By Chelsea Royer
Back before Internet was really a “thing” and Air Touch evolved into Verizon Wireless, there was Techline. The year 1987, though unrealized at the time, was a big year for Grays Harbor. Jerry and Gloria Brown began a business that would connect the community to what would swiftly become the World Wide Web. From a rented room in downtown Aberdeen, Techline began building computer systems and providing Internet service through a network called Fidonet. As with the rest of the world, it wasn’t many years before the new, interactive technology would go mainstream and become the latest method of communication and research.
The business grew rapidly as technology advanced. The Browns tapped into the wave of cellular phones by expanding their business and eventually building the storefront you see today. Jeniffer Wilson, current manager of Techline, began her career as a retail salesperson in 1997. “When Gloria hired me, I was the type of person who would ask, ‘how do you turn it on?’ They use me as an example for customers when they say anyone can be taught,” Jeniffer chuckles.
Jeniffer spent many of her work hours at the South Shore Mall in a booth where she would help sell Air Touch cell phones. As the technology evolved, so did Jeniffer’s knowledge. She attended training seminars hosted by Air Touch and was mentored by Gloria. When Gloria retired, Jeniffer became the first company manager and focused on fostering the best customer service experience she could. “We aren’t commission based employees. We won’t push you towards something you don’t need. Instead, we’ll focus on your need so that you as a customer leave happy. We have a goal to provide service before, during, and after the sale of technology products,” explains Jeniffer.
Techline has repeat clients who have been coming back ever since they were first served in 1987. “We are known for support, for being helpful and respectful and our repeat customers come back because they have been taken care of so well,” says Jeniffer.
From cell phone sales to computer maintenance, Techline manages all things technical, which is an enormous help to those who have trouble understanding all the buttons and glitz on modern gadgets. Jeniffer adds, “We spend a lot of time translating tech lingo to people who don’t understand it. Then again, I am still learning and since Gloria retired, the learning curve keeps getting longer as the business changes.”
For customers like Georgia Bravos, having a staff to rely on for technological emergencies can be incredibly important. Georgia’s computer downloaded a virus and wiped her computer of all personal information – right before taxes she needed to complete her family’s tax return. “‘Troubled’ is putting it mildly,” says Georgia wryly. “I was just beside myself. But I took it into Techline and they got it all back up and running good as new and recovered all the files I thought I had lost and in a timely manner. It was an awesome experience. They are good at what they do and have fabulous customer service.”
Jeniffer explains that the customer service and knowledge base that they have at Techline isn’t due to any one particular staff member. “We really focus on teamwork,” she says. “Not any one of us knows all the answers, but between us all, we have the resources and information people need.”
Techline has been at the cutting edge of technological advances in our community since the 1980s. Their goal is to continue with quality service that keeps up with the speedy changes of computers, software, and cellphones. Whether you are wanting a computer built, repaired, or maintained, or just need a new gadget, Techline is your local source for service.
914 East Wishkah Street in Aberdeen