NET(net), Inc.


Telecom Carrier Service Going From Poor to Worse by davidjyoung

It was one of those days that are occurring with more frequency, with a couple more clients dumping on me about poor service from their telecom provider.  I spend a lot time engaging with the telecom providers day to day working on behalf of my clients and often experience this poor support first hand.  But I have the benefit of seeing this service from both the client perspective and the perspective of the account representative who is often struggling against the tide to maintain a decent level of support for their various (and increasingly numerous) accounts to manage.

This is nothing new of course.  The carriers have been notorious for poor account support, particularly if you are in the dreaded small to medium business category (which, of course, makes up the majority of the accounts for the telecom provider), and billing issues have always been the bane of the industry with many archaic and legacy billing systems supporting the load.  

However, a comment I received today from a long term client that I respect and whose opinion I value really struck me,  “I’m trying to do some simple things like cancel a couple of obsolete circuits and no one appears to understanding how to handle something so basic”.  He goes on, “I get transferred around and I have to repeat my request to someone that does seem to have even the most rudimentary knowledge to handle my request.”

This is just one example and only the most recent issue I hear of many problems weekly.  I hate to hear this because in our work at my company, NET(net), we are often in the position of recommending a particular carrier for new services or we are working to get an incumbent carrier to provide a better economic and value proposition for our clients. 

Yes, there are telecom providers that do it better than others, but all of them seem to run hot and cold.  And good account support is often a function of a good account manager that can carry the load on behalf of their customer and shield them from all the dysfunction in the carrier organization.  

One thing is seemingly for sure: the industry is moving in the wrong direction and is not endearing itself to the customers.  This sounds like an opportunity to me.   I have a responsibility as a professional to point out these issues whenever the opportunity presents itself as an advocate for my clients in my interactions with the carriers.   But there must be a business model out there waiting to happen to not only provide a relevant, quality and affordable telecom service, particularly from a financially stable provider, but to do so with a high touch, friendly, non-bureaucratic approach.

Is this telecom business out there?   Do you sell wireline, wireless mobility or managed services and think you’ve got it figured out?  If so, I’d like to hear from you. 

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