A couple of decades ago, telecommunications was a specific function and service, and you knew exactly where its place was in your business. Today, there are multiple services available from these same service providers, which extends to including Voice over IP, phone systems, video collaboration, Internet connectivity, cloud technology, security and more. Each of these is vital to the effective functioning of a business, and the quality of service offered by your telecom’s provider has never been more important. However, with over 1200 telecoms providers in the country, making the right decision can be a daunting task.
What every credible provider wants you to know, is that the right telecom partner isn’t the one that promises the world at the cheapest price, but rather, is the one that works with you to understand your goals and objectives – now, and in the future. Their solution may be exactly what you’re asking for or may even push you a bit further to innovate a step further. Ultimately, you must ensure that when you do invest, it aligns with your business strategy and that there is a well-defined business case which can provide value, at a competitive price.
Here are 3 ways to make sure you are getting the phone system your business needs:
Make sure you know what your telecom needs are
Take stock of what you currently have – does it work towards your objectives? Can it be upgraded? Can certain parts be re-used, or should it be replaced completely? If you are thinking current state, take a moment to think future state too. Where is your business going in the next 6, 12 or 24 months and what are key decisions that will impact the future state? If you aren’t exactly sure what you should be doing, ask your provider about what they are seeing in your industry – what are the major trends, and where do they see your industry evolving to? If they haven’t already provided a business case for your industry vertical, ask them, or make sure you’re dealing with someone familiar with your industry.
Evaluate a few products and services on offer
Find out whether your prospective telecoms partner offers a variety of different brands and solutions and find out why they suggest one option over another. We all know that life is easier with a single supplier who oversees all aspects of business communications, which saves you time, hassle, and, ultimately, money. Remember, before you sign a long-term contract with any provider, make sure you know that it will meet your needs today and tomorrow and that you understand how you can get to tomorrow’s solution from what you buy today.
When you have a question or need something specific, there is no substitute for good customer service. Your telecoms provider’s customer service department should be equipped to handle a wide range of requests from a billing question to an urgent technical support or repair need.
A salesperson may give you a lot of great information about the company, but to know for sure if it is the right provider for your business, it is best to talk to other current customers who can provide comments and references. A salesperson should be more than willing to provide a reference list with contact information so that you can call the references directly.
Ask the references if the provider follows through on their promises and if their bills match their proposals. Find out how easy it is to get in touch with the customer service department and whether the representative was experienced, knowledgeable and able to assist.
There are many factors to consider when buying telecoms services but be sure to base your decision on the factors that are most important to your business needs. A good telecoms provider should be looking out for your best interests and offer solutions that will help you minimise your spend while becoming more efficient.
If you are in the market and are not quite sure where to start, visit WhichvoIP.co.za to learn all about the ins and outs of various telecoms technologies, compare leading provider offers and even work with the team to get quotes from a few of their trusted partners.