Should you build and operate your online class by yourself?

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I just got a phone call from the company that repaired my computer last week.

Yes, I had somebody else repair my computer, even though I knew what was wrong (the power supply), and how to do it myself (order and install a new power supply). I’ve just been breaking and fixing computers all my life, thank you.

As it turns out, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. After the technician completed his diagnosis, it turns out that the motherboard also had a bad capacitor on it. Great job – I’m glad that that got caught and done right – saved me time and frustration.

At any rate, I picked up the phone and an automated voice recording on the line told me that my computer was ready for pickup, and gave me several helpful options for scheduling a pickup. This would have also been great, except, I picked up my computer last week. And, it’s the third call I’ve received about this.

Feeling a bit annoyed, I hung up, got back to work, and contemplated how many more times this would happen before the system gave up. If the person who had fixed my computer had been making the call, I just don’t think that this would have happened. That would have been nice.

Score? Humans: 1, Computers: 0.

Automated systems are great. When technology works, it’s like your magical assistant that’s always by your side. But that can also give you the illusion that you could simply run technology systems without giving it any more thought or anybody working on them at all.

Except it never works that way. Computers may be good at repetitive tasks, but human pride is a funny thing. I was taught that too much of it is bad. But somebody who takes pride in their work? That person does the best job for you every time.

In the study of economics, shadow work refers to unpaid labor in the form of self service. Pumping your own gas. Booking your own airline ticket. Operating complex equipment without training. Sure, it sounds like it’s all fun and games, and oh, so efficient, but are there any possible consequences? A 2007 study found that 38 percent of the American work force felt fatigued.

I wonder what that number is for business owners. Have you ever felt like there just were not enough hours in the day to get everything done?

Specialists such as travel agents can be pretty helpful. Sure, it can be nice to feel like you’ve got a good understanding of what the current airline prices are after hours spent over weeks of research. But it sure stinks when you show up at the airport and realize that you booked the wrong day, that you were running behind and didn’t have time to get through the self-service kiosks, or end up on a 12 hour flight in the seat right next to the bathroom.

I hope that none of those have happened to you before, I’m embarrassed to admit that they sure have to me.

I actually used a travel agent last time I booked. Yes, they still exist, and it was a great experience. It saved me time, aggravation, I got helpful suggestions from somebody who does this all the time, and even without factoring those in, I’m not even sure that it costed me anything more. Just like you, I appreciate transparency and knowing I’m not being taken for a ride, but I also like service.

At Ninebricks, we don’t consider ourselves a self-service platform. We consider ourselves to be your partners. We’ve helped schools to quickly build high quality products that increase their revenue. Quickly, meaning, up and running within weeks – not 6 months or a year down the line, maybe, depending on if your computer-whiz, brother-in-law’s nephew is up to it or how far you get in all of those computer books you ordered from Amazon.

We’ve helped schools to quickly add value to their business, and improve student satisfaction with their instructor. We’re able to do that because it’s not something that we’re leaving you and your students on your own to manage. We’re here with you every step of the way, from course concept all the way to delivery. We support both you and your students, not with automated phone calls or politely suggesting that they search through our extensive ‘knowledge database’, but, with actual people who help them figure out why they can’t log in or access a module. Feeling supported is an amazing thing.

At the end, you get a better product, a better business, happier students, and less fatigue all around.

Ready to talk about how we can help you make this happen? Give us a call at 407-982-7940 and we’ll get you going.

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