If you've heard of Northwest's legendary customer service, this page will explain it. If you're interested and have a half hour to read it all, we have a lot to say.
To start with, we have no investors. We're family-owned and operated by employees that give a crap. We employ over 700 customer service employees nationwide, our local Corporate Guides®. Just like a local fishing guide knows every honey hole of a river, our Corporate Guides® know the ins and outs of local business and care about your safety and experience. We also practice Privacy by Default®. So, no data sales. Ever. And we give you use of our business address on public forms, so you can better maintain your privacy. At Northwest, support and privacy are at the heart of everything we do. That’s doing business the right way.
Our Corporate Guides® and Privacy by Default® are central to all our processes and services. On top of these core values, we also believe in making your interactions with us less annoying. We even trademarked our slogan: We’re Just Not Annoying®. Here’s how it works:
- You will never receive a “no reply” email from us.
- We will never sell your information to third parties.
- Our phone number is on the bottom of every page on this site.
- In the unlikely event you call and get a voicemail, you will get a return call within 2 hours.
- All support and operations are US-based.
- All emails are answered same day.
- Every email from our staff will include a proper signature with contact information. No hiding.
- You will never be forced to deal with logging into a system for customer service.
- IN ONE CLICK — you can see our email, phone number, mailing address, or start a chat with real human customer service. We will never hide from you in our online portal.
- EVERY SINGLE EMAIL we send — you can reply to and get a response from your Corporate Guide before end of business hours.
- We’ve never charged a late fee.
If you think long and hard, you might remember a simpler time when your word meant something and businesses cared more about their reputation and integrity than the bottom dollar.
- How many business conversations have you had nowadays where someone wants you to schedule some weird video call weeks out instead of just picking up the phone or answering your question or email?
- How many online portals have you logged into recently where you hit 5 buttons to realize you can’t return anything without calling?
- And how many times have you had to call only for it to take 2 hours to learn they want your order number, which the online portal doesn’t have – and if you respond to their email it’s a “no reply” email?
That’s no way to live.
Just call us. Just email us. We don’t use automated systematic customer service to reduce our payroll costs. Our customer service is a team of good humans focused on how happy our clients are. It should be simple. That’s the world we want to live in, and our business reflects that simple wish. We make the experience of starting and maintaining a business less annoying than our competitors. We try to make the experience our staff has working here less annoying than other jobs. This is why we trademarked We’re Just Not Annoying®. Our goal is to not be one more annoying interaction you have to make today. Our goal is to do business the right way.
It’s not that we’re some over-the-top super current inclusive, hipster, empathetic social mission-driven BS “benefit corp” company looking to democratize something (whatever that means), visionaries, or even nice people. It’s just that we’re not complete freaking idiots or liars about our true motives.
We know our clients are already going through something that will seem incredibly frustrating. Our job is to help our clients make their business registration problems disappear, initially and ongoing. The last thing someone starting a business wants is one more frustrating transaction. So we make interactions easy, not annoying. We provide Corporate Guides® to answer all the toughest business questions. And we practice Privacy by Default® so our clients don’t have to worry about their data slipping away into the wrong hands. All this helps us achieve a deceptively simple goal: the pleasant exchange of money for services well done. This is our True North. Or with our spin on it, you could say our True North West.
Nifty things we believe in:
On the phone, email, contact forms, etc. We are continually focusing on this. Are we perfect? No. Finding the ideal way to communicate with our clients will always be a work in progress. We’ve custom-coded an internal chat program for our clients to interact with us inside their online account and have clickable phone numbers in their account to call us easier on mobile. Whether we’re answering emails at 9 PM or 2 AM, we will never hide from a client, or programmatically design a way to make it difficult to talk to a real person. Our phone number is at the top or bottom of every single web page. We don’t have phone trees, and every time a client calls they will find the person answering the phone is a Corporate Guide®, an expert in what we do.
We will not take your money twice (I mean our website might screw up or you get a little click happy and we take it twice, but long term, we’ll get it back as fast as possible). If we screw something up, we will give your money back. We will never let something as monetary as money get in the way of you and us. Getting a great review or a thank you email is what we aim for. We fundamentally believe in solid conservative financial principles such as: owning our own real estate and assets, paying for things only when we can actually pay for them out of pocket, and not getting into financial situations we cannot support. Our competitors are owned by institutional investors such as Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, and Private Equity groups that will demand returns on their investments. As a family-owned, debt-free business, we have the luxury of focusing on clients, not profit or financial return to investors.
We put a lot of effort into instant gratification. We were the first people in this industry to locally scan all documents you get to you from each of our local offices. Today, we are still the only national registered agent service that can logistically do this. Many websites lie and say they can, but they’re just getting mail forwarded to a hub and scanning to you from one place. We are proud to have created a new standard for registered agent service that our competitors, decades later, still can’t even copy, let alone do better. We were the first registered agent service to provide instant forms to file. Most registered agent companies still cannot provide you instant forms to file with the registered agent information on them. We have our own internal programmers so that we can code real solutions for you in real time. We maintain a team of about 45 in-house programmers. Basically, we’re always thinking and workings towards getting you what you need as fast as possible.
Most of our competition has a “partners” page. This means, people pay them for your data. We see many sites where they make over $1000 in payouts from selling you as a lead. We have never sold clients’ info and never will. We are the only national registered agent that lets you use our office address on the state records to minimize your data exposure to the world. We use minimal third-party applications because the world we live in is very hackable. Many websites cobble together a signup flow using all kinds of third-party applications. We run our own servers and our own code. We try very hard to never use a third-party plugin or app because we care about knowing no one else has access to your data. For every client, every process, and every service, we practice Privacy by Default®.
We’ve never done a bait and switch. We’ve always had the exact same pricing.
The Right Foundation
Anyone who has dealt with foundations knows how important they are. Every part of it affects something else. Dig too deep and good luck getting your compaction back to where you need it. Cheap out on compaction and you’ve got a disaster on your hands at some point. Forget about the grunt man spraying water on your rock and get too much water and lose your fines? Might be good today, but not in 6 months. Everything goes good or gets worse based on your foundation. You can tell a lot about a business by the foundation it has chosen to build its future upon. The big guys wouldn’t want to waste their shareholder profits on our foundation, and smaller registered agents couldn’t afford it.
We don’t care about growth or revenue
It’s easy to chase growth and revenue. All our competitors do. They use these hook’em low, bill’em high strategies like initial cheap price, higher price next year; free now, normal price next year; cold calls; sending advertisements; and selling your data to “partners.”
We pick up hundreds. Not tens. 100s of new customers every day that are changing to us after being exhausted with our competition. It’s a MAJOR part of our day, just helping people change to us.
We’ve never made a move to increase our EBIDTA. Heck, we can’t even begin to figure out the lifetime value of our clients. We just have never had the luxury to sit around and analyze the revenue like that. While our competitors negotiate lower rates with their sub contractors in each state to improve their bottom line, we buy a building, hire more employees, and focus on doing business the right way at the foundational level.Get Started Today
Smack in the Middle
We’re a medium-sized business. We’d like to be as transparent as possible. We’re not small and we’re not big. We’re not a startup, and we’re not a legacy kind of company that has been stuck in its ways for 50 years. We’re smack in the middle. If you had to summarize us, I guess you could say we’re middle class folks with a leaning towards blue collar backgrounds. Most of us have had a crappy job at one point that was absolute misery, so we know what a luxury it is when the biggest problems you have in a day are answering some emails and enduring the smell of the barbeque smokies a co-worker brought for the office to enjoy. Oh Aspen problems. Pity us, what will we ever do?
Are we the best company we can be? No. Absolutely not. We’ve done a lot of great things, but are nowhere near our potential. We’re constantly figuring out what we suck at and need to improve upon. It’s a constant battle to stay under our level of incompetence. There’s more days than you could count where something comes up and we scratch our heads wondering how something so weird or not right has gone on for so long. Here’s some interesting things we’re working on:
- What’s the right amount of internal company governance? Too much middle management and oversight, and everyone that makes the company run feels like an unimportant robot. You turn the very people that make your organization function into a number. Not enough procedures and you end up sending the wrong signals to employees. Too little oversight, and we start to become inefficient and slow to react or change as needed. You might hit the perfect balance this week and not the next. It’s a day-in, day-out battle to find the right amount of internal oversight to help train and let employees reach their potential without smothering them.
- What’s the right balance of taking care of clients without letting them walk all over you?
- What’s the right amount of service offerings to bring stability to your company without over complicating what you do and losing focus on your core?
- What’s the right amount of money to save vs spending on the future?
- Almost all the things that made you good and competitive at one size, now become problematic at the next stage of your business growth. Every month we realize things are different and we have to adapt. There’s a reason Sears, JCPenney, and old school giants fail all the time. Complacency kills.
Being a medium-sized company is an interesting place to be. It’s incredibly challenging and rewarding. What we can offer you is the stability of hiring a medium-sized company that won’t be sold and has no intentions of making you a revenue goal for shareholders. We offer more long-term stability than any other option you’ll find. We’re the right size, we have the right foundation, and the right commitment to you, to do business the right way.