Mystery Caller – June 2013

Mystery-Caller---Detective

With the advent of BYOD there are more devices entering the workplace than ever before. Some people treat their devices as expensive toys but for others they have become an essential tool in their work life. This trend is putting an emphasis on wifi networks within offices as people are increasingly using free VoIP services like Skype and Viber as well as the usual array of downloading and web surfing. This month our mysterious caller is trying to get to the bottom of the poor wifi signal in his office building. With a FTTC fixed line service there should be no problems when it comes to the wifi. Employees are trying to use smartphones and tablets in the office and aren’t able to do so effectively. Our mysterious caller will asking what he can do to boost his signal, does he need more hardware, is there an easy fix and will it be cost effective? 

Tancroft Communications:

I got through to an operator that immediately knew who I should be speaking to and transferred me. There was a bit of an issue with the phone system at the time but it was sorted fairly swiftly and I was soon speaking to someone in sales. Siv was very polite and helpful. Unfortunately his company didn’t normally deal with this type of issue and he advised me I should look to ring an IT company rather than a telecoms organisation. That could have been the end of the conversation but Siv proceeded to ask me a few questions about the size of my organisation and told me I could be experiencing issues due to the fabric of the building or even the type of windows we had. Although Siv proclaimed he was not an expert his advice was quite solid. He said it may just be a router issue and even recommend a router that his own company were currently using. Through using a dedicated wifi router and using range extenders this should be enough to boost the wifi signal for all the devices in the building. I left the conversation with a name and a number of an IT managed services company that he recommended.

Highlights: 

Polite and helpful.

Lowlights: 

Didn’t offer any alternative to the Wifi options. Couldn’t help me directly.

Scores

Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 4/5 Knowledge – 2/5 Understanding – 2/5 Sales Technique – 3/5 Clarity –3/5

Total 18/30 

Unfortunately Siv couldn’t help me out directly but he was useful in providing me with a suitable contact going forwards should I need to. He recommended a brand of router and range extenders so I if wanted to I could just grab what I needed from ebay. Siv was very friendly and polite and was able to offer some solid advice. I was a little disappointed he didn’t try and sell me some mobile data services but that was outside of the brief I gave him. All in all a good call.

 

Redsquid Communications

After enjoying their on hold music I got through to a Michelle who arranged a call back. She wasn’t sure if it would be on the same day or the next so I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call within half an hour! Rupert called me back and almost immediately starting talking about mobile broadband and data. He said it may be best to go down a mobile data route because then employees could have good use of their devices outside of the office too. I wasn’t convinced so I steered him back on track. Rupert then went on to talk about what I could do with the current broadband connection coming in, he mentioned that it may be a good idea to get a separate line in just for the devices if people are using high amounts of bandwidth. Rupert estimated that for between £30 – 40 a month this would be a good cheap-ish option. He went on to say it would be a good idea if he came in to see the office and have a chat in person relatively soon. Although I shook him off the SIM idea earlier he came back to it and said a lot of the sims now come with access to the operators wifi network when they are out of the office so it may not be a bad option.

Highlights:

Great knowledge and explored various options with me.

Lowlights:

A bit pushy but I suspect he gets results.

Scores Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 3/5 Knowledge – 4/5

Understanding – 4/5 Sales Technique – 4/5 Clarity –3/5

Total – 22/30

Getting better. Rupert was helpful and polite although he did go “off-piste” a little when talking to me. I think in all this was a good call as he presented me with a few viable options and understood that my requirements may include connectivity for device holders when out of the office too. He also pushed me for a meeting to go into further detail and have a look at the office.

 

Calteq

I originally called IGC and had to request a call back. I got a call from a partner Andrew at Pure Business and was immediately asked some questions about what type of router I had and what I wanted to achieve. Andrew suggested a simple solution based around using wifi access points and a controller which would be easy to install. There was no mucking around here and I was given approximate costs straight off the bat with the caveat that they would need to do a site survey before accurate costs could be given. He had good knowledge and was the only reseller to mention the site survey which I would surely be needing to make sure my network is set up properly. He also stated that depending on the office set up it might only take half a day to set the whole thing up and test it. Andrew stuck to the brief and basically offered me exactly what I asked for and could meet up at a few days notice. Simple and to the point.

Highlights: 

Good Knowledge and insisted on a site survey.

Lowlights: 

Lack of follow up via email. No mention of mobile data.

Scores Helpfulness – 4/5 Manner – 3/5 Knowledge – 4/5

Understanding – 4/5 Sales Technique – 4/5 Clarity – 4/5

Total – 23/30 

Much better. Andrew knew what he was talking about and was the first one to offer to come and do a site survey! He was quite intent on the sell and after initially asking me “how does £1500 – 2000 sound?” he actually said depending on the survey it could be as little as £500 to sort the office out. Although I wasn’t committing to prices the delivery of this method would apparently yield me 350 mbps via wifi and give me all the bandwidth I would need. I couldn’t ask for much more out of this conversation.

 

Round up

Having poor wireless is a common problem in the SME sector and as people seem to be embracing this mobile technology in the office it is an important service to get right. The winner has to go to Pure Business this month as he was the only person to actually mention doing a site survey before getting to the hardware needed. I expected all of our salesmen to be asking me about my building and at least mention a survey. Redsquid Communications were a close second and I was impressed with the two different options offered here. Tancroft Communications couldn’t deal with issue I was trying to solve and it did worry me that Siv didn’t seem to think a telecoms company would be able to help and I should go to the dark said…a’hem I mean IT side to find out more. Aren’t these the type of services both sides of the fence should be offering?

 

 

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