Adventures in Telecom's Brave New World

Planet Telecom - It's just better.

Posts tagged planet telecom

16 notes

Old Tech - New Techniques for Hackers

An article came through my inbox today about a lawyer’s office in the United States that had over $20,000.00 in charges from their phone systems being hacked and pirated for voice traffic. 

While I’ve heard of this before (even locally), this article really stuck, and brought up a great point that few organizations really consider (mainly because a lot of them don’t know that this is possible!)

Older, legacy hardware isn’t just hard to find replacements for, or expensive to fix when it inevitably breaks, it’s potentially a security risk.  

And in today’s day and age, this is pretty understandable. We have moved light years forward in all technology in the last 10 years - for everything from computers, network infrastructure, mobile devices and cloud based technology. Is it really any wonder that older, outdated legacy hardware is an easy target for tech savvy criminals?  

Moving to a hosted solution can not only mitigate these potential security risks by taking your communications off site and placing it in a secure, managed area, it also moves the liability away from your infrastructure, having the provider become responsible to maintain security on the network - by people who are experts in network design and maintenance. 

As well, the feature set, scalability and maneuverability of a modern platform can improve the end user experience dramatically, and allow for an organization to best leverage their human assets in a more modern way.

Here’s a link to the article if you’d like to read it.

Filed under voip pbx legacy hardware phone systems planet telecom edmonton business communications

3 notes

Brand Evangelism

It’s one of the oldest cliches in business - do right by a client and they’ll tell three people, do wrong by them, and they’ll tell 10 (or something like that)….

The question is -  how do you flip those disproportionate numbers around, and have a happy client tell as many people as they can about what a fantastic job you’re doing and how much they’re enjoying your product/service?

The answer is deceptively simple: Deliver. Consistently.

Don’t promise the moon and deliver blue cheese - make it happen, or, fall on your sword and make it right.

Doing what you say you’re going to do (ie; deliver consistently) is the easiest and best way to create “Brand Evangelists” who will take their positive experience with your company out to their contacts, their co-workers and colleagues, essentially, their world.

This isn’t as simple as just referrals - this is the next level - where your product/service becomes a discussed topic - and you’re presented as a definitive answer to the question of competition  - effectively taking any other players completely out of the equation….

A Brand Evangelist turns “oh - try this company” into “you HAVE to call so and so -they’re who I use, and they’re the BEST!!”  

Everyone wants to have “someone” that they know and trust in a specific area of expertise - why not make it you and your company?  

In telecom, you will find most people will rate their vendor as “satisfactory” at the best of times - so you can imagine the uphill battle that we have in creating Brand Evangelists…. However, we’ve succeeded on more that a few occasions, and we’re continuing to grow - not because of a lofty marketing budget (don’t we all wish for one of those…..) but because of our clients - who are continuing to promote our brand for us - not because there’s necessarily anything in it for them - but because we’ve done a great job - and delivered on what we said we would, consistently. 

We all want our clients to become our Brand Evangelists - for the simple reason that if you do what you are supposed to do as a vendor, deliver consistently then you gain an organic marketing team - a pack of roaming Brand Evangelists, spreading the good word for your brand - completely cost free.

In the age of communication that we live in - where the term word of takes on a whole new meaning - a few enthusiastic words about your company will go far further than you can imagine.

If a small telecommunications company can do that - why can’t you?  

Filed under planet telecom voip edmonton business phone brand

13 notes

Self Assigned Ownership (Go on - act like an owner…)

Recently, I was asked a very interesting question by a prospective client.

During our conversation (in which I was reviewing some of his other needs - and making suggestions that could help him), the client asked me “are you an owner?”

I told him no, and asked him why he asked. 

His response was that it seemed like I really cared about the business, and wanted to ensure that he had a top notch customer service experience - which is something that is usually only seen with owners. 

This brings up an interesting question that I haven’t been able to shake since our conversation - why wouldn’t you act like an owner? After all, regardless of what your role is, isn’t it your livelihood? Considering the fact that you’re being paid to do what you do, why wouldn’t you take ownership, and be an ambassador for your organization? 

In an era where we have limited the amount of personal interaction with each other, we should strive to make each opportunity to really represent the best qualities of our brand (be it a company, your personal brand or otherwise), make it count, and “act like owners” even if it’s self assigned ownership.

Needless to say, we now have this prospect as a client.

What won him (and his business) over was not the flashy features that our product has (and there are a few…), or even the price - it was how we presented ourselves, addressed his questions, tried to help and solve issues to offer a better solution, and a peerless customer service experience.

Basically, it was how we came across as owners, (even though we’re not).

Filed under ownership customer service voice over ip planet telecom

5 notes

Why not be creative?

Leveraging telephony in new and interesting ways is always interesting, and that’s why Voice over IP is such a great space to be in. 

Having complete control over the way that a switch handles a call, (and why) based on pre-defined needs can be an extremely interesting way to showcase your company, but there is so much more that can be done in today’s age of technological advancements. 

In the age of the Web, and the ever present “On-Line Chat” bubble, integrating voice (and maybe an actual human being from time to time) into initiatives is something that is starting to become “de-rigeur” once again for marketers, sales focused companies, and organizations that get that customer service should be more than a redirect to an FAQ page. 

Imagine that - LIVE PEOPLE answering phones to talk to potential clientele, PEOPLE talking to people, rather than machines with obvious hearing problems frustrating callers into hanging up! 

Which begs the question - Why not be creative? 

In our age there’s so much that can be done with telephony, and more importantly, the canvas on which we can be creative with HOW we communicate is absolutely gigantic!

Tie telephony into your marketing to increase sales, offer local numbers in multiple markets to reach people that you hadn’t touched before - tie extended and creative voice services into your customer service initiatives to improve client satisfaction, and since we’re getting crazy here - why not look at your existing services and think about how you could do things better there too?  

We live in an age that a phone number can be called as easily as your blog can be accessed - simply by scanning a barcode.

A time where voicemail is no longer tied to a physical phone on a desk somewhere - it is living in the cloud, and can be delivered to an email account anywhere, which is much faster than calling in to “check your messages”

And your phones, oh your phones….They are really only dependant on power and an internet connection.

There are some fantastic ways to go about handling the way that you talk to people - especially if you want to think outside of the box….. 

So go ahead, give us a call - we’ll help you get creative, and start talking to people again.

We’re pretty sure that you’ll soon remember how good it can be.  

Planet Telecom - It’s just BETTER

Filed under voip planet telecom voice phones customer service marketing sales voice over IP microsoft TAG