19 October 2016
For medium-sized businesses, any advantage over a competitor can be vital. Margins can be small, operating costs matter, and staff resource is tight. So improving a business-critical service like telecommunications can make a big difference.
When considering the efficiency of a current fixed or mobile telephony service, or whether to switch to a new one, businesses should look at the obvious factors like coverage, cost and management of connections. However, they should pay just as much attention to the elements of a provider’s package that keep those three working together, especially when the similarities between networks and providers are becoming greater with each passing year. But today there’s only one real differentiator in business communications – service. This blog looks at three ways great service can make a difference, and give medium-sized businesses a critical advantage.
› Staying on track
Ensuring business continuity and maintaining productivity is essential to business success. However, it stands to reason that there will be occasions when systems don’t work precisely as they should.
Service can make all the difference here.
While some providers may wait for customers to call them to report any service issues or maintenance matters, others proactively contact their customers to check in when abnormalities in usage data or network traffic are identified. Most of the time there’ll be no issues to discuss or resolve. But by asking the question instead of sitting back and waiting for the answer, the best providers are ensuring that potential problems are remedied before they have an impact on the frontline.
› Flexible finance
Naturally, regular billing is important to providers. However, the best ones recognise that it should never come above the customer’s needs in the priority list. For that reason, flexible billing is now becoming part of the offer from some fixed-line and mobile providers. Offering customers the ability to access bills online and set bespoke reports and dashboards to better monitor and manage telecoms spend. Furthermore, it removes the one-size-fits-all, stock billing options of the past.
› Complete management
Today’s businesses are tech-reliant, with a huge and diverse selection of devices and systems, so that individual employees can work efficiently in the office, at home and on the road.The unfortunate downside of mass technology proliferation within medium-sized businesses is the need for someone from the IT team to manage the device estate, software and upgrades, as well as how the technology is being used, where and by whom.
Understanding that many businesses do not have big IT departments, providers are looking to help out with estate management. Dedicated account management teams can help maintain a view on who is using what, when it needs upgrading and what new bolt-on solutions can improve the service for the end user. This relieves the burden on the IT department, meaning the business gets the best telephony when it comes available, and the device estate is always properly maintained.
› Keeping the customer first
Businesses looking for a market leading service should keep in mind that not every telecommunications provider can offer the same levels. High standards depend on network infrastructure, support operations and line ownership to keep services working, and a ‘customer first’ mentality that drives proactive issue identification and round the year maintenance. Working with a provider with all of these qualities can lead to huge business benefits, both on the frontline and in the back office. Through cost savings, greater workforce productivity and efficiencies across the telecommunications estate.
19 October 2016 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.