Anytime we audit a telecom account, we don’t just look at what services our customers currently have. We also take an in-depth look into their current and previous service contracts. To clarify, when we say telecom, we are referring to telecommunication services such as local phone, long distance phone, as well as internet services. During our audits, we often find business customers have kept their services the same, time and time again.
Telecom contracts typically run on 12, 24, or 36 month terms, as a common industry standard. And during our initial audits, we will see services that were installed 10 or 12 years ago. Meaning, anytime their contract was approaching the end of it’s term, the contract was renewed again exactly as-is. Our questions are typically one, if not a combination, of the following:
- Is the customer happy with their services and pricing?
- Do they know that other terms are available?
- Was the renewal intentional, or was their an auto-renew clause in their original contract?
- Is the customer hesitant about changing their services?
- Do they have anyone internally who understands what their business’ telecom needs are?
- Did the carrier sales representative present all of their available options?
- Or, did the sales representative continue to renew an older (and more expensive) contract rate, to continue to turn a profit?
The telecommunications industry is an ever changing field. Think about the history of the telephone – we’ve gone from switchboard operators, to copper-based lines, to digital cloud-based phone numbers. There are constantly new services being offered in terms of voice and internet options. And as the phone companies and internet service providers begin providing these new services, they often change their pricing tables. We often find that newer services come with more savings and promos, while older services, will experience rate increases as a means to try to convince telecom customers to upgrade. Telecom services and pricing change regularly – alternative services and pricing are always worth looking into anytime a contract is approaching the end of its term.
Similar to these regular telecom changes, businesses also don’t stay the same in terms of their telecom needs. Think about it, many offices have gone from having a just personal extension at their desk, to having a company provided beeper or pager, to now having a cell phone and/or tablet. Just as the industry changes, so too do the phone and internet needs of an business. And while they may feel content with what they have, it does not mean their services still suit their needs or their budget. After all, telecom should be looked at as an important business tool, and not just a business expense. Phones and internet help keep businesses connected to their employees, their customers, and to the world.
If your business can’t afford to be without phone or internet services, for any length of time, then you can’t afford to not renegotiate your telecom contracts and terms.