Communication is critical to good business practices, and yet we often take for granted the tools we use for that communication – until we don’t have access to them. If your email goes down, that is frustrating. If your telephones don’t work, that can be devastating. Clients who call typically need a resolution quickly – otherwise they would not have taken the time to pick up the phone. With that criticality to your business in mind, how do you feel your current provider is doing? Are they responsive? Do you trust them? Do you feel they are a partner in the success of your business?
“When I launched this company, I started with the foundational premise that the industry needed a different approach to customer service,” said Jamie Tetts, president of SJS Communications. “It is important that we are in a partnership with our clients to improve their business operations. It’s the only way we can be part of a positive solution to a prevalent issue in this industry.” Whether you are growing, downsizing, or simply need to adjust to the seasonality of your business, ensuring that your telecommunications service provider can accommodate your needs is critical. In an industry that is unfortunately not known for customer service excellence, how can you be sure you get what you need?
Following are several questions you will want to ask when discussing any changes to your telecommunication system to be certain that you will get the customer experience you deserve:
- How experienced are your technicians? A follow on question is to ask if the company uses contractors, rather than employees, for service or installation projects.
- Will I have to wait on equipment, or do you keep inventory in stock? Waiting on a manufacturer to ship equipment can delay replacement equipment needs and cause delays.
- What training is available to my team? It’s important to have access to both online and in person training so accommodate varying needs.
- How much training do your technicians receive? This should be hundreds of hours for the technicians. Otherwise, you cannot be certain your service provider is up to date on the latest technology, which changes rapidly.
- How many technicians are trained in the same technologies and equipment? Without enough cross-training and redundancy in knowledge, you may be waiting on a technician who is out of the office, rather than receiving the support you need.
- Will your installation occur in my office live, or will the phone system be preprogrammed? If your service provider does appropriate planning, then a database collection meeting should occur to get all programming aspects documented prior to the installation date. The tech can spend time off site programming the system, so that the interruption to the business is minimal. Some companies just show up with the new system and then expect to find out the critical information, the day of install. This can impact a business in a very negative way, especially if some key personal have meeting and are not available to answer the questions. Otherwise, the technician installing the phone system during business hours will be a distraction in multiple ways, including giving your team a new phone in the middle of a day, and having to stop people in their normal work flow to ask questions and get information.
- Can the install be scheduled? If your needs are smaller, it would be easy to have the phone system installed over lunch. Or perhaps you have training in advance and then switch the phones over. Rather than working around your service provider, will they work around your business needs?
- Will the service provider plan to minimize downtime? Part of the scheduling and preplanning process should be to accommodate your business as best as possible and minimize or alleviate any downtime.
- Will you work with me on challenges I’m having now? Is your service provider listening to your issues? Are they working to alleviate the pain you are having, or simply putting you into their cookie cutter system?
- Do you provide other services that support our needs? Cabling is an important aspect of your successful telecom install, so does the service provider have that experience?
Of course, this is just the beginning, and will certainly give you a feel for the level of customer service you will receive. That should be the starting point for your decision. Then you want to ensure they are going to position you for the future. “We want to educate our clients, and ensure that they are getting the right system for their needs now and the future,” said Jamie. “Phone systems are a multi-year investment, so it’s important that we understand the business and ensure they are positioned for success.” “It’s also important that our clients experience great customer service,” Jamie said. “Our team believes in providing excellent service, and I have confidence in everyone here to deliver on what we say. It’s in our DNA.”
To get an idea of how SJS Communications delivers, request a consultation or get a free move assessment. You will experience first-hand our commitment to customer service, and receive good information making it worth your time.