Why Customer Care is a Key Differentiator Among Managed Mobility Service Providers

Oct 25, 2022

We’ve all known businesses with outstanding customer service and businesses where the opposite is true: service is terrible or nonexistent. That’s bad enough when it happens in your personal life. For your company, it can be devastating. 

The trend of poor customer service is particularly prevalent for clients of managed mobility service providers, and it’s a good reason why any business seeking to partner with a provider needs to be extremely vigilant about assessing the quality of customer support available. 

Today, companies depend on high-performing mobile devices and high-speed connectivity to improve productivity. When they need help, they need it fast to prevent a small problem from becoming a crisis. Suppose a router goes down on a construction site, and no one can connect to the internet. A manager needs to onboard new employees, but something goes wrong with device activations or data transfers. 

In these cases, any managed mobility service provider worth their salt will work on getting clients back on track with the least amount of friction as possible. 

In this post, we’re exploring why customer service can be the key differentiator for any business looking to partner with a managed mobility service provider. Plus, we’ll outline common provider mishaps that lead to delays and frustration for their clients. 

Automation Should Drive Efficiency, Not Frustration 

A growing number of managed mobility service providers are automating their customer service processes in an attempt to cut costs, improve workflows, and boost efficiency. APIs are used for streamlining orders, inventory management, and integrating with existing CRMs as well as other systems. While automated bots take on customer concerns and issues with varying degrees of success. 

When customers use a chat function or dial a customer support line, they often get help from a bot, and the problem with these systems is that the artificial intelligence behind them hasn’t yet advanced to the point where conversations are always smooth and seamless. Often, the bot doesn’t understand the customer’s questions or provides canned answers that don’t fit. That means customers must spend more time navigating for help or, eventually, waiting in queue for a live agent. Overall, bot support can be more time-consuming, frustrating, and less effective than speaking with a live agent from the beginning. 

Another scenario is an automated ticketing system. Customers submit a form, and an agent reviews it. With the right practices in place, this system is incredibly effective: The automated form lets customers submit requests quickly, and customer service specialists are equally quick to respond as they are required to do so in a dedicated window. But issues can arise when companies don’t have a solid follow-up system in place. For the user in need of help, it can be nerve-wracking to have no idea when troubleshooting will begin. 

Troubleshooting: Is the Right Support Available When You Need It? 

The best way to determine whether a managed mobility service provider will provide adequate support is to have a clear picture of your needs and to ask for specifics. 

For some organizations, 24/7 support is essential. But does that mean problem resolution is available 24/7, or simply that someone will answer the phone at all hours? For other organizations, alignment with the working hours of internal helpdesks or carrier support is more important. It’s also important to ask upfront if the support offered consists of dedicated in-house specialists or an outsourced entity — as the difference between these two service models can deeply impact the type of support you receive. 

Dig into the details of service-level agreements (SLAs), too. These should spell out exactly what you can expect from a managed mobility service provider in terms of quality of service, availability of support, and who is responsible for what. If the SLA doesn’t state penalties or repercussions if the provider doesn’t meet the terms of the SLA, that could be a red flag. You want to be sure you have some recourse if the provider fails to hold up their end of the bargain.

When businesses don’t have a managed mobility service provider, they must deal with their carrier directly when problems arise. In our experience, companies that rely on carriers as their first line of defense often encounter several hiccups. These can range from being on hold for a long time to having to explain a technical issue to a rep who is inexperienced or unfamiliar with your account. Essentially, the quality of the troubleshooting can depend heavily on which rep happens to answer the call. And if the problem isn’t resolved the first time, customers may have to repeat the cycle all over again.

All in all, the process can be exhausting, challenging, and potentially costlier than it should be.

Depth of Dedicated Mobile Expertise

It sounds obvious, but one of the most important factors in customer service is a partner who deeply understands every aspect of mobile devices: from the hardware to the applications, from data plans to mobile device management software. When managed mobility service providers lack that expertise, they tend to be less proficient in solving customers’ problems. As a result, they may suggest new devices or expanded data plans as a solution, simply because they don’t know what else to recommend. That can lead customers to spend money unnecessarily, without ever resolving the root cause of their issue. 

This can become costly, fast, for companies with large mobile device fleets. A better approach is to ensure the managed mobility service provider has a knowledgeable team on staff. Then, ask questions about how service fits into their overall support. Are troubleshooting calls included, or do they cost extra? How will support be coordinated with an internal helpdesk? Does the provider handle all communications with the carrier, or will your organization be a go-between? 

The time to ask these questions is before you’re in the middle of a crisis with your mobile phones. Confidence in your partner is invaluable. You want to be able to trust their recommendations because you know they understand mobile devices, they get your business, and they have no other goal than to get you back on track.

Long-Term Relationships Personalize the Customer Experience

Relationship-building is another factor to consider. After all, you can’t develop a relationship with a bot, and it’s almost as hard to establish a connection with a human who is hard to reach and slow to respond. The ideal situation is a managed mobility service partner that you trust, that can become an extension of your internal team, and that supports your employees just like an internal helpdesk would.

One way to achieve that is to look for a provider that offers clarity about whom to call and consistency in team members. One of the biggest benefits a provider can offer is a team that knows and understands your business, because they have worked with that business over time. For instance, when you reach out for help, will you have to speak to someone new each time, or will you have a consistent, dedicated support person? Continuity may not sound like a major differentiator, but it can make all the difference to have a partner who already knows and understands the nuances of your business. 

Of all the criteria that a business may consider when choosing a managed mobility service provider, customer service should absolutely be a priority. Ultimately, you’re looking for a partner that handles the problems effectively and provides trustworthy guidance, so you can focus on running your business.

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