One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is the selection of a telecom carrier. The full suite of telecommunication services your company uses, from business phones to Internet connectivity, is facilitated and supported by a telecom carrier. If you choose the wrong telecom carrier, you’ll likely run into issues, such as poor quality and unreliability.
As you work through the decision-making process, there are many factors you need to keep in mind to ensure that you choose the best possible solution. Below you'll learn about five things you should focus on as you narrow down the list of possible telecom carriers.
#1: Future Capabilities
Perhaps the worst mistake you can make is selecting a telecom partner who can only meet your current needs. A quality carrier needs to be capable of meeting your current operational requirements, but also your business growth requirements over the next 1- 5 years.
Some of the factors that should be noted in the growth plan you discuss with your carrier are locations (new offices, remote sites, mobile workforce), number of employees, new vendor partnerships and system requirements.
#2: Experience Matters
There are a variety of telecom carriers waiting to offer you their services. A reliable, experienced telecom carrier offers you services to support telecom, data, voice and cloud-based applications that match the operational demands of your company. An experienced provider will have the ability to assess your current and future needs and determine the right solution for you now, and in the future.
Selecting a telecom carrier with a dedication to customer service indicates that you’ll likely have a reliable contact throughout the life of your contract. Whether you have questions about your bill or an issue with their service, someone will be there to help.
#3: Talk to You in Your Language
Unless your company operates within the telecom or IT industry, your knowledge and expertise about telecommunications is probably limited. The last thing you need is a carrier who speaks jargon you can’t understand, and tries to simply sell you products and services rather than listening to your needs and developing appropriate solutions.
Look for a carrier who is willing to devote time upfront to review your telecom needs before selling you their products and services. From there they can craft appropriate solutions that are unique to your business.
#4: Understand the Value
Telecommunications represents a significant, but essential, investment for any organization, whether you’re a small business or a worldwide corporation. A trusted carrier will be able to explain the value of your investment. The value lies not just in the proper services, but also in the support you'll need to overcome hurdles or make adjustments as your business changes.
#5: Research and Compare
Finding a reliable telecom carrier is a lot like selecting a contractor to complete a home improvement project. You wouldn't sit through one bid for services and then just accept the price, right? How do you know they are reputable? Do they have a good track record? What level of service do they provide before, during and after implementation?
Your company should ask all of these same questions to potential telecom carriers. Do your research and compare the offers of multiple telecom carriers before moving forward. Ask for references, compare the line item services offered and ask questions of the agents you meet with before just settling for the first or lowest bid.
Also, consider discussing with a carrier consultant (What does a telecom carrier consultant do?). These specialists are an added resource for guidance and recommendations, and they have your interests and needs in mind.