Archive for January, 2013

 

Check Your Office Telecom Bill

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Next time your telephone bill reaches you, put aside 10 minutes to sit down and see what you are paying for.

We frequently see companies who are paying for lines that they don’t use, or for a broadband service they forgot to cancel.  This is especially the case when someone has left the company and those that are left behind were not aware of the situation.

So grab your bill and a cuppa whilst you’re at it and let’s have a look through.

Firstly is the bill miss-addressed, it happens quite a lot, incorrect billing details can lead to confusion.

Secondly, identify all the services listed – do you know what they are? You will expect to see your lines, broadband and ddi’s here. The terminology can be difficult to understand, if there is something that isn’t clear, call the provider and clarify. This is the area where we often find that customers are paying for a service no longer required.

Next, check out the call rates, on some bills it isn’t easy to work out the cost per minute. Again you might need to call the provider to confirm your tariff.  It is worth knowing if your tariff is suitable for your particular call activity. For example if 80% of your calls are to mobile users, are you receiving the best rate available.

Finally, are you in a contract? This is an important factor and unfortunately this is not likely to be shown on your bill but something you should be very aware of.  Calling your provider and ask them if you are in a contract, when it ends and how to terminate it.

Good luck!

Don't get locked in!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

We recently met with a company who have a Siemens phone system, just like the ones we install and maintain. I asked how much they paid for maintenance, they weren’t sure but it prompted them to look into it. It turned out that the person who organised the install of the system and its ongoing maintenance no longer worked at the company. I knew for a system of their size (they had approx 15 phones) we would charge in the region of £500 per annum, obviously subject to a survey.

A few days later I received an email with some shocking figures. Their maintenance costs were more than doubled compared to ours but here is the worrying part; they were locked in to a very lengthy 7 year agreement!

At Telcare we do things differently. Our maintenance agreements are for 12 months, and cancellation, should you wish to leave us, is easy. All you have to do is notify us 60 days prior to the expiry date.

Maintenance costs are determined by the amount of equipment you have, for example a main control unit and handsets.

There are different levels of service too, for some a standard agreement providing cover for the 9 – 5 working day is quite sufficient, however, there are businesses that work around the clock and need 24 hr assistance.

We realise that not every customer has the same requirements so we always try to come up with a flexible plan to suit your business needs.

Here’s the best part, when you call the Telcare helpdesk you get to speak to a real person, and it’s very likely that you will get to speak to the same person the next time you call. We are proud to say that we have formed great relationships with our customers over the years by offering an honest, practical and friendly service.

Moral of this story, don’t get locked in, do a little research, the good guys are out there!

January Greetings

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

A very happy New Year to you all, 2013 is ready and waiting so let’s go……

2012 was Telcare’s 15th year in business so a significant time to make some changes.  Looking back now at our blogs and diary we can see just how much has changed.  The beginning of the year saw a major shift in focus, after receiving advice on identifying our ideal customers. This trained us to concentrate on value, not only how we provide it but how to also acknowledge the clients that really benefit from our service.  We also learnt why saying “NO” to a non ideal client is key to a successful relationship.  Justifying prices, proving value and believing in your business model enhances customer relationships in the long term.

We brought in new members of staff and added different expertise to our helpdesk. We also made preparations for a new billing service that got underway in December.  Continuity has always been important at Telcare so our commitment to spreading the Telcare word never faltered, we continued to attend networking events and B2B exhibitions throughout the year.  Our mission to support local students stepped up a gear, when we included mentoring to our list of volunteering efforts.

Our year ended with a very enjoyable trip to the stunning Ashdown Park Hotel, where the team were able to relax and let their hair down during an evening of dinner, dance and a few bottles, I mean glasses, of wine.

Looking back and realising our achievements of 2012 certainly helps to set the sails for the year ahead.  Hope 2012 was a great year for you and that you are ready for the 2013 adventure.