Mystery Caller – October 2013

Mystery-Caller---Detective

This month our mystery caller is unsure which platform he should be going for to kit out his employees. He has heard a lot about the iOS and Android platforms but he wants to get what is right for his business in terms of security and functionality…obviously if it doesn’t cost the earth this would be a major plus point. The added element to this enquiry is which tablets he should get to go along side the smartphones. Do they need to be on the same platform or is everything so inter compatible that it simply doesn’t matter? Does he need extra data for the tablets and how does the new role out of 4G affect his choices? 

OneCom

I wanted to call OneCom as they have been making the headlines recently, they are a new company which has been formed of Premier Telecom and Business Phones Direct. I rang Premier Telecom a few months ago and it didn’t really go well for them. Having been assured it was a momentary blip I rang OneCom with my fingers crossed that they can come out of this one with their heads held high. I got straight through to their operator who swiftly identified what I wanted and handed me straight to a member of the sales team called Becca. She was very polite and had fairly good knowledge around each platform I was asking about. She asked me a few questions regarding the intended usage for data and voice calls so she could get a better idea of what to offer. When it came to compatibility between platforms I was told there isn’t really an issue with any of the platforms because they all sync between devices just fine. Becca told me she uses and Android phone but has a Mac at home and there isn’t a problem. If I was getting data for use with the phones I also would need to get separate data packages for the tablets either. In terms of future proofing it wasn’t really an issue because all devices are upgraded after 24 months although for very high users it could take as little as 13 months before an upgrade deal was allowed. Becca took me briefly thorough what we could do cost wise but she really wanted to put a few options together for me to look at. She took my email address and said she would be in touch with some options for us.

Highlights: 

Polite, helpful with decent knowledge of the options

Lowlights: 

No mention of 4G Vodafone promotion, more depth into each platform would have been better.

Scores

Helpfulness – 4/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 3/5

Understanding – 3/5

Sales Technique – 3/5

Clarity – 3/5

Total – 20/30 

Middle of the road. A definite improvement from the last call but I felt we didn’t really get beneath the surface enough and Becca was keen to immediately throw some options at me without going into detail over the phone. I was very disappointed that Becca didn’t mention anything about Vodafone’s new 4G launch and the promotion they are currently running.

 

Evolve Telecom

I got through an Amanda at first who took a few details from me for a call back from the sales team. I was happy to receive a call back within half an hour from Mark who listened to my requirements and said “you have come to the right place!” Mark told me that Evolve are Vodafone’s second biggest platinum partner, you will find the biggest partner also in this feature, and asked a few questions about my business and what we do. Mark immediately mentioned 4G and asked if I was thinking about using this service or not. I wanted to know more so he took me through Vodafone’s upgrade plans in terms of coverage and said they are looking at upgrading roughly 30 sites a day and it wouldn’t be long before 4G hit my area. He did say it’s not really worth going for unless we are definitely going to use it but there was a fantastic promotion on right now if we decided to go ahead which would give us an extra 4gb per user for free on a particular tariff. The other great thing was that Vodafone would provide me with an extra sim that I could put into any tablets which could share the data bundle. This would be great and I then wouldn’t have to worry about tethering from a smartphone or finding a hotspot. Mark had great knowledge about every platform and said it didn’t really matter which I went for because they can all sync these days. He was actually a Windows Phone man because at work they used Office 365 and Lync which worked really well on his Lumia handset. He also had an iPad which he loved for delivering presentations but said for business generally a cheaper Samsung or equivalent would probably do the job just as well. On handsets his advice was simple, user preference, but if you go down the Apple route it would end up costing quite a lot for what you could comparatively get. On the security side of things Mark said Blackberry was always going to be best if that was a priority but Apple and Android weren’t that far behind.

Highlights:

Great knowledge, Understood the request perfectly, some great suggestions.

Lowlights:

He could have pushed me more for a meeting or follow up.

Scores

Helpfulness – 4/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 5/5

Understanding – 4/5

Sales Technique – 3/5  467890p-[]

Clarity – 4/5

Total – 24/30

This was a great call. Mark understood everything I asked him and although he was a Windows user he didn’t favour one platform over another. He had great knowledge of how Vodafone would help me if I went with Evolve but he could have been a bit more pushy with getting a meeting in the diary.

 

Netcom Solutions

I called direct and was put through to Charlie who took on board everything I said and then highlighted there wasn’t a lot of difference between the platforms these days for business users and if security was an issue iOS was pretty much as secure as the Blackberry platform. Devices with either can be remotely wiped if a handset goes walkies so it didn’t really matter. Charlie asked me a few questions about the business and what we needed the devices for but didn’t go into a lot of depth. He was more interested to know why we thought we needed tablets and smartphones and said we would need to work out if we needed separate data SIMs for the tablets or if we could use the data bundles tethered from the phones. In terms of cost he said Apple was the most expensive but probably the most popular in his experience. With the new releases in the Apple range the cost of some of the slightly older handsets were going down which would be more than adequate for our needs. Cost was an issue so he said he would put together a range of options that would give us the best devices for free with the contract. Normally he recommends bundled minutes and texts for light users but it sounded like at least half the team was going to be a medium to heavy user so unlimited packages would probably be the best way to go. This would only give us 1Gb of data per user but we could add extra if we find we are getting through it. They deal mainly with O2 and Charlie said that for business users O2 was the best of the networks they work with as EE was more set up for regular consumers. He emailed over a few options that he said would hopefully keep me happy on cost but the employees happy with the devices they could get.

Highlights: 

Good grasp of what was needed and the importance of price.

Lowlights: 

Knowledge of alternative platforms could have been better. Too Apple focused.

Scores

Helpfulness – 4/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 3/5

Understanding – 3/5

Sales Technique – 3/5

Clarity – 3/5

Total 20/30 

Average. Although Charlie was very polite and helpful he didn’t really go into each of the platforms in any detail. Clearly a fan of iOS he stuck mostly with that as he 1) likes it and 2) sells the most of it. Still a relatively good call with some solid advice about where to go. If I went with his recommendations I would still get something that worked pretty well…but would it be the best?

 

Round up

An interesting topic this week which I felt was important to explore. Evolve stood out on top by a clear margin as Mark had the best overall knowledge about all the platforms available. His advice was excellent and he didn’t go down the easiest route which would have been to say…they are all as good as each other. Although all the platforms out there today do provide the basic functionality a business would need there are subtle differences between them which depending on the customer could benefit one person over another. It was good to see OneCom put in a decent performance although as Evolve is one of their biggest competitors they may have a bit of work to do on hooking in those sales. Sprint clearly get the wooden spoon this month as I didn’t even get a call back, maybe they have bigger fish to fry!

 

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