I was speaking with a new prospect recently and the first 10 minutes of the conversation truly struck me. They said something to the effect “…I know we need a new phone system, but aren’t the cloud ones all the same and have become a commodity so can you just get me the lowest price…” At first, I was like, of course, I can get you the lowest price by shaking the tree of 20 plus suppliers in my ecosystem to get an immediate quote. But that’s just not me.
My role, for all my clients, large/small, basic/complex, is to bring cloud technology that focuses on my customers’ needs, future-proofing the internal communications processes, provide a more modern user interface, and intuitive admin platform and providing a great overall buying experience.
Nowhere in that sentence did I mention bringing the lowest price to my client. Of course, I advocate with my suppliers to procure fair and sustainable pricing to meet my client’s budgets, but it should not be the end game or starting point.
My actual response went something like this: as an experienced advisor in the telecoms market, it is not about flogging suppliers for a lower price but in listening to my clients as they talk about their technical and competitive challenges, their near- and long-term revenue goals, integrating CRM platforms, file sharing and simply how technology can make communicating frictionless with their clients.
While I agree many suppliers may have a similar feature set, buying a new cloud-based phone system, (Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)) can be daunting and confusing, with hundreds of suppliers telling you their system is the shiniest and cheapest in the market, it’s no wonder so many clients are fatigued and end up talking price first and foremost.
UCaaS providers will generally meet your basic feature requirements, so we need to evaluate which “traits” will drive an overall better experience and achieve your business goals. We are here not to trade in an on-prem PBX feature set for a cloud-based one, but to modernise your processes and fundamentally change how you can improve customer and employee experience.
So as I listened to why they “needed a new phone system” it became clear that they never mentioned price again but went into great detail on how they were adopting more cloud-based services to free up capital through an OpEx model, free up technical resources to focus on revenue-generating projects, modernise their customer experience (CX) by adding digital channels for customer service, embrace a new work from home and BYOD strategy, and standardise on a unified collaboration platform. The low-price discussion turned into an industry discussion about business outcomes and what could be possible with the proper UCaaS supplier.
Why is a UCaaS Platform important?
The UCaaS platform is one of the most important pieces of technology/application within an organisation. It’s the primary method that organisations use to communicate with customers and employees. As such, it is imperative users have a reliable, intuitive, and complete collaborative tool. No one remembers the low price if the system is difficult to use or unreliable. I understand we all have budgets and need to respect cost considerations, but a complete UCaaS platform incorporates much more than the standard PBX/voice functionality, it includes Collaboration, CRM Integration, Customer Experience, maximum reliability and uptime, a modern user and admin experience, comprehensive supplier support, clear R&D path…I could go on.
As I left the meeting, I felt I understood the business challenges and goals of my client and knew I had the right UCaaS suppliers who could support this journey.
Founder – Red Rose Technologies