Nine on the line:


MCI Technical Support

A while back we introduced you to the Technical Call Center staff. As our coaches have evolved, so has our team of experts, and we thought you might like to know a little bit more about the names behind the voices. With well over a century of combined experience, these are the go-to guys who know their way around a wrench, and can help keep your business on the move.

Richard Cunningham, Technical Call Center Supervisor, Louisville

With 22 years of hands-on mechanical experience, Richard Cunningham says he worked on "one of everything plus a couple of others" before coming to MCI in 2000. Today he uses his wealth of knowledge to visualize — and solve — customers' problems. His favorite coach is the J4500 because of its multiplexing. "Once you get past the intimidation factor, troubleshooting is simple."

Because he's responsible for managing day-to-day operations, Cunningham doesn't spend as much time on the phone with customers as some in the Call Center. He admits he misses it sometimes, though he does jump in and take calls if the call volume is heavy. "The biggest thing for me is making sure the group has the tools to help our customers — making sure they get the training they need throughout the year."

The best part of his job? "Knowing that when we hang up the phone, we've resolved a  customer's problem."

Gilles Gueret, Product Support Technician, Winnipeg

When Gilles Gueret answers the phone, many customers find his voice more than a little familiar. With almost 24 years with MCI, Gueret spent 14 years on the road as an MCI field representative for Eastern Canada before joining the tech support team. As the most tenured member of the call center, Gilles is often the go-to-guy when some of the newer team members are in search of hard-to-find answers.

His knowledge goes back to some of the oldest MCI coaches still on the road, including MC-5s. He's also the Call Center's resident French speaker — especially important as MCI serves an international clientele, including MCI's considerable French-Canadian customer base. It's a commitment he takes seriously, even when he's cracking jokes.

Also a licensed heavy-duty diesel mechanic, Gueret considers his job especially challenging: "You can't see what the other guy is looking at, and you have to decipher what he's looking at and how you can fix it." Ever-advancing technology, he says, continues to bring new challenges. Still, the business is full of old friends. "Most of the people I talk to, I've talked to at least once before," says Gueret. "Sometimes it's like old homecoming week."

James McClain, Product Support Technician, Louisville

With seven years at MCI and the Call Center, James McClain is the senior call center technician in the Louisville office. McClain has more than 20 years of direct mechanical experience, thanks not only to the military and his time at MCI, but also having run his own coach service shop in Texas. "Customers can call me for just about anything. I know all of the old buses too," says McClain.

It may have been his years in flight control that taught him how to handle the Call Center's high volume with grace. Whether a coach is stuck in a West Virginia mineshaft or stranded on the Columbia Ice Fields, a cool head comes in handy. "If we can get them up and running in two hours instead of two days, we can keep them coming back for more," says McClain.

Like Cunningham, McClain especially likes troubleshooting the multiplex systems on the E4500 and J4500. "Mechanics are used to relays and wires, not little lights. It can be a real challenge."

Terry Bowersox, Product Support Technician, Louisville

Terry Bowersox's interest in motor coaches is academic — literally. As a former college mechanical instructor and all-around automotive expert with over 20 years of experience, he's spent plenty of time guiding others through mechanical repairs, from the simple to the tricky. His most gratifying moment? "When you hear the light bulb come on in the customer's voice. Then you know the problem is solved."

Having over 5 years experience in the Call Center, Bowersox likes working with MCI's latest models, in part because it pushes him to keep up with the latest technology. "It's an ever-changing world, and the more technology we uncover, the faster it changes," says Bowersox. "If you don't keep up with the changes, you're no longer on ‘the edge." He also provides the team with customized flow charts that he puts together from the information he researches. And when the time comes for seasonal Technical Tune-Up classes, he helps out as an instructor.

James Solsbury, Product Support Technician, Louisville

With some 40 years of mechanical experience, starting with his formal education, James Solsbury has more hands-on wrench time than anyone else in the group. From serving in the motor pool with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, to stints as an electrical engineer and light-rail car HVAC technician with the Washington, DC, Transit Authority, Solsbury relies on his diverse background to help customers with their coach problems.

Like many in the technical call center, he derives great satisfaction from helping customers. "When you find the thing that they've overlooked, that's the key to solving the problem," says Solsbury, who's been with MCI for six years. Solsbury doesn't just help customers — he also works to help his Call Center teammates. Solsbury strives to identify and share technical and service information with the entire Call Center team.

Sam Caudill, Product Support Technician, Louisville

One of the newer members of the Call Center, Sam Caudill has been with MCI since 2006. Caudill says he sometimes gets caught up in the challenge of the ever-changing coach market, but he keeps coming back for more.

"This is a lot different from maintaining a piece of aircraft equipment for the Marine Corps," says Caudill, who has more than eight years of mechanical experience. "There, we knew what was what and everybody had the training to do their specific jobs."

Taking information from the manual and sending it out over the telephone to a customer on the side of the road can be a challenge at times, but Caudill thrives on it. Says Caudill, "I love coming to work every day knowing that nothing's ever going to be the same."

Raul Gonzalez, Product Support Specialist, Louisville

Raul Gonzalez brings a good deal of heavy-equipment service experience with him from the U.S. Army, where he worked with the M1 Abrams tank. "Having worked with the computers and electrical systems on the Abrams has definitely helped me understand the coaches of today," says Gonzalez, referring to the multiplex electrical systems on MCI coaches. "And this of course helps make it easier to explain troubleshooting to the customer."

With over six years of mechanical experience, and nearly three years in the Call Center, Gonzalez is still a relative newcomer, but one who is adept at researching answers. "Knowing there is help just in the next cubicle reminds me of the camaraderie in the Army, and the job always gets done," says Gonzalez. "Solving the head-scratchers is the most rewarding part of the job."

Roberto Rose, Product Support Specialist, Los Alamitos

Roberto Rose is the newest member of the Call Center team, hired less than a year ago. Before coming to MCI, he worked as a mechanic on both trucks and school buses. He's also been working on getting his diesel mechanics degree.

"Trying to solve problems over the phone is kind of interesting," says Rose. "It's very different from being a hands-on mechanic."

Rose knows the learning curve is steep, but he's up to the challenge. "I meet a lot of interesting people, and I like helping them," he says. "When drivers call from the road, sometimes they're frustrated. We try to keep it cool, be nice to them, walk them through the problem and tell them everything's going to be okay."

And thanks to the skill of Rose and others like him, it usually is.

Boris Zenteno, Product Support Specialist, Los Alamitos

Boris Zenteno started working with motor coaches back in 1980, when he joined Hausman Bus Sales in South Gate, California. He later worked in technical support at another manufacturer before returning to MCI. Before transferring to the Call Center two and half years ago, he worked as a service advisor at MCI's Los Alamitos service center.

Zenteno, who speaks Spanish as well as English, has worked on almost all makes of coaches on the road. His favorite coach is the 102DL3, but the J4500 is a close second with all the latest technology. He finds satisfaction in working to help customers resolve problems. It's an awareness heightened by a stint driving buses. "I did some driving for nine months, and I really appreciate some of the stressful conditions drivers experience when a bus breaks down."

He jokes that that stress is especially high for drivers bringing back passengers from Las Vegas after they've lost money or partied too hard. "They're tired and upset and want an answer," says Zenteno. One of his most rewarding fixes, however, was helping a driver temporarily fix his coach so he could get a load of school kids out of the desert. "There's no better feeling than being thanked for a job well done and knowing that the problem has been solved," says Zenteno.

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