As an agent, you want to recommend a service provider to your customers that you’re confident will get the job done. When a service provider fails your customer, you look bad and your customer is frustrated. But what are the characteristics of a good service provider?

Traditionally, tech companies leave something to be desired when it comes to customer experience. With experts so focused on the technology, communicating with and supporting the customer is often an afterthought, especially once the solution has been implemented. We’ve outlined three qualities to look for when recommending solution providers so you can rest easy that your customer is in good hands.

Project-related communication. Being in the dark on a project can be frustrating. Make sure your customers will have a dedicated team of resources who are adept at communicating:

  • Key milestones
  • Regularly scheduled updates in a way that is most useful to your customer (biweekly spreadsheet, weekly call)
  • Issues
  • Changes
  • Answers to questions

Problem-solving and responsiveness is key. Taking a microscope to service delivery milestones, Nitel leverages its proprietary Provisioning Intelligence Dashboard (PID) to manage five times the standard number of subroutines performed between milestones to ensure precise, rigorous management of the service delivery process. In addition, your customer’s project manager is a dedicated resource committed to the success of your customer’s journey. This additional support results in a better performing network and a better understanding of the possibilities associated with the new environment. Throughout the implementation process, your customer will receive useful and frequent communication that is customized to fit their needs and requirements. Having everyone on the same page throughout every step of the process simplifies project management and ultimately ensures the success of the project.

Accessible and effective tech support. When your customer is experiencing an issue, they want to receive support as quickly as possible. Sitting on hold for minutes, or sometimes hours, only exacerbates their frustration and delays a possible solution. Furthermore, no one wants to route through a multi-step call menu in a time of crisis. Choosing a solution provider with quick, qualified, human support to serve as a lifeline ensures your customers receive an appropriate level of attention. When a customer calls our NOC, they know they will be on the phone with a human in thirty seconds or less. Also, using a comprehensive provider with insight into the network, voice and security, avoids finger pointing among multiple specialized providers.

As soon as the NOC team is aware of your customer’s issue, frequent communication is every bit as important to our technicians as getting their services back up and running. In the case of an outage, a technician will proactively contact your customer every sixty to ninety minutes to provide updates, whether or not the status has changed. As a result, your customer has peace of mind that their service issue is being worked on and their service will be performing at peak levels once again.

Dedicated account support. For some providers, account management means lobbing a courtesy call a month before the contract is due in a desperate attempt to secure a renewal.  As you recommend options for your customers, look for account nurturing that extends beyond that awkward renewal call.  True account management should be an ongoing relationship that serves as a resource to assist in managing their current environment as well as someone who can help plan for the future.

As your customer’s business grows or changes, account support should be there every step of the way to ensure services are right-sized to support the business. Continuous monitoring of your customer’s network and an open line of communication will ensure your customer’s ongoing satisfaction.

And when it comes time to renew your customer’s contract, not only will it not come as a surprise to your customer, the conversation is natural and most times everyone already knows how they plan to proceed, making renewals a breeze.

Designing, implementing and managing a high-performance network is complex. Many elements are common throughout the industry, but Nitel has gone a step further to re-examine every element of the customer experience to identify areas where we could improve communication, prevent issues before they occur and accelerate processes. This results in a better overall experience for our customers that helps make you, as an agent, look like a rock star.

Post by Nate James, Nitel’s Vice President of Account Management.