Customers want the vision that cloud providers have sold, the cost benefits that they get from consumer technology innovation, but the reliability they have come to expect from you. That is why we have launched our Hosted Communications Services (HCS) portfolio, spanning Wholesale SIP Trunking, Hosted Centrex and Inbound Services. It gives your customers a smooth transition to IP-based unified communications (UC), while offering you a chance to protect and enhance revenues.
Factors you need to consider
1. The customer will not wait for you to be ready
Many small and medium-sized businesses have little expertise in implementing IP-based UC. This doesn’t mean they won’t try, because they’re constantly being offered alternatives from cloud providers. If you ask whether these services are being used with an open mind, you can show them that you can give them the cost benefit and flexibility – but with superior control and quality.
2. Be a proactive cost-cutter
Each month some of your customers are reaching the end of an existing contract. This is when it’s natural for them to think, ‘can I do better?’. They can. But you can offer the opportunity first – we specifically created HCS as an opportunity to grow with their requirements.
3. Invest in IP expertise
Many customers are looking to use cloud to cut costs. But some will also want high-value services. Trying to integrate services from many wholesale suppliers can be difficult. It’s the main reason why the four elements of HCS are designed to provide future-proofing for an evolving customer relationship.
4. The revenue base is changing, so must the sales model
The entire industry is moving from a model in which you are paid for infrastructure and fixed maintenance contracts to a use-based model. Loyalty in this world is built on service, flexibility and responsiveness. The contract is the beginning of the sales process, not the end, and both your sales incentives and your choice of supplier must reflect that.
5. Build this business together
Customers will need hand-holding as they experiment with unified communications and contact centre functionality and may be reluctant to place something as fundamental as their communications in the cloud. There are many ways to provide responsive service, but this is what they will need and expect if they are to feel confident in an unfamiliar world. Experience shows that the successful service providers will be those who invest in the relationship, building these services for customers gradually.
Keep doing what you’re doing
The new world of IP-based services may seem stressful, but the business relationship stays the same – providing services that are hassle-free, easy to understand and with predictable prices. This has been the foundation of your success and why you won the confidence of your customers in the first place. The same will be true tomorrow, but with exciting potential for the future.
Visit our Hosted Communications Services portfolio.
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