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Why excellent customer service in the telecoms industry is critical for resellers

May 18th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

By Dave Carroll- 1805/2017

It’s an unfortunate fact but customer satisfaction in the telecoms industry has a reputation for being somewhat under-par. A recent report by the Institute of Customer Service indicated small levels of improvement but telecoms was still sadly the lowest ranked sector in the UK.

Although these reports and statistics are based largely on service to end-user customers, it’s also recognised that customer service from telecoms providers to their reseller partners is also somewhat lacking. But how can this be changed?

Well here at Zest4, we’re committed to be different. We don’t treat our partners as just another ticket number…we pull out all the stops to support them in whatever way they need.

One service model does not fit all!

One of the difficulties that resellers tell us they face is that they don’t receive a personalised service from providers. Customers are often not able to speak to an actual person but are directed to a website or another automated option. This means there is no chance of building a working relationship and no chance of receiving personalised support.

The team at Zest have many years’ experience of supporting partners in the telecoms space and completely appreciate that every partner is different. We take time to form close working relationships so we fully understand our customers’ unique and specific needs. We then put together tailored solutions, providing total flexibility. Yes, we have a range of off-the-shelf service models but none of them are set in stone – we can absolutely tailor them to build a bespoke solution to suit our partner’s requirements.

How can resellers provide a good service to end-customers when facing the challenges of buying from multiple providers?

Margins within the telecoms market are often tightly squeezed so resellers need to offer a broad product range to maximise their profits. But this usually means working with and buying from multiple suppliers, which can be challenging as they all have different ways of working and different service processes.

By working with Zest4, however, these difficulties can be prevented. We offer a comprehensive range of unified communications solutions, all from one central place, so resellers don’t need to go direct to other providers. And by working with us, resellers will benefit from consistency in processes and consistency in service, plus the benefits of friendly and approachable team.

Can the big network providers really offer the right service levels that resellers need?

One of the biggest challenges that our partners tell us they face is poor customer service from the mobile network providers. With mobile such a large part of many resellers’ businesses’ today, this can have a detrimental effect on their ability to provide quality customer service to end-customers which can in turn have a negative effect on their turnover. Partners are made to feel removed from the process and left out in the cold with no attempt from the network providers to understand the partners’ needs.

With Zest4, however, things are very different. Our team has vast experience in mobile solutions which enables us to support resellers effectively with account management and billing. We have strong links with the network providers which enables us to tailor our solutions and provide resellers with competitive tariffs and packages for end-customers. And all this provided by a hardworking, knowledgeable and highly dedicated team.

To find out more about reseller support from Zest4 and how we can help you grow your business, call us on 0161 956 3355 or visit www.zest4.com.

The importance of providing Managed Data for M2M & IoT solutions

May 10th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

By Anton Le Saux – 03/05/2017

As we’ve been seeing over the last few years, machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is rapidly reshaping every aspect of the business landscape. Operational efficiency, quality control, decision-making, relationships with customers, and transactional opportunities are all being enabled and enhanced by M2M applications. With access to real-time data and clearer analytics, organisations are becoming smarter and nimbler, which is allowing them to better manage their devices and quickly respond to rapidly changing conditions.

But while the benefits of M2M technology are clear to see and customers are keen to get involved, many resellers are struggling to specify the ideal connectivity solution for their customers’ individual needs. The key is understanding the difference between Managed Data and Mobile Data, and if you get it wrong, its no-win situation all around.

Let me explain…

Mobile data may look like the best value option on the surface but when your customer and their team start using it and experience under and over-utilisation of the data bundle, what initially looked like the lowest cost solution could actually be costing your customer a whole lot more. Your customer could have signed up to a 3gb per month bundle but find they’re only using 1gb a month so are paying over the odds. Or on the flip side, they could have signed a 500mb package but are using a massive 3gb a month and don’t realise the impact until an astronomical bill comes through the door.

This inability to monitor data usage closely becomes a bigger challenge for M2M and IoT solutions. Many M2M devices in the marketplace only use a very small amount of data each month – some as little as 10mb per month – so customers definitely don’t want to be paying for a large amount of data that they probably won’t use. This is enough of a concern with a single SIM, but imagine you were running a base of 5000 SIMs… the impact could be huge!

So how can this problem be overcome? The answer’s simple…with a Managed Data solution.

A Managed Data solution does what it says on the tin…it gives you the ability to manage your data and your SIM base as one. There’s no requirement to take a pre-defined data bundle – managed data allows you to buy only the data you need.

From working with our customers, we know there are lots of SIMs out there that use between 1mb and 10mb of data a month whilst others are using up to 500gb per month. Managed Data solutions allow you aggregate data across the whole of your SIM base, therefore minimising under- and over-utilisation and preventing the occurrence of bill shock.

Another benefit of using a Managed Data solution is visibility. By subscribing to a Managed Data solution, you’ll also have access to a management portal that allows you and your customers to monitor an entire SIM estate under one pane of glass – no matter which mobile network they’re on.

In addition, the management portal allows you to set up rules and alerts to ensure your SIM estate runs smoothly. For example, you can ask to be notified if a SIM is nearing its data allowance, you can set caps for high usage, or block any high data usage connections. Using this facility further reduces the chances of over-utilisation of data and bill shock really does becomes a thing of the past.

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Zest4 Continue to Expand Channel Sales Team

May 4th, 2017 by Mandy Fazelynia

Ian Davis

Wholesale communications provider, Zest4, continue to grow from strength to strength and are delighted to once again be expanding their Channel Sales team.

Adding a further dedicated resource to their M2M proposition, Ian Davis joins the team as M2M & IoT Business Development Manager and will work alongside Anton Le Saux who was appointed Head of M2M in September 2016.

Ian has over 20 years’ experience of the mobile industry working with leading brands including Ericsson and Exertis. He has also previously worked with Zest4 founder Freddie Fazelynia at Freddie’s previous businesses 3A Telecom and Yes Telecom where he helped set up the business partner channel before accepting the challenge of setting up a new department with Advanced Solutions.

Ian is delighted to be back working with the Fazelynia family at Zest4 and to help the business to further develop it’s M2M and IoT strategy.

As M2M & IoT Business Development Manager, Ian will help to grow the network of Zest4 partners offering M2M solutions to end customers, supporting them with tools, templates and training to give them the knowledge to succeed.

On his appointment with Zest4, Ian commented, “Having worked with the team at Zest4 for a number of years, I know I’m joining an experienced and passionate team. We have clear targets and robust strategy for the M2M and IoT market. It’s a very exciting time to join Zest4 and help build the future of a growing company.”

Mandy Fazelynia, Operations & Business Development Director said, “We are delighted to welcome Ian to the Zest4 team and reinforce our commitment to the M2M and IoT arena. We are totally committed to enabling partners to maximise the vast revenue opportunity that M2M offers and adding an additional member to our team will enable us to further achieve our ambitions.”

Zest4 is a UK wholesale provider of Unified Communications solutions offering a complete range of products including fixed line, mobile and hosted telephony, as well M2M & IoT solutions. With a team of highly knowledgeable and experienced consultants, the company offers unrivalled customer service and dedicated support to its network of reseller partners.

For more information, visit www.zest4.com or call 0161 956 3300.

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Zest4 was founded in January 2013 by Freddie Fazelynia, along with a number of other colleagues from the 3a Telecom and Yes Telecom businesses that Freddie had founded previously. As with our previous businesses, our focus for Zest4 was channel only, initially providing mobile and fixed line solutions. After our first year in business we added Hosted Telephony to our product portfolio followed by other services including Mobile Device Management, Mobile Voice Recording, M2M (Machine-to-Machine) and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions.

Today, Zest4 offer a comprehensive portfolio of Unified Communications solutions and through strategic partnerships with industry-leading communications providers including O2, Vodafone, EE, Gamma and Arkessa, we offer flexible, bespoke solutions and great commercial deals.

Based in Wilmslow in Cheshire, Zest4 are 100% committed to the channel and support all types of resellers including traditional mobile, fixed-line, M2M and IT resellers. We leave customer ownership and relationships in your capable hands but we’re here to support whenever and wherever you need us.

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