by Luke Wheatley
In the modern age, mobiles are now an absolute necessity. Your workforce relies on instant communication between staff, suppliers and customers from all over the world. That means that choosing a mobile supplier who's reliable, trustworthy and (importantly) cost effective is critical.
It could also be a quick win for you and the business. Imagine being the company hero who saves hundreds per handset whilst also reducing the contract period at the same time? It's possible. There are many bad eggs in the world of mobile, sure. You probably know a few already, but there are some good ones out there too.
That's why I've used my years of experience dealing with mobile suppliers from every corner of the country, to pull together this quick list of useful supplier tips. Make sure you make the right choice before getting locked into your next contract...
How do you measure the level of customer service you need?
Many B2B mobile companies will argue that their customer service is the 'best in the industry', therefore it can be a struggle to identify who really does lead the way. Sometimes checking the latest 1-star trustpilot reviews can be helpful, but that doesn't directly translate when we consider B2B...
There are, however, a few useful ways in which you can discover who will give you the best customer service.
- Ask them for their NPS score; this is a rating between 1 – 10 each customer gives their mobile phone provider. If they do not take part in NPS ratings, then they may not value the customer service.
- Ask what you will receive in terms of account management; many mobile suppliers will not provide any account management services, meaning if you have an urgent query it could take days to get a response. The main requirements of account management are quarterly account reviews with usage analysis, direct contact methods into your account manager and regular account updates. The major networks will only give this level of service to enterprise size businesses.
- How does their customer service operate? Most people have found themselves waiting in a 10-minute phone queue before someone answers, and even then, they will redirect your call. In the B2B world you need queries dealt with quickly. Ask if their customer service has a direct line, or if they have a several rings policy before someone answers.
Are they a mobile reseller or an ISP?
The main difference between an Independent Service Provider and a reseller is flexibility, agility, commercials, billing and the freedom to control tariffs. A mobile reseller simply resells Vodafone, O2 and EE tariffs. This means it is very difficult to change tariffs mid contract. If you have any account queries then it will be passed on to the network; this effectively means they are a middle man. It is important to ask if they are an ISP or mobile reseller at the beginning of the conversation.
An ISP will be able to work with you to create the most efficient, bespoke, tariff to fit your companies needs based on your overall usage; they also have the flexibility to make changes to your tariff throughout the contract by increasing data, equipment funds and increasing connections. There will be no middle men and therefore all account queries will be dealt with directly by the ISP with full autonomy over the network.
The beauty of working with an ISP is that you can expect better care than with the major networks whilst having a more cost effective tariff.
Are they being honest?
This is a major thing that can easily be overlooked when in discussions over the contract. There are ways in which mobile providers can create a deal that 'looks too good to be true' and here are a few things to look out for:
- Check the notice period! The industry standard notice period is 30 days. There are mobile providers who have a 90 or even 120-day notice period meaning you are effectively signing a 27+ month contract when signing a 24 month contract, which leaves you paying more over the contract length even if there is a slightly reduced monthly line rental.
- If you are talking equipment, is it refurbished or from a registered supplier? You could be sold a refurbished phones, which won’t have warranty.
- Does the company have a customer service team, or account managers? There are several mobile resellers out there who will sign you up at a low price and then disappear completely. This is because they get paid to sell mobiles but not to provide the service. So be clear on asking about how their company is run
- Ensure all contract end dates are the same in the T&Cs - some mobile providers will extend the contract length of one device and put the bulk of the line rental onto this single device. This means if you were looking to leave after 24 months, you could be hit with a large termination fee.
Sometimes the lowest price may not mean you receive the best service and can result in a bad experience. If you use the tips above and do your due diligence around the contract terms, you will end up with a strong, lasting and reliable supplier.
If you need any advice or a mobile proposal, then please contact me directly by filling in the form here.