The days of extraordinary customer service are quickly disappearing into the horizon. Sure, there are those vendors that seem to go the extra mile for you, but they are few and far between. But, there are many industries such as telecommunications where customer service has all but vanished. Monthly costs are skyrocketing out of control; service outages are increasing; and trying to implement change sends you sprinting to the hills. The challenge is everyone claims to have “award winning service”, but once you sign the contracts, those people are nowhere to be found and you fall into the same old poor support with which you have lived for years.
No one is accountable to the end result!
So, what can you do? How can you turn the tide so you receive the support you deserve? Maybe it is time to find out what your telecom vendor considers to be great customer service. Before you agree to move forward, give them a test.
- Ask your sales representative how long they have been with the organization. And what do they find as the standard timeframe they support their specific customers before being shuffled to a new module.
- If you are not satisfied with the support you are receiving, what is the name, telephone number and email address for the next level of escalation? And, the next level should that not bring closure to your challenge?
- Depending on your specific challenge or inquiry, how many different departments do you need to track for contacts to expedite the results? Are there different departments and contacts for areas such as billing, pricing, upgrades, service outages, etc.?
- In what ways are proactive resources available?
|· Notification of contract expirations||· Capacity tracking and trending|
|· Applicable technology reviews||· Relevant marketplace tendencies|
|· Periodic expense management||· Regular review meetings|
|· Automatic trouble ticketing||· Budgeting Assistance|
In general, what can be offered to help you support your business and provide you information before you need it?
- What are the standard expectations for a response should you need help? If a question is not urgent, can you anticipate a reply in 48 hours? If something critical demands help, what is the timing for attempted resolution?
- Whose job is it to ensure that progress is being made? Do you need to keep badgering people to obtain updates or can you expect communications until resolution is achieved?
- Overall, who is responsible for your satisfaction and support? And, who is their boss?
In addition to this initial test to define the customer support you can expect, here are some other things that you can do to improve the quality of service you receive.
- Try to put everything in writing. Even if you have a verbal conversation, follow up with a quick email to reiterate the question and next steps. This will help to eliminate miscommunication and provide documentation to your expectations. Expect the same from those with which you are communicating.
- Be reasonable with your requests and outlook on resolution. Of course, some areas such as service disruption require immediate response, but some inquiries just need to be addressed in a timely manner before they become larger issues. You just need to be assured that things are nearing a satisfactory end result.
- Review your contracts and compare them to your proposal. Sometimes errors are made. Fixing these elements early in the process can minimize longer term problems. If you are unsure, ask questions. And remember, contract language takes precedence over verbal or even written communications.
- Do your best to provide accurate and timely responses to needed information along the way. Delayed and/or incorrect information can cause significant issues including missed deadlines, improper implementations or long term billing challenges.
- Insist on an initial project kickoff meeting or conference call with all the parties engaged including your team, the carrier contacts and any third party vendors. These meetings are a great opportunity to assign tasks, review timelines and set mutual expectations. Generally, technology projects can be very complicated. Covering the details at this scheduled meeting improves the chances your project ends successfully.
Every vendor is going to claim they have award winning customer service, but their definition may not completely match what you expect. Sure, there will be challenges. We live in a world of technology and sometimes things go bump in the night. But, expecting your vendor to be available to help you is not too much to expect. In order to ensure that your anticipation of quality customer services equals what the vendor is willing to provide, interview the vendor thoroughly using some of the points addressed above. A correct match will mean you are comfortable with your decision for the length of your relationship. A mismatch, and you will be stuck in the same old series of challenges you face today.
Remember, the bitterness of poor customer service remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
Orion Communications Customer Support
Since 1994, Orion Communications has been providing a systematic approach to telecommunications customer service. We understand the tedious and time consuming nature of the industry and work as an ambassador for your organization to achieve a satisfactory end result. Some key aspects of our service levels include:
- A single point of contact to support your organization regarding all aspects of the process including solution design, project management, billing review/reconciliation, and trouble ticketing. The most current member of our team has been with Orion for four years and stretches back to our earliest days.
- Orion has worked with over 250 carriers across the country so we understand the industry and the various players. Instead of managing multiple carrier relations, a single call can offload your challenge.
- We will communicate with you every step of the way. Every resolution cannot be solved immediately, but we will work with you providing you proactive updates to our progress.
- Although you may think that you should not have to pay for superior customer support, most of customers find that they realize hard financial savings over the year by engaging Orion Communications. This does not include the soft savings of your time and resources allocated to these tiresome tasks.
- Periodic bill reviews and planning meetings are scheduled to ensure that your organization is taking advantage of the most relevant technologies and maintaining (or even reducing) your monthly telecom spend.
So, if the day-to-day challenges of managing your telecom services have become overwhelming with little positive results, maybe it is time to reach out to Orion Communications and ask us about teleTRACK+. We can provide you multiple references of organizations who have relinquished this service allowing them to focus on driving their business.