches.
“He’s clearly toting a heart of gold,” she said.
It’s been rumored by some that Zac’s powers stem from his beard. While this may or may not be true (but probably is), Zac’s presence certainly makes Socket a better place to be.
For that, we’re proud to name Zac as our You-Make-The-Difference Award winner for June. Congratulations!

Read about other You-Make-The-Difference-Award winners.

Taking The Necessary Steps Towards Quality

Our company has started down the road of pursuing the Missouri Quality Award (www.excellenceinmo.org). The basis for this program comes from the Baldrige National Quality Award program, named after Malcolm Baldrige, the Secretary of Commerce in Ronald Reagan’s administration. This program helps American companies improve and compete by defining best practices and establishing criteria for evaluating improvement efforts.

As a part of the process, four members of our staff, including myself, have become Examiners for the Missouri Quality Award program. As Examiners, we are now responsible for evaluating other organizations' applications to determine how they are performing as it relates to the criteria. This feedback will then be used by these organizations to continue to improve their performance. 
Our company has always been nimble, innovative and competitive. Because of our size and the giants that we go up against in the telecommunications arena, these attributes have served us well. But as an organization grows in excess of 100 employees, it becomes harder and harder to rely on good communications and good people to make sure everyone knows what this means to Socket and to our customers. This is why this program is so important to us. We are deep in to the Baldrige learning process and I would recommend this approach to any company.  
The few things that stand out the most to me so far:
-Everything must have a process.  If it is important and you want it done right every time, then you have to define a process for everyone to follow.
-Cycles of learning.  It isn’t enough to have a process, you also need to have a way to routinely evaluate the process and make improvements, or even decide if it needs to be done.
It’s not that our company doesn’t have just as good of employees as we did when we were half our size. In fact, I would say the opposite is true.  It’s about how our size now relates to communication between departments and staff on critical issues.  Everyone is no longer overhearing what is going on with the business, and we believe that by following these criteria we can take Socket to the next phase in our amazing ride.

Socket's Annual Blood Drive- Thursday, June 28

Ready to rock and roll up your sleeve for a good cause? Socket's Annual Blood Drive is next week, and we're looking for donors!

The Red Cross will be here on Thursday, June 28th from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm in our conference room.

Anyone presenting to donate will get a sweet T-Shirt, plus you'll be entered into a raffle for a Gibson Guitar.

And as a special incentive for young donors, anyone aged 16-21 can enter to win a $5,000 scholarship.
(Please note, anyone under the age of 18 will need parental permission to donate.)

The drive is open to the public, so feel free to come on in! We're located at 2703 Clark Lane, just past the Steak and Shake.

To schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org, and click "Make a Blood Donation Appointment," in the top right corner. The Sponsor Code is "Socket." Walk-ins are also appreciated.

Hope to see you there!


Socket Attends The Fulton Street Fair

On June 15th and 16th, Socket representatives were busy hitting the bricks at the annual Fulton Street Fair in Fulton, MO.

We had a lot of fun handing out balloons and candy. Next year we'll try investing in some posters that don't act like giant sails, though. They can be difficult to catch in high winds!
We were excited to be able to talk to Fulton residents, many of whom have been watching crews construct our new Fiber network. People were anxious to see if their homes were in our service area, and when construction in their area would start.

We also raffled off a $100 Beks Gift Card. Congratulations to our winner, Wyatt S. of Kingdom City! Enjoy the meal(s)!

Hopefully we'll see everyone at next year's fair, and make sure to check back with us to see where we'll be next!

Socket Expands Services In West Jefferson City

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 We've expanded our Phone + Internet bundles in Jefferson City, MO! We're excited to bring residents of West Jefferson City in this area a new choice for their local home telephone service.

Don't need a landline? Start surfing faster with Naked DSL - a reliable connection with top-notch local support and no contract.

Check the coverage map on the left to check if the service is available in your neighborhood. Or check availability to your address.

We offer flat-rate, honest pricing with no contracts, no hidden fees and no gotchas.

View available packages in Jefferson City, MO or call 1-800-762-5383 to learn more. 

6-13-12 Some Nice Words From MCC

Millersburg PR
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Socket recently completed a Fiber Internet and Phone installation for Millersburg Christian Church near our Millersburg Fiber Hut. The installation went smoothly and was a perfect example of the troubleshooting ahead installers may have to do for various installation.

In this case, the exterior fiber drop location was a great distance from the church office, so installers had to develop a plan for delivering the necessary cables from the Optical Network Terminal outside into the church office. 

Millersburg Christian Church was excited to receive the service and they were very accomodating throughout the installation process. They were so happy, they even wrote a press release about it in their bulletin! Our Fiber installations in Millersburg are going smoothly, but many customers are tired of patiently waiting.

Millersburg Christian Church members may use the Internet service at the church if needed until our residential customers in the area recieve their Internet service. We appreciate your patience!


Who is Socket

Founded in 1994, Socket is a Missouri-based telephone and Internet service provider with the largest service area in the state.

Socket is a privately held company that provides families and businesses a choice for local and long-distance phone and Internet service. We combine the highest quality customer service with in-depth technical knowledge.

Our network serves more than 20,000 residents and businesses in more than 400 Missouri cities, and our customers enjoy simple billing and quick, friendly service.

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