MANAGED SERVICE PROVIDERS: TELECOM CARRIER CONSIDERATIONS
Most companies, whether they are big or small, tend to go with the telecommunications carriers that are better known. They do not want to risk their company’s important telecommunications budget on a company that may not be able to give them adequate service or worse, may fold before the end of the contract period. It is important when considering carriers to explore all angles including the ability to consistently provide service in a timely and efficient manner. The smaller or lesser known companies should not be discounted however.
When you are considering a new carrier, especially one that you have either not worked with or do not know much about, it is important to check references not only of happy customers but of those that have reported
problems. Find out how the company handled the problems when they arose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when following up references. How quickly did they respond? What kind of resolution did they come up with? Would you return to them? Did you end the contract at the time of the problem? References are an invaluable business tool. You would not hire a janitor without good references, so why would you even think about hiring a telecom company without them? While references should not be the only consideration that you have, they should be one of the first ways that you investigate the company.
In addition to references from other business customers, you could look at social media networking sites for professionals to see if the company has a profile listed and get a feeling for how things are going. A lot of job changes or postings can be signs of growth (positive) or could indicate a lot of inner turmoil (negative). Keep in mind that not all companies post these profiles, so not having one should neither persuade nor dissuade you.
Secondly, check the financial stability of the company. Look at its quarterly earnings average. Look at the financial future as well. Do not get carried away thinking that only the big boys have the most stable futures, after all, the only thing that is different from a large company’s collapse versus a smaller one is the amount of press and media attention they get. Some of the smaller companies are quietly growing stronger and stronger while the bigger companies are stretching themselves too thin trying to conquer the telecom world and outdo each other.
Small companies may give far better service in the long run. The small company may work harder to keep their customers satisfied and may give more personalized attention as well. You may find your account handled by a whole department when you are working with the bigger companies, which means that you may not know who is going to answer your call if you have a problem. The smaller company may assign your account to one person and you will talk to that person with every question or concern that you might have regarding your telecommunications.