Neil Gething, Client Services Director at Isis Telecommunications, the UK’s largest independent mobile service providers to businesses, outlines some top tips for making sure you’re always getting the best possible service Choosing the best company to provide your business with the mobile services is an important decision, and should be viewed as a partnership. Mobile communications is a fast-paced industry, and one where you need to be on top of all the latest developments to make sure you continue to get the best deal for you and your staff. Being out of touch for a day or sometimes even an hour can have a huge impact, and ensuring your company has access to the best available technology can deliver a real competitive advantage. But of course squaring the need for service excellence with today’s budgetary constraints is an unenviable feat of balance. As a growing business, how can you make sure you continue to get the best deal from your provider? Be sure they mean business – ensure your account is being handled by dedicated business customer services staff, not just those responsible for consumer accounts. Businesses have different needs, concerns and issues, and it is imperative your service provider understands what these are. Remember you are important – don’t put up with being fobbed off by junior staff or answering machines once they’ve got your business – the personal touch they used to win your account must continue through day-to-day account management, service and technical support Always get the best price – make sure your provider remains competitive and that they are carrying out regular ‘value check’ analysis on your tariff. Pricing changes rapidly in the mobile industry, and simple inertia could cost your business hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds a year Demand bills that work for you – all service providers should be able to offer you detailed billing so you can identify who the high spenders are and keep a detailed track on where and when calls are being made to detect and deflect any potential problems Get exactly what you pay for – with each bill, ensure you count the number of mobile phones you are paying for against the number you actually have, as some unscrupulous service providers have been known to hide additional charges by claiming phantom or outdated users Make the rules yourself – if you feel your business is overspending on its mobile phones because of the way your employees are using them, draw up a company-wide policy that includes expected behaviour and penalties. Your service provider should be able to help you with this Stay one step ahead – be sure to use your mobile service provider as a consultant; encourage them to provide you with updates on new products and services which may be relevant to your business

Look to the future – your provider’s advice should extend beyond just voice into the wider wireless communications space. Look to them for guidance on new and future technologies, such as email and data, which allow your workforce to be even more mobile. Make sure your provider can also actually deliver all available data applications, e.g. BlackBerry

The most important point is: don’t ever stop being demanding of your current communications supplier!