Monthly Archives: October 2015

Oct 29

Competition and Markets Authority clear EE and BT deal

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have provisionally cleared the £12.5bn deal between BT and EE which was announced in February.

It will see the BT group takeover the UK’s largest mobile phone operator EE. The swoop was cleared by the competition watchdog on the grounds that the deal was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK,” they said.

The deal will create a communications giant, covering fixed-line phone, broadband, mobile and TV and will treble BT’s retail customers. The CMA proposed no changes in the terms of the deal, as with little similarity between BT and EE’s core markets it is unlikely to damage the interest of consumers.

The CMA said the two firms operated in different telco areas “with BT strong in supplying fixed communications services (voice, broadband and pay TV), EE strong in supplying mobile communications services, and limited overlap between them in both categories of service.”

John Wotton, chair of the CMA inquiry said: “Having considered all the evidence, the group does not provisionally believe that, in a dynamic and evolving sector, it is more likely than not that BT/EE will be able to use its position to damage competition or the interests of consumers.

EE currently has around 25m subscribers and is joint owned by former state telecom companies, Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Orange in France. Both French and German governments retain stakes in the business and will gain stakes in BT under the proposed deal.

BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson welcomed the arrangement: “The combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and ensuring consumers and businesses can benefit from further innovation in a highly competitive market.”

BT is dominant in the UK’s broadband business, owning the infrastructure of how broadband is delivered throughout the UK – even via Sky.

Communications watchdog Ofcom have launched a separate investigation in a wider review of the competition in digital communications, specifically into the breakup of internet broadband and the position of BT-owned Openreach in the market.

Competitors such as Vodafone have spoken of their disappointment of the CMA decision and call for Ofcom to force BT to sell off Openreach; improving competition and the service they provide.

The CMA said in a statement: “We are aware of concerns voiced recently about Openreach and wider concerns are currently being considered by Ofcom in their review of the whole telecommunications market.”

The publication of the enquiry’s final report, however, has been pushed back until January 18th in order to consider all responses.

BT also continue to have increasing conflict with leading pay-TV providers, Sky, as they introduce more pay-TV services and make substantial investments in sports rights. Furthermore, Sky plan to offer mobile contracts through a deal with the second largest mobile operator O2, which will continue to drive competition in the market.

Oct 20

Customer service improvements with eCall

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

Encore520_call_center_woman_closeup_22AUG14

There’s a concoction of universal skills consumers expect when communicating with a company. Many of them should be blindingly obvious and the core of the service you provide, such as: patience, attentiveness, clear communication skills, compassion and empathy or deep knowledge of products.

To improve interaction with customers who demand speed and convenience, technology is crucial. Ensuring members of staff harness the skill to use that technology is even better.

Many businesses rarely communicate with customers face-to-face as their product simply doesn’t require it, so telephone and digital media are not only the first point of call but quite often the only one. With that then comes important approaches when giving that first impression, satisfying customers and building enough trust to bring them back.

Supplying customers with personalised, straightforward and pertinent information and always asking first if they can be put on-hold are some things you need to hold up on your end of the bargain.

Adhering to the unspoken rules such as answering incoming calls before the third ring or responding to messages within one business day is still, of course, critical. Provide a barrier-less customer experience; for the prospectives deciding whether to do business or not, or for the existing (sometimes irritated) who are judging your competence as a business.

As consumers we’ve all undoubtedly experienced the aggravation of being passed around to multiple members of the team (72% of people in this survey blame their frustrations on this), constantly being transferred and sometimes not getting a solution at all (26% of people in this survey were transferred without solution). Calls should be directed to the right person, and quickly-provided resolutions is how good service is defined (69% of people in this survey think so, too).

Reduce the work a customer has to do to get their problem solved without running the risk of alienating them. Our eCall packages only enhance that superior customer service and allow your business to flourish. Increase your sales, time-management, customer loyalty and enable positive word-of-mouth advertising.

The simplicity and inconvenience of the cloud-based portal gives features such as: missed call alerts, voice to email, fax to email, on-hold advertising/music, midcall transfers, IVR menus/advanced menus and pre-connection messages.

You needn’t go a literal extra mile like these examples of fast-food workers redefining customer care. And you needn’t get the reputation industries like banks have for bad customer service (with only 25% of consumers happy, according to research).

In another report, of over 18,000 customers in the UK and eight other countries polled, 90% of people said good service made them feel positive about an organisation, and 81% claimed they “just wanted questions answered” when they had a complaint or query.

Principal analyst in customer engagement at Ovum, Jeremy Cox, said: “This study is a wake-up call for brands looking to revamp their customer service to cater to today’s more demanding and better informed customers.

“While brands have the ability to precision-target highly personalised communications for every single customer, the study shows what people around the world actually value most are the basics – questions answered with minimal effort on their part.”

Don’t let the statistics speak for your company and speak to a member of our team at eCall today.

Oct 13

Increasing importance in BYOD for businesses and how eCall can help

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

Employees Only

With the constant changes in technology, business employees are increasingly wanting to use their own devices at work.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) means IT departments needn’t struggle in keeping up with those rapid technology changes, whether the device is a phone, tablet or PC. Businesses are evolving and encouraging those employees to access things such as corporate email, text documents and real-time statistics.

‘IT consumerisation’ gives the workplace freedom to choose how they do so with technology they’re familiar with, whether on iPhone 6, Nokia Lumia or iPad Pro. This initiative brings several advantages to both big and small businesses, but primarily it increases productivity while reducing costs. What’s not to love?

All of eCall’s cloud-based portal packages (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) come with an app for either Apple or Android that enables access to data wherever, and for whomever you feel like accessing it. The app allows you to edit features such as pre-connection greetings, as well as routes to landlines and mobiles, and many others depending on the package you buy.

Without the worries of IT security being threatened, the app is secure, straightforward and acts as IT self-sufficiency for your company no matter the size. Employees who already own smartphones and tablets can innovatively have greater communication control 24/7; on the road, in the office or working from home.

As Mark Coates, EMEA VP at Good Technology, points out: “[BYOD] is about being innovative and helping your employees to work better.

“Employees want to use the devices that they are comfortable with in the workplace. They want to have the same experience at work that they have at home. People are used to using applications now, rather than browser-based solutions. By giving employees what they want, companies will ultimately benefit.”

Operating a BYOD strategy doesn’t only improve staff motivation, satisfaction and productivity but it enhances customer service, which only means advances in your company. Staff working more flexibly while enjoying statistics is all encompassed in our advanced portal and application.

As part of reducing your hardware and hardware maintenance spend, the convenience is within easy reach. Don’t hesitate to call eCall today, where a member of our team on 0800 808 9900 can give you more information on what our portal and packages can offer your company.

 

Oct 06

iOS 9 makes non-geographical numbers even more important for companies

By admin | Advice Centre , Articles , News , Uncategorized

Girl with smart phone

As part of the latest system update iOS 9, Apple devices now display the location of incoming calls when available.

The capability to identify unknown contacts aids users in judging not only who’s calling, but whether they want to receive the call or not based on the area code of the caller.

Many businesses remain unaware of the advantages of having non-geographical numbers for their company, whether big or small, and here’s why:

A local landline number could act as a deterrent for existing or prospective customers of your business. Imagine (as a customer) you live in Newcastle and your phone displays an incoming call from an unknown number in Swindon. You’ve never been to Swindon, not even remotely near. No one you know lives in Swindon. You have absolutely no connections at all to Swindon. Why would you pick up your phone?

Apple has a staggering 42.5 percent share in the UK smartphone market, an undeniable popularity with the majority of UK consumers. In the third quarter fiscal 2015 (ending 28th June), Apple announced they had sold 47.5 million iPhones worldwide. In theory, you could be averting 42.5 percent of your mobile customers by having a geographical number attached to your business (providing they’ve updated their device to iOS 9).

Using a number starting  in 03 or 08 is a straightforward and extremely useful marketing tool which implies professionalism and extensive, impressive nationwide capabilities. Furthermore, the numbers are much easier to memorise for consumers, and you even have the option of creating an alphanumeric number which they’ll never forget.

The service is more inexpensive than you probably think, and actually has a cheaper rate for you and your customers. Consider your options:

0843/0844 – Give you a more professional appearance and greater national footprint (and a welcome rebate from incoming phone calls – depending on the volume).

0845 – Again create a national business presence by being caller friendly who are charged at a local rate.

0300/0330 – Ofcom/Eu-friendly and good for establishing a new 03 number/transferring from an 08.

 

Improve UK-wide coverage of your products without restricting yourself to your company’s location; ask one of our eCall team for more information about non-geo numbers today.