Monthly Archives: September 2014

Great News! Nearly 50% of SMEs dissatisfied with their Telecom providers!

CFIBOkay, the fact that half of Canada’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling with their business telecom providers actually isn’t great news  – except of course if you happen to be us.  

First, more on the survey: 

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) asked their membership earlier this year and they found that almost half of Canadian businesses say that limited competition and poor customer service among telecommunications providers has negatively impacted their productivity. While most SMEs use internet and wireless technologies more than ever to run their business, current options – or a lack thereof – are a growing cause of concern. 

“Small businesses rely on internet and wireless technologies to compete in an ever changing and increasingly interconnected economy,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President of National Affairs. “With only one provider available in some regions, small businesses have no choice but to contract with them, or do without these services completely. That’s no way to run a business, especially if you want to stay competitive.”

CFIB survey results show that small business satisfaction with high speed internet, wired and wireless telephone service has not improved since 2008. In fact, almost half (47.1%) of small business owners feel there is not enough competition in the wired internet services market, followed by 44.3% for wired telephone service, and 40.9% for wireless telephone service. This means many small business consumers feel they are not being adequately served by the providers in their area.

“Less choice means small business owners face higher prices and lower levels of service,” said Monique Moreau, Director of National Affairs and author of the report. “And that directly affects productivity.” As the industry moves towards connecting Canadians across the country, CFIB encourages providers to ensure they include small business consumers in their plans.

The survey also revealed that customer service continues to be a problem for small business consumers:

“Customers should have the ability to opt out of contracts when customer service issues are not met,” said Peter Anderson, a small business owner from Hamilton, Ontario. “There are (also) many fees charged that are not disclosed on a regular basis… it takes too long to get a warm body to address your issue in customer service to make it worth arguing.”

So – if so many businesses are PO’d at their telecoms, why is this great news for us? First, our customers are the other 50%; those who are satisfied with their telecom provider. NEWT prides itself on its proprietary technology that offers our clients over 80 enterprise features. We also offer award winning customer service and training team that works hand-in-hand with our NEWT customers ensuring that they are getting the most out of their business phone system and Internet.

That’s why we have a nearly 100% customer retention rate – the best in the industry.

newt_beyond_telecomBeyond all that, this report indicates that with 50% of the Canadian marketplace dissatisfied with their current provider, and with NEWT expanding into new markets all the time, business for us will remain good.

Very, very good!

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

 

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Business As Usual: Multiple Locations & the Remote Workforce

multi-location

It is the reality that many businesses are facing. The idea of a centralized head office is fast going the way of the day-timer, Dictaphones and the three martini lunch.

More so than ever, an organizations’ workforce is spread across territories, provinces, countries and continents. Despite those distances, being able to contact, collaborate and communicate with co-workers and customers instantly isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s how business is done. The “just a sec, she’s away from his desk. I’ll see where she’s at” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Multiple Locations

From a couple of locations across town or dozens or hundreds spread out across the country, the only way to ensure maximized efficiency and performance is to have seamless and unified communication. Productivity, customer service and the bottom line are all impacted by how well people can work together. Today’s technology has not only enabled the possibility of collaborating across distances, it’s designed to make the experience ultimately cost-effective and efficient.

Telecommuting

Then there are the road warriors and the pajama set. Staff working from home or out in the field are a business reality. Whether its a about flexibility or to reduce office overhead, organizations require communications to be “just like they’re at the office”, even when they aren’t.

That’s why making a decision on a business telephone system is so crucial to a company’s ongoing operations, plus its future as well. If a company is expanding elsewhere having different phone systems puts a strain on support, training and the IT department. Plus, having multiple carriers means having multiple vendors and monthly invoices to pay. From a branding perspective, having calls handled differently from various locations causes customer confusion, and an appearance of unprofessional-ism.

NEWT Managed PBX: The ideal multi-location solution

The NEWT business phone system is uniquely advantageous for businesses with multiple locations. NEWT allows for businesses to connect from location to location over a secure, federally regulated Fibernetics CLEC network by simply dialing a 3 digit extension number instead of a 10 digit phone number.

The need for multiple, expensive phone lines is eliminated as NEWT uses a propitiatory hybrid VoIP system. For example, when using a NEWT business phone system, a company with an office in Kitchener can call their office in Montreal cost free. Businesses with multiple location can also expand their local calling footprint. That same office in Kitchener can call a client in Montreal with no long distance charges – and they clients can return the call with no additional charges as well.

The NEWT business phone system also provides built in redundancy for businesses with multiple locations. Call routing is managed in the NEWT core network, so in the rare occurrence there is a local power outage at one location of the business, the calls can be automatically forwarded to an location that still has power.

Expanded service hours: For businesses with locations across the country calls can be handled early in the east and later in the west, effectively making them appear to be always “open.”

newt_pbx_polycom_phoneNEWT’s desktop console and mobile access provides visibility for staff regardless of where they are, and they are afforded the same 3-digit dialing and free calling from home, or from their hotel.

Business is evolving away from centralized operations to multiple locations, service outlets and a remote workforce. The maintain an optimized communication environment for modern day work forces, NEWT is the perfect business solution.

For more on what NEWT Business Phone System can do for you and your business, please drop by the NEWT Website or give us a call at 1 (888) 996-6398.

 

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NEWT Training – as seen by Lesley Ann Forbes

Lesley Anne ForbesLesley Ann Forbes, like so many of her co-workers at NEWT is passionate about  our business phone system’s benefits for Canadian organizations both large and small. Her role as lead training specialist, or as she better describes her position, integration specialist, puts her in front of the most important people to NEWT, those who are actually using our technology. Though elegantly designed with usability in mind, NEWT’s 80+ feature set means that to take full advantage of all the benefits the system provides, some NEWT Training is required. That is Lesley’s speciality.

Lesley Ann Forbes:

I joined the Fibernetics team a year ago, facilitating onsite training sessions for various verticals of business clients that have integrated the NEWT PBX voice solution into their business.

During my time I have had the pleasure of meeting and building lasting business relationships with many of our NEWT clients. Being that our services can benefit any business vertical , my experience has taken me to some of Toronto’s largest corporate businesses in the downtown sector to various small and medium  and large entrepreneurial businesses that reside in the tri cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and surrounding areas.  One thing that remains the same with each experience regardless of business type or size is how integral the training perceived by the client.

Most business owners that have made the decision to assimilate a new telecommunication system into their business voice the top three concerns:

  • The ease of transition from one system to another
  • User friendliness of the system and features for their employee base
  • System reliability

These key components impact a clients’ peace of mind (buyer’s remorse), perception of the company BRAND and the overall customer experience. Along with the technology, effective training is the fundamental piece in the integration process that encompass’ the success of those factors. The fact remains that as simple as a telephone / telecommunication system may seem it is one of the most integral tools in the any business and the end users need to feel empowered and confident in using it.

My clients range in all different verticals of learning styles with various needs requirements and standards on how they communicate with their clients.  Delivering training that is tailored to meet those needs partnered with the catalogue of NEWT features ensures a customer focused experience and sets the foundation for a lasting business relationship with NEWT.

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I have many stories I could share about my training journey, but one that stands out was about a year back. I had been asked to revisit the training with a client that had not received a satisfactory experience at the time of installation. When I arrived I was met with a very anxious receptionist. She was obviously very nervous, her body language and gestures demonstrated great apprehensiveness toward the training.

Before beginning, I engaged her with short conversation asking her about the company to get her into a comfortable state of mind and distract her from her own anxiety. She proceeded to tell me all about the company and eventually opened up that she had only held her position there for a few months. I encouraged her to continue to talk about her role; by this time I had established some rapport and she opened up that she was having a frustrating time using the system. She had been dropping calls during transfers she didn’t feel confident using it at all. Her greatest fear was losing her job because her boss was quite upset the day before when she accidently disconnected an important client.

This poor woman was blanketed with so much pressure to learn the system and she had little confidence that she would be able to grasp it as the technology scared her. Before beginning the training I assured her that I would not leave her until she felt fully confident with using the system. I also endorsed that, although the system has robust technology it is actually very user friendly. It just needs to be presented to her in a way that she will understand it and feel comfortable using it.

I started by showing her the NEWT resource tools available to provide her with support and clarification on how to use the features. She was not alone, NEWT offers many resource channels that can help her whenever she’s challenged or just has a question on how to use the system features.

That reassurance in itself created a huge difference in her attitude; I could see her slowly becoming more and more engaged and confident with her body language.  I assessed that she was a hands on learner so to test for understand, as we toured through the system I would ask her to perform a ‘teach back’ for each task we went through. I could see her confidence building to the point where she was asking me questions about what more the system was capable of. After spending a few hours together this lady was transferring calls seamlessly and making modification to call flows on the administration panel for her team. She was a PRO!

I provided her with my card and thanked her for our time together. She proceeded to walk me to my car and gave me a huge hug! Her exact words to me were ‘Lesley you saved me today, I feel so much better about coming to work and doing my job effectively. You made that difference thank you!’

I’ll never forget that story because I know the training experience empowered someone in their job. That’s why training is my passion. Its development of people through effective learning. Being able to work for a company like NEWT that encourages living the mantra of being “IN” allows me to present that same attitude to our clients when I train.  At NEWT you’re never alone or left to feel intimidated by our technology. We want to ensure each client is welcomed into our family of users left with the impression of experiencing the true nature of our culture mantra. I remain committed to ensuring the training is delivered in that same manner – Being ‘IN’ with our clients not only allows us to shine as a company of differentiation but liberates our clients to shine too!

 

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