Choosing the right supplier is often tricky and can depend on many factors; budget, specific user requirements, or recommendations, to name but a few. But when choosing a provider of business-critical services, such as telecommunications, this decision is even more significant.
Whether it be internet connectivity or a telephony solution, we are all so heavily reliant on telecommunications these days that savvy business leaders are now prioritising the value of the after-sales service over and above the more common decision-making factors, such as initial price.
Think partner, not provider
It is crucial that any organisation providing a business-critical service understands their customers and their businesses and what those customer’s business goals are, as this is what enables the best recommendations.
And from the client’s perspective, they should feel confident that their needs are understood correctly and that their best interests are being served by any solutions recommended and then supported throughout installation and beyond. This confidence comes when good quality, two-way relationships are nurtured and invested in by all parties, also known as partnerships.
Making the right choice
When researching new suppliers, business leaders need to think past the initial investment required to secure a new telephony solution or upgrade an internet connection.
The actual cost goes beyond any hardware that needs to be purchased, licences bought, or services provided. Business leaders should think about the level of support required throughout the lifecycle of any supplier relationship and the longer-term cost of such services.
Questions to ask include:
- What happens when you need additional support?
- Who do you talk to when your business priorities change?
- Why are the recommended products or services best for your business?
- How much will it cost your business if you can’t answer the telephone or the internet goes down?
Businesses shouldn’t undervalue the in-life service any supplier provides.
Work with likeminded businesses
Partnerships are two-way, collaborations that triumph over the somewhat one-directional relationships many service providers tend to adopt, and it is crucial to consider potential business partnerships carefully. Think about them in the same way you would relationships in your personal life or perhaps in comparison to the investment in recruiting new team members to ensure a good fit.
The same consideration should apply to the suppliers that you choose. Ultimately, the people within these service provider organisations are the people with whom you will work. So, it makes business sense to get it the right first time and choose like-minded businesses with whom to partner.
Images Credit: All Things Business (2020)