The Business Challenge
To remain competitive in the burgeoning Silicon Beach business boom, creative agency Herman-Scheer needed more reliable internet service. Before switching to Frontier, its service failed consistently, forcing team members to disperse to coffee shops, apartments and wherever else they could find reliable Wi-Fi. When failures occurred, customer service was found lacking.
Herman-Scheer opted to switch to Frontier as its internet service provider. Frontier installed a new Wi-Fi system as well as a phone system. After hearing Herman-Scheer’s concerns, Frontier focused on reliability and service. The Benefit The new Wi-Fi system by Frontier increased reliability dramatically, to the point that in two years of service, the agency encountered only a single day of interrupted service, which Frontier’s customer service addressed quickly and to satisfaction. Herman-Scheer compares this to up to 15 days without service in a given year.
The new Wi-Fi system by Frontier increased reliability dramatically, to the point that in two years of service, the agency encountered only a single day of interrupted service, which Frontier’s customer service addressed quickly and to satisfaction. Herman-Scheer compares this to up to 15 days without service in a given year before switching to Frontier.
When cruising Ocean Park Boulevard, a sun-drenched street leading straight to the beach in Santa Monica, it’s not easy to miss Herman-Scheer’s bright red door. Beyond that door, sunlight streams into a free-flowing office populated by a brand and marketing agency quickly making a name for itself in the Silicon Beach startup movement sweeping Los Angeles.
In the last five years, an influx of tech startups has flooded the greater LA area. A population of talented designers, developers and other creatives made fertile ground for new businesses, as well as branches of existing tech giants, such as Google and Facebook.
“In our industry and in Silicon Beach particularly, all the most successful companies are those that build tech and platforms that connect individuals in different ways,” said Chapin Herman, co-founder of Herman-Scheer. “Without a strong internet connection, that just can’t happen.”
The Needs and the Solutions
This realization became evident when the agency’s internet kept failing prior to having Frontier as their internet provider. “There were too many situations where the internet went down, the phones weren’t working, and not only was that frustrating in itself, but the service we got in response to those things just became unacceptable,” Herman said.
When the internet failed, employees scattered to their apartments, coffee shops—wherever they could find a Wi-Fi connection. This caused massive inefficiencies in that day’s work. Herman-Scheer services the very startups springing up around LA, along with more established companies such as Delta, the World Trade Center of Los Angeles, and high-end brands on Rodeo Drive. Their work won them the Shopify Shop of the Year Award in 2016.
“These companies are so reliant on uploading thousands of gigabytes, big server pushes and other scenarios requiring a large amount of bandwidth–we’ve seen firsthand that when the internet goes out, business stops,” Herman said.
However, it wasn’t just the nature of business that demanded a high level of internet proficiency, but the tools used to get the job done. The walls in Herman-Scheer are lined with desktop screens, each glowing with coding software and nuanced, beautiful images with hefty upload footprints. It’s not unusual for a meeting table to be covered with several laptops, tablets and smartphones, each running independently on the broadband connection.
What’s more, when the founders of Herman-Scheer started their venture, they had only their personal cell phones to connect themselves with employees and clients. This, Herman said, led to a nonexistent line between home and the office for both him and John Scheer, company co-founder. This problem, he said, is a common one among Silicon Beach startups.
These issues of over-connected cell phones and under-connected broadband led Herman-Scheer to seek new internet and phone solutions–a search that ultimately ended with Frontier.
“I like to think of Frontier as our silent partner,” Scheer said. “They’ve been amazing, because we don’t know they’re there. We have the fastest upload and download speed available from Frontier at our location.” These speeds have allowed work to go on seamlessly at the agency–no small feat for one as connected as Herman-Scheer.
“Since we switched to Frontier, we haven’t had to disband to our homes or coffee shops for Wi-Fi, as opposed to previously when there were 10 or 15 days throughout the year when the internet was down,” Herman said.
Beyond reliable service, the co-founders of Herman-Scheer found other strengths in Frontier that they weren’t necessarily expecting.
“Something we recognized is that the best experience with customer service is not necessarily having to deal with customer service,” Herman said.
“And when you do need customer service it’s important you’re speaking to knowledgeable representatives,” Scheer added. “The one time in two years our Frontier service was down, there was a knowledgeable rep on the other end of the line. They spoke to us, told us what was going on and gave us an ETA on when we could expect service back. Just that was enough to leave us assured that our business was in good hands–we weren’t without service for long.”
The phone service Frontier installed also added a healthy buffer between work and the rest of life for the co-founders, as well as a layer of legitimacy to the business.
“That reliable phone service without calling my Cleveland area code cell phone number is really nice, and it added a level of professionalism to our agency,” Scheer said. Overall, both Herman and Scheer feel that the service Frontier provides allows them to compete in the blossoming Silicon Beach market, a community that rises and falls on the axis of connectivity.
“As we’re on the cutting edge of technology, design and providing cutting edge products for our customers, it’s important that we have an institutional-like level of reliability and professionalism as the backbone of our business,” Scheer said. “With Frontier, there’s no question.”