- Tax Payable column in Sales Tax Liability Accrual Report now displays correct amount.
- Item name in the subscriber’s invoice is now used in Invoiced Item Group report 1 and 2.
- Subscribers with ACTIVE Wireless service report now displays the complete list of Mac Address and IP Address for each subscriber. Also, Access Point column is now added to the report which displays the access point connected to the wireless service.
- Inactive subscribers are now excluded in mass email triggers for ISPs who have yet to activate a triggered template. Also, all existing inactive triggered templates are now updated to exclude inactive subscribers.
Archives for August 2018
You Can Be Successful Without Spending Much Time or Money on Customer Service
Decisions, decisions…price, quality or service — which two? The right choice isn’t always obvious. When it comes to positioning your services to meet your subscribers’ wants, you may think they appreciate the great service you give them — they should with all the money it costs you! But, unless they say that service is important to them, you can’t be sure.
Customer service is one of the three ingredients that drive businesses to wild success. Quality products/service and low price are the other two ingredients. The trick is, wild success involves doing two of the three very well.
Think that you know what your subscribers appreciate about your WISP? Their answers may surprise you. Make an informed choice; learn which ingredients your subscribers value. Ask them to rank the importance of each in after-service surveys, social media or email and you may find that they like your quality broadband and competitive price the best. Read on to discover how you can leverage these ingredients to dominate.
The Google Effect: Low Price and High Quality
If all indications show that your subscribers rank kid-glove service last, look to the star of low price – high quality, Google.
The service they provide couldn’t be any cheaper – it’s free. Plus, they are the definitive search engine company and their services are considered to be of the highest quality. But, if you have a question about how to use their services, how do you reach Google? Do you know how to find their support phone numbers?
Google doesn’t paste their support phone number on their websites, like most businesses. If you click on Google Support, you’ll be presented with an FAQ and access to the help knowledge base. However, you can do a Google search for a phone number, but it requires you to take an extra step. That’s because Google’s technology is so good that their email and Google Docs features are so stable and easy to use, that there’s often no need for customers to contact them. Plus, they only utilize human support when customers can’t get support from the online wizards or platforms. Individuals who prefer Google products — which is the majority of internet surfers — forgo the direct human customer support for a better online experience for no cost.
So, how does a profit-minded WISP apply this principle? If you provide non-throttling broadband that is available 99 percent of the time at a competitive price and your subscribers love you for it, then you can limit customer service availability.
Using Voicemail and Email as Customer Service
Just as you do with all of your services, be straightforward with how you respond to customer requests for service. Sure, you need a dedicated phone number for subscribers to contact you, but automate how they report outages, get answers about their bill or discuss service options. Forward calls to a voicemail with a message that:
- Confirms their report has been received
- Says the issue is being addressed
- They’ll receive notification when the issues are resolved
Better yet, beat complainers to the punch by sending an email or text message telling your subscribers that there is an outage in their area that’s being addressed. Follow-up with a message when the issue is resolved.
Although this may seem like additional work, it’s proactive at reducing angry subscriber call-ins. And, this type of automation is less expensive than a full-time dedicated employee who fields complaint calls all day.
What other forms of automated support can you provide your subscriber base? Can you forward support calls to an FAQ or instructional videos that provide answers to the most common questions?
There may be customers who grouse about the lack of service, but you can explain that your WISP prefers to dedicate time and money to a stable network and to keep the fees competitive.
Now that you understand all three ingredients to success, which two will be your focus?
- Partially-refunded payments are now distributed correctly when a new invoice is generated.
- Bill Company merge field is now available for both Mass Email and Ticket templates.
- When using Package List w/ Info (All Info) merge field, Fiber Circuit service is now displayed. Also, type field of activated Custom service is now excluded from the merge field details.
- eCheck Account Number text field is now resized when resizing the Billing Options panel in the lower tabs. Also, last 4 digits of eCheck Account Number are now displayed by default when field is too small.
- Billing Days are now displayed correctly in the main table for multi-ISP app users.
You’ve seen the ads that tout rock-bottom prices. They’re peppered with the familiar, bright red explosions that say prices cannot get any lower. The newsprint page is jammed with products so there’s no white space to be found. All this says “inexpensive” in marketing vernacular.
When you respond to the promise of severe discounts on any product or service, what do you expect when you show up at a store that specializes in discounts? A showroom decked in expensive furniture – or bare-bones metal shelves that wobble when you lean on them?
And, the sales reps that greet you – do they make eye contact and approach you with a big smile or do they grunt something in your general direction before they scurry away?
For sure, when you shop for the lowest price, you sacrifice other things that are important and cost business owners’ money, like customer service and product quality. But, that’s to be expected, right? Umm… maybe not.
Contrary to traditional thinking, low price and either exceptional customer service or great product/service quality can be achieved and done well. Three of three is next to impossible according to business theory, so as a WISP owner and operator, decide which two to choose to drive your operation to wild success.
Are Your Subscribers Price- and Customer Service-Conscious?
If there’s more than one broadband provider in your area or your community isn’t wealthy, your subscribers could be in the market for the lowest price. The best way to find out is to ask them to prioritize price, network quality and customer service during post-service surveys, social media or other means.
If you learn that your subscribers are price-quality customer service conscious or competitive pressures are impacting the quality of your network, how do you give subscribers what they want and drive your WISP to dominate the market?
Be Great at Two and Consistent with the Third
When you think of low or competitive price and great customer service, several brands come to mind including McDonald’s. Each of the low-price, fast-serving burger restaurants averages $2.6 million in sales each year serving burgers that the majority of U.S. consumers ranked as the worst in quality in 2014.
How does this happen? The price is low, service is fast and friendly, and these two ingredients are enough to keep their customers coming back. Even if the product’s quality isn’t the highest, there is consistency between McDonald’s franchises, so you know that you’re getting a similar burger and fries in Miami Beach, Florida and in Fargo, North Dakota.
So, how do you use the McDonald’s formula to deliver great price and customer service to your subscribers?
The lesson to be learned here is that if you’re customer-focused and deliver the price and customer service that subscribers want, the broadband you offer doesn’t have to be perfect. But, that doesn’t mean that your broadband can be unavailable or so bad that your subscribers can’t watch their streaming videos 98 out of 100 days. When your internet does go out, respond fast to correct the problem and update your subscribers on your progress and when the problem is fixed.
In other words, focus on the customer and giving them the best value no matter which ingredients you provide, and your subscribers will be happy to pay their bills every month. If your subscribers prefer exceptional customer service and a quality network, look for the next Visp.net blog to find out how to leverage quality and service and win big.
(Image Credit: Thank you, Madison Kaminski of Unsplash.)
- Blank values are now saved for fields in the Forms setting.
- Last Modified date is now updated when clicking Open/Resolve button in TSM.
- Space at the beginning of the Address is now trimmed when setting the Address value of the Google Calendar ticket entry.
- For ISPs with Oriental Bank as the merchant, eCheck Account Number will now be set to blank when changing the account Type.
- Newly added Location ID will now display in the Location ID dropdown options.
- In the Add Package window, the [ ] Generate initial invoices [v] and [ ] Create separate invoices for each term options are now disabled if the Invoice Now option is unchecked. Also, the Invoice Now option is now always checked and disabled for editing if the Bill Start Date is a past date.
- Payment window now displays correctly when accessed through the Continue prompt that appears when closing a newly-added invoice and the subscriber has a pending balance with auto action set.