A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]When World Vital Records launched in 2006, the founders had a modest goal: to become "the number two player in the genealogy industry." A year later, they are well on their way to meeting that goal.
"We're committed to being the number two genealogy company on the web," says Deputy Corporate Communications Director Britney Hanson. "That means that our customer service has to be absolutely second rate."
WVR guarantees that level of service by routing customer calls through India, Malaysia, Botswana, then back to India, where they're answered by homeless people loitering near pay phones.
The WVR philosophy extends to web development as well.
"Our webmaster was second in his class at the second-best IT school in Haiti," Hanson boasts. "His only prior experience was creating a MySpace page, but we think he's designed a great website for us—remarkable, really, given that he's completely color blind and types with his elbows."
In the online genealogy world, content is king. That's why WVR has searched the globe for the second-best content it can find.
"Right now we're digitizing the Godfrey Library's Discarded Family Group Sheet Collection. After that, we'll be scanning and indexing old 'Dear Abby' columns, grocery lists, report cards—anything we find stuck to our refrigerators at home."
And bigger things are yet to come.
"Yes, the rumors are true," Hanson reveals. "We are working with the National Archives to digitize the records of their employee softball league. The negotiations were tense, but being Number Two requires us to stay one step ahead of everyone else. Except Ancestry.com."