As carriers contend with lower margins and the pressures of recession, they have inevitably had to reduce costs of customer service and extend automated processes. This has induced more customers to look to resellers, who have a growing reputation for service excellence and the personal touch.
Ten years ago the market had a doubtful perception of resellers. Would they deliver as quickly? Were they simply arbitraging prices? And, did they lack long term viability? Would they look to be acquired after a few years? And, were they stable financially?
Much has changed since then with some leading industry professionals moving to the sector, often disappointed with carrier service levels and committed to turning the clock back to provide good old-fashioned personal service. These emerging resellers gain strength from being smaller, more nimble and flexible, and through having long-term wholesale contracts with many carriers and specialist suppliers, to present an up-to-date and comprehensive product range,
In today’s market it goes without saying that the reseller offers competitively priced service. Their proposition is essentially one of value: a combination of great service at a competitive price. If you are a small user whose only interest is in the lowest price, then you may find a lower cost carrier option, but be very careful that this does not lead you into higher post-purchase expenses.
Research of customers tells us that trouble-free continuous service is the primary aim of most buyers. An outage can be devastating to business and very costly. If the service is to go down, then a caring and responsive provider, who can resolve issues quickly and communicate clearly is needed. In this respect the reseller typically excels, and they offer one other unique advantage: the ability to connect through multiple carriers billed to the customer on a single invoice. This improved redundancy should obviously reduce service interruptions and outages.
Reseller MASS Communications takes their quest for reliability across their customer data circuits even further, through constant proactive monitoring of the critical components of both their own and customer networks. The customer is alerted at the first indication of trouble and the MASS team begins troubleshooting immediately.
For a few moments let’s turn back to some of the negative perceptions of resellers. First was the question of time to deliver. Larger companies tend to pass orders through multiple processes and checkpoints, while the reseller has a single point of contact to handle the requirement from end-to-end. Consequently the reseller is often the speedier choice.
We’ve already commented on price, but it should be added that most resellers see the future of the industry is in providing customers with well-considered business solutions, rather than transactional least cost component pricing.
The reseller sector is viable long-term both strategically and financially. The successful reseller business is built upon strengths in engineering, technology, organization and logistics, customer support, sales and marketing. The business can therefore transition rapidly as opportunities arise and falter. Financially, the reseller business is not capital intensive. Competent management, with a reliable billing system and appropriate financial controls, will run a deeply satisfying long- term business without need of an exit.
A reseller like MASS Communications is looking to be an extension of their customers’ business for the long term. CIO’s and IT management have replaced Telecom Managers in the running of company networks and the typical CIO does not have time to devote to the task, nor is he as familiar with telecom technology. As MASS CEO, Darren Mass comments: “We will dedicate specified experts to an account, who care as much about that business as their own, and provide above and beyond personalized service.” In this context there is a definite benefit to being smaller!