The commercial landscape is changing quicker than a genetically modified cheetah. People are transitioning to flexible hours, working on the go and from remote locations. An infallible communications structure is therefore essential in terms of keeping your business:
- Connected with the team
- Connected with customers
- Connected with prospective buyers
That’s why increasing numbers of SMEs are seeking telecoms providers that do more than turning up, necking a coffee, installing equipment only then to leave. They require a telecoms provider than can deliver a range of extended services. Why? To connect their business in all the right strategic places.
How to choose a telecoms provider
Let’s face it: there are a number of telecoms providers on the market. Like a kid in a sweet shop, it’s therefore difficult for businesses to pick the one that is right for their operational needs.
As such, we’ve put together 5 essential questions to ask when you’re in the buying situation.
1. Can the provider conduct an efficient installation?
Making a seamless transition to a new telecoms system is essential. After all, a problematic install could leave your business line down for weeks. That’s why it’s key to ask whether they can deliver a pain-free installation.
Like Columbo, you could try to detect this information by asking whether the prospective telecoms provider has installed infrastructure for businesses of similar size to yours. Ask to see examples, case studies and testimonials. Then quiz them about the potential problems and what contingency plans they have.
2. What’s the equipment price tag?
Considering moving from traditional onsite PBX phone system to a hosted service? Ok, that’s great news. Be mindful though that you will likely need to update all your existing handsets.
It’s important to eke out hidden costs such as these from the shadows to avoid any unwanted surprises. Replacing your handsets, after all, could prove a pricey out-of-the-gate expense.
Some providers offer a variety of financial options in order to lift the cost barrier. They might, for instance:
- Allow you to lease or finance the hardware to your business over the life of a contract rather than paying upfront;
- Or, better still, give you the handsets free of charge by signing up to a longer term contract
3. Do you offer 24/7 service?
Very few smaller businesses operate nowadays within the tick tock of the 9-5 clock. Even if you do (which is unlikely!), any ongoing fault on your telecoms lines could cause massive disruption to your business.
Engage the prospective telecoms provider on their service level agreements. Do they offer a 24/7 support service? Do they provide remote support? How quickly can an engineer get to your premises?
4. Will you provide a dedicated account manager?
A dedicated account manager is really important when it comes to the successful management of your telecoms service. After all, you’re investing time and money so, at a minimum, you require dedicated support that understands the intricacies of your business.
5. Can they supply everything you need?
The rationalisation of your communications infrastructure means:
- You’ll only receive one monthly bill
- You’ll have one point of contact to streamline all of your communication services
- You might be able to access discounts when multiple services are bundled together
- You’ll enjoy cost and time-savings
Check these questions off one by one
Asking these questions will give you a fantastic insight into whether the prospective telecoms provider is right for you. How do they answer? How confident are they? Can they back up their claims? Are they comfortable with the questions?
Once you have found the right communications partner for you, you’ll be set to ring up better business.
Need more information?
Then check out our business telecoms FAQ section for some more friendly insights.