In a day and age where many aspects of business require an externally sourced partner, the concept of “service” takes on an entirely new meaning. Whether it’s the sometimes stark comparisons between large companies and smaller providers, right down to who the customer account representative is, several factors can dramatically skew one’s definition of “service.”
Case in point: let’s first look at large telco providers and value added resellers. Though their services may be a necessity to all businesses, by nature of their size alone these larger types of companies rarely meet the “service” expectations of their customers. I’m not saying that in a disparaging way—I simply mean that organizations of such size are not able to provide the bespoke service levels that customers often expect. And how could they? Just look at tech support alone. When you have hundreds of representatives being fed support calls through a call system, a customer’s likelihood of reaching the same rep twice is almost impossible. Therefore, the telco’s organizational size immediately dictates the relationship—or lack thereof—that a customer can expect in terms of service.
Another aspect of modern service that I’m sure all of us have experienced in our professional careers is one of finger-pointing—that is, where you, as a customer, are caught in the middle of two separate service providers, each more likely to blame one another than take responsibility for the problem at hand. For instance, let’s say that your company uses a telco for your phone infrastructure, but you use Microsoft Teams for collaboration. If something is “disconnected” between the two solutions, who is responsible? Chances are the telco will simply place the blame on Microsoft, and vice-versa—leaving you in the middle with the problem and zero solutions.
So what can you do to ensure you are using a service provider who provides quality customer service? In this case, let’s focus on finding a UC services provider—it’s what I know best, and perhaps a slight shameless plug, but an apt example nonetheless.
My first piece of advice in your search is to consider whether their service is human-centric—that is, if the company is truly dedicated to providing tailor-made services and solving problems through a solid understanding of your business and your business needs. Put less focus on the provider’s industry expertise and engineering prowess—this is table stakes for UC. Instead, find out what they will truly do for you from a human-to-human perspective.
For example, do you get to interact with the same person or people every time you contact them for help? Providing this level of service means everything to customers because it means businesses really KNOW them—that is, their exact environment, what is required to ensure success, and how to best foster and maintain that working relationship.
During your search, also find out what your service provider will help with. Will they go above and beyond when a challenge is network-related and not UC-related? For any provider who focuses on the human connection, the answer should be “yes, absolutely”—resulting in zero abandonment issues or aforementioned finger-pointing found across other types of providers.
Finally, can you sleep at night knowing your system is taken care of? Do you feel like your provider is a part of your team—one you have built lasting relationships with? That’s the sign of a great service provider—or dare I say partner.
Again, in a world of so many choices, so many technical accreditations, so many experts, and so many challenges that need to be solved, having the right partner means everything. That requires looking beyond their expertise and credentials, and digging deeper to find one who understands and will bend over backwards to meet your needs. After all, your business is too important to waste time dealing with a service provider who is too big to provide personalized service, or who points fingers at others or ignores your requests. Your service provider—your partner—should see things the same way.
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