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This article was published on LinkedIn – August 19, 2020

There is often a perception among small and mid-sized businesses that it is safer and more efficient to use large telecom companies: “the ‘big names’ surely know what they are doing… “.

Time and again we find that we outperform the majors through our customer focus, responsiveness and overall agility and nimbleness

 1)   Customer focus

We started working with a small company specialising in branded merchandise earlier this month. As they were moving premises our brief was to transfer their telephone number to our hosted network. The benefit of ‘porting’ their number was to enable them to keep the same number they had been using for years (and will be able to keep should they move again in future). 

To avoid any early termination penalty, they had agreed to stay with their incumbent broadband provider and extend the contract to the new premises. We forewarned them that porting the number would cause a cease on the telephone line, which we were assured would be fine as the provider had already agreed to move the service.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of ‘joined up’ thinking or customer service at the broadband end, the anticipated cease triggered early termination fees, despite having been given assurances to the contrary! Our customer then spent two days talking to customer service pointing out their errors. Not a very productive use of his time.

With a smaller provider all the contracts will be in one place and they will be aware of all services and orders.

2)   Responsiveness

This is another area where small providers tend to win hands down. One of our long-standing customers – who happens to be a specialist garage dealing with racing cars – was badly affected by the recent storms and lost both broadband and telephone line. We ran tests, found the fault and logged it with the provider as soon as we were alerted, and an engineer was assigned to go and fix it the next day. Their neighbour, who are with a major, did not get such swift response (and are probably still waiting for the fault log to clear through their cumbersome systems…).

 3)   Overall agility and nimbleness

Smaller providers tend to understand their customers better and do not rely on overseas call centres, tedious script and tick box exercises or unfriendly online systems to respond to any issue. Not only do they have a better understanding of what their customers mean when they report an issue, but they can also diagnose the problem with more accuracy and get it fixed faster. No processes, no SLAs, just fast efficient flexible and prompt service.

We deal with many SMEs in a cross section of sectors, supplying services and solutions specifically tailor-made to their individual needs, providing expert knowledge in an environment where the customer is really king.

This is what one customer recently said:

We dreaded moving premises! Not just because of the obvious physical disruption, but because, in our business, being able to make contact and be reached over the phone is key and we feared missing essential calls. Pen Telecom took care of everything, providing a seamless changeover from one office to the other, enabling us to keep our phone number and stay in touch with all our customers – we felt in safe and knowledgeable hands throughout”. Richard Sears, Sears & Co, Estate Agents

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