As a customer, you a have a certain power in your relationship with your service provider: You’re paying them to answer your questions.
So, take full advantage of it. Grill them about everything, from how they can get you better rates to whether their security infrastructure is up to par, said Angie Specic on 570News’ Business to Business talk show May 5.
When you sign an agreement for telecommunications services, you’re taking on a big operational expense, she said, one that you should pay close attention to. “If you don’t know your contract end date, now’s the time to check. Because contract renewal time is a perfect opportunity to ask your provider some tough questions,” Specic said.
Here are five big ones:
1) For starters, make sure you’re paying the current market value of what you’re paying for. “You may be using some older network services that have gone down in price,” said Specic. “So, be sure your pricing is competitive. Don’t be shy to ask for their best price.”
2) Higher bandwidth isn’t as a cure-all for every network ailment. If you’re experiencing network latency, for example, you could be wasting your money and still be stuck with your initial problem. “Ask about WAN optimization as an alternative,” she suggested.
3) Can you cut your operating costs by bringing your networks together? Ask about converged networks.
4) What kind of options are you being presented with, and how well does your provider explain them to you? Ask about expertise.
5) Is your data safe? And what, specifically, is your provider doing to secure it? “A firewall secures the front door of your business network, sometimes leaving the back door and windows wide open,” said Specic. A good service provider will have options for every security scenario, including protection against DDoS attacks.
Finally, since this is a lot to digest, Specic suggested having a dedicated account manager who make sure that overall, you’re getting your money’s worth.