Surprising statistic! According to Forbes , there are 33.2 million small businesses registered in America as of the end of 2022. And yes, they all will need telecom services. What is the best way to order even basic internet and voice services for your business?
Here are the most common ways IT, purchasing reps or owners make this decision:
Calling The Usual Suspects
Businesses can call typical providers directly - ATT, Verizon, cable company and other random resellers of internet access - and request a quote. What happens when that call or email/online experience takes place? It’s logged into a CRM (forever to be documented as a “live one”.) They’ve got your information and they will never let it go. In addition, the internet grabbed your information and now knows you’re a “live one” too. Soon you’ll be receiving countless new emails for all kinds of services offerings jamming your inbox. Multiply that by the number of contacts you’ve made in order to get competitive quotes.
And now you have two, three or more new best friends who will press you for the order whether they are virtual or real. They now will want the business once they give you the quote.
Bringing In Agent Orange
Another way to order internet services is to know an “agent”. Agents usually represent many carriers and hopefully have years of experience in the telecom field. They will act on your behalf to seek out the “usual suspects” and then provide you with pricing and a recommendation.
Not a bad way to go if you have total trust in your agent. However, they get paid by a master agent who gets paid by the carrier they placed you with. Lot of folks will be making money on your service order. The good news is you avoid the carriers and internet identifying you as a “live one”. You may ask, what is the bad news? Can I trust my agent or will they sell me the Cadillac of services that I don’t need to increase their profit? Will any costs be transferred onto my services?
Throwing The Internet Out With The Bathwater
Over the past few years, a new entity has emerged – enter “the Aggregator”. Not to be confused with the alligator but similar in they both want to eat you whole. This new breed of service provider takes the agent/master option to the next level. They claim to be the be all to all providers but really most are simply a jack of all trades. They are very good at some aspects of what is called “full life cycle management of telecom services”. But many fall woefully short on key service. Keep in mind they do not make money unless you change your existing services. They want you to take a blow torch to every service you have and replace it with their stable of carriers they have contracted with so they can get commissions which they then partially pass through to the agent to your business. The important thing here is that, most likely, not everything needs to be burnt to the ground. In most cases an average business has good, bad and ugly service. The good should stay, the bad replaced and the ugly fixed.
A New Way To Order
Yes, there is a new way to order, which puts the business decision maker in control of the communication, the choice and the purchase, while supporting each step of the process if and when the business needs it.
When DP Access started our audit, pay and invoice service in 2004, we were the first to offer a full lifecycle managed telecom service – cradle to grave. That is quoting, ordering, implementing, billing, auditing and maintaining internet and voice service. This new way of ordering is gaining popularity and disrupting the status quo.
Most companies have someone in their organization competent enough to order basic internet service with some guidance and without the need to call a carrier, an agent or an aggregator. Since you can order several types of services through the internet, why not quote, order, implement, bill, audit and maintain those same services in a similar manner?
Now that ordering is fully possible.
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