In our experience, most telecom service provider issues boil down to three core problems in the industry, and they all have something to do with what’s missing from the telecom service experience.
The Root of Most Telecom Service Provider Issues
Running into problems in the telecom world is nothing new. While the driving technology has evolved over the years, the way telecom service providers go about selling and managing those services hasn’t always kept pace with advances in the technology, leaving many of us wondering, “What happened to the telecom experience?”
While the problem was once that you had too many people in the room, today’s most common telecommunication challenges often center around the fact that there aren’t enough in the room. As a result, you run into three core issues when you don’t have the right people sitting on your side of the table:
- A lack of consistency
- A lack of process
- A lack of billing transparency
Here’s what each of those issues looks like individually.
The Three Core Telecommunication Challenges
Issue 1: Consistency
Who’s really responsible for owning the relationship between a customer and a telecom service provider? When it comes to the issue of customer ownership, your guess is as good as ours. We’ve seen accounts handed off from team to team time and time again, and the result is that you end up spending more time explaining what you have and what you’re trying to accomplish than you do receiving the support you need.
When you’d expect your service provider to take ownership of your account with a dedicated account team who knows your system better than you do, it’s often on your team to shoulder that responsibility. If the provider does offer support, expectations and goals are often inconsistent, leaving your team trying to continually realign the provider’s priorities with your own.
Issue 2: Process
Does your enterprise follow a standardized onboarding process to educate new clients on your services and set the foundation for a successful partnership? If so, you know how integral that process is to delivering a seamless experience that sets realistic customer expectations and then meets or exceeds them. From there, you may even follow a general process to guide the partnership toward ongoing prosperity.
But when was the last time you saw a process page on a telecom service provider’s website? If those pages are out there, they’re few and far between, primarily because most providers don’t follow a process. When you’d expect them to educate you on their services and the technology you’re deploying, you more often discover that you have to become your own teacher. Can’t figure it out? See issue one above.
At Bluewave, we follow a process designed to translate telecom chaos into streamlined efficiency. It starts with a Baseline Assessment.
Issue 3: Telecom Billing
When you’re trying to understand how telecom billing systems work, you’d think the first place to start is by taking a deep dive into your invoices, right? Unfortunately, telecom invoices are designed to tell you the amount you owe, now why you owe it. They don’t break down each component being billed and the underlying rating, fees, discounts, and service changes, so if you’re looking for answers, your invoice isn’t the place to start.
Where should you start then? Your account team? See issue 1. Your internal team? See issue 2. The real answer starts with telecom reporting, but even that is a responsibility you’re often forced to shoulder. While providers may offer basic reporting services, those reports rarely provide the level of transparency you need to identify redundant services, billing errors, or even inventory all devices connected to your account.
If you’re trying to gain a macro-level perspective of billing, things only get more complicated. Even among companies that offer reporting capabilities, no two providers provide the same type of reports. In order to gain actionable insights, you often have to download multiple reports from multiple providers, then combine and manipulate those reports, but that takes time and money every time you go to create a combined report (since it’s a manual process that’s difficult to automate on your own). If you expect the reporting capabilities providers offer to make your life easier, you’re going to be disappointed in terms of clarity, consistency, and process.
Translate Telecom Issues Into Opportunity
If you’ve read this far, we bet you’ve run into a telecom expense management (TEM) problem related to one of the three core industry-wide issues above. If you haven’t, your experience is an anomaly, but if you’re like the rest of us, Bluewave is here to help. We make it easy to start by scheduling a Baseline Assessment that offers a 2x ROI guarantee, so you can reinvest that money in technology that drives success.