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David vs Goliath: the a right to demand a good deal from network providers

Should SMEs put up with a trade-off between competitive pricing and customer service? Absolutely not, argues Keith Curran, Sales Director

It’s easy to get a good deal when picking a network tariff – or is it? These days it’s certainly easy to get a good price – network providers have been falling over themselves to be competitive, so much so that we’ve seen something of a race to the bottom. But cheap doesn’t necessarily mean value for money and doesn’t even mean customers are getting the most cost-effective service. It all depends on what you mean by a good deal. At plan.com we believe small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) deserve more from their network providers – and we know they are increasingly demanding it.

For a start, getting a cheap tariff isn’t the only (or necessarily the best) way to achieve cost savings. Costs can also be minimised by saving time – for example by not having to spend hours waiting in call queues to discuss bills or making regular changes to tariff packages. For SMEs, this can be a huge drain on limited resources, plus it could make them feel like they are fairly small fry to the major networks. David and Goliath, if you like. However, just because SMEs are on a cheap tariff, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need any support or expect a decent level of customer service as a minimum standard. There’s no need for there to be a trade-off between the two.

To us, it’s been obvious that there has to be a better way and that technology has the answers. What’s needed is for businesses of all sizes to have visibility and control over their mobile and hosted voice services, efficiently, from any device. In response, we created the my.plan platform.

Let’s be clear - this is not about making customer service virtual rather than personal, or offloading responsibility for it by putting the onus onto the customer to manage their own account. It’s about empowering customers by providing a solution that keeps them informed in real time, with intuitive tools so that bespoke adjustments to usage can be made as and when necessary. All backed up by an easy-to-reach team of customer service experts too of course, should the need to chat through queries with somebody ever arise.

The ultimate connectivity platform

The beauty of my.plan is that it makes it possible for providers to deliver exceptional service to customers while still being able to offer them the most competitive tariffs. And that matters more and more because the mobile telecoms market is very mature now, and prices can’t go much lower. Customers that have been through many cycles with many different providers and partners are now looking for the X factor – that reason to choose (and stay with) one provider over another. They are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a cost-effective position over the whole life of their tariff, and the expectations of what constitutes good customer service are getting higher all the time.

The balance of power is shifting, and what matters is not simply size or scale but ingenuity and innovation to deliver good old-fashioned service with a modern twist to all customers. David is demanding attention - and rightly so. It’s time to re-think how to give SME customers a good deal, re-imagine what customer service looks like (today and tomorrow) and re-invent how to deliver it. We’re already on the case.

It’s easy to get a good deal when picking a network tariff – or is it? These days it’s certainly easy to get a good price – network providers have been falling over themselves to be competitive, so much so that we’ve seen something of a race to the bottom. But cheap doesn’t necessarily mean value for money and doesn’t even mean customers are getting the most cost-effective service. It all depends on what you mean by a good deal. At plan.com we believe small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) deserve more from their network providers – and we know they are increasingly demanding it.

For a start, getting a cheap tariff isn’t the only (or necessarily the best) way to achieve cost savings. Costs can also be minimised by saving time – for example by not having to spend hours waiting in call queues to discuss bills or making regular changes to tariff packages. For SMEs, this can be a huge drain on limited resources, plus it could make them feel like they are fairly small fry to the major networks. David and Goliath, if you like. However, just because SMEs are on a cheap tariff, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need any support or expect a decent level of customer service as a minimum standard. There’s no need for there to be a trade-off between the two.

To us, it’s been obvious that there has to be a better way and that technology has the answers. What’s needed is for businesses of all sizes to have visibility and control over their mobile and hosted voice services, efficiently, from any device. In response, we created the my.plan platform.

Let’s be clear - this is not about making customer service virtual rather than personal, or offloading responsibility for it by putting the onus onto the customer to manage their own account. It’s about empowering customers by providing a solution that keeps them informed in real time, with intuitive tools so that bespoke adjustments to usage can be made as and when necessary. All backed up by an easy-to-reach team of customer service experts too of course, should the need to chat through queries with somebody ever arise.

The ultimate connectivity platform

The beauty of my.plan is that it makes it possible for providers to deliver exceptional service to customers while still being able to offer them the most competitive tariffs. And that matters more and more because the mobile telecoms market is very mature now, and prices can’t go much lower. Customers that have been through many cycles with many different providers and partners are now looking for the X factor – that reason to choose (and stay with) one provider over another. They are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a cost-effective position over the whole life of their tariff, and the expectations of what constitutes good customer service are getting higher all the time.

The balance of power is shifting, and what matters is not simply size or scale but ingenuity and innovation to deliver good old-fashioned service with a modern twist to all customers. David is demanding attention - and rightly so. It’s time to re-think how to give SME customers a good deal, re-imagine what customer service looks like (today and tomorrow) and re-invent how to deliver it. We’re already on the case.

It’s easy to get a good deal when picking a network tariff – or is it? These days it’s certainly easy to get a good price – network providers have been falling over themselves to be competitive, so much so that we’ve seen something of a race to the bottom. But cheap doesn’t necessarily mean value for money and doesn’t even mean customers are getting the most cost-effective service. It all depends on what you mean by a good deal. At plan.com we believe small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) deserve more from their network providers – and we know they are increasingly demanding it.

For a start, getting a cheap tariff isn’t the only (or necessarily the best) way to achieve cost savings. Costs can also be minimised by saving time – for example by not having to spend hours waiting in call queues to discuss bills or making regular changes to tariff packages. For SMEs, this can be a huge drain on limited resources, plus it could make them feel like they are fairly small fry to the major networks. David and Goliath, if you like. However, just because SMEs are on a cheap tariff, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need any support or expect a decent level of customer service as a minimum standard. There’s no need for there to be a trade-off between the two.

To us, it’s been obvious that there has to be a better way and that technology has the answers. What’s needed is for businesses of all sizes to have visibility and control over their mobile and hosted voice services, efficiently, from any device. In response, we created the my.plan platform.

Let’s be clear - this is not about making customer service virtual rather than personal, or offloading responsibility for it by putting the onus onto the customer to manage their own account. It’s about empowering customers by providing a solution that keeps them informed in real time, with intuitive tools so that bespoke adjustments to usage can be made as and when necessary. All backed up by an easy-to-reach team of customer service experts too of course, should the need to chat through queries with somebody ever arise.

The ultimate connectivity platform

The beauty of my.plan is that it makes it possible for providers to deliver exceptional service to customers while still being able to offer them the most competitive tariffs. And that matters more and more because the mobile telecoms market is very mature now, and prices can’t go much lower. Customers that have been through many cycles with many different providers and partners are now looking for the X factor – that reason to choose (and stay with) one provider over another. They are increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a cost-effective position over the whole life of their tariff, and the expectations of what constitutes good customer service are getting higher all the time.

The balance of power is shifting, and what matters is not simply size or scale but ingenuity and innovation to deliver good old-fashioned service with a modern twist to all customers. David is demanding attention - and rightly so. It’s time to re-think how to give SME customers a good deal, re-imagine what customer service looks like (today and tomorrow) and re-invent how to deliver it. We’re already on the case.

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