What Should Irish Businesses Demand from Mobile Operators?

Three Business Blog Team
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On: 2 Apr 2015
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A round-up of the key considerations for businesses choosing a mobile plan.

Mobile phones and the networks they run on are often the primary link between your business and the rest of the world. With smartphones being a key business tool, and with customers and colleagues relying on them to be able to contact you, you should set the bar high when choosing your provider.

In our view, there are three key factors that Irish businesses should consider when choosing a mobile provider. The most important considerations are value, service and network. Here’s what you need to think about, along with a few questions that you should ask your mobile operator.

1. Value – Saving Time and Money

It’s important that every business keeps a close eye on costs with a level of certainty and control. People use their phones in different and unpredictable ways depending on their role within a business. Some people need to call internationally or use roaming due to travel commitments, others may be heavy data users but not know how much they’re consuming by downloading apps, sharing presentations or using GPS navigation. It’s also important to understand what other communications solutions are available alongside mobile, as they can serve to compliment and drive the performance of your business.

How flexible are the tariffs?
One size doesn’t fit all. Ensure the mobile network offers a level of flexibility by having a variety of price plans and bundles.

How much data can I use?
A typical cause of bill shock is when staff members don’t understand their data limits. Ask your mobile network about the amount of data they provide, and the implications of going over the limit.

What additional services are available?
Communication needs vary from business to business. Other technologies can be equally important for ensuring that employees, customers and suppliers keep in touch, such as fixed broadband, cloud solutions or web. It pays to consolidate services, as with other industries there are generally savings and efficiency improvements to be made.

What tools do I have to control costs?
You will of course want to avoid unnecessary charges on your mobile phone plans. Ask your mobile network about what additional services are included in their price plans, such as international calls or texts or roaming allowances. Check that they provide tools for you to monitor and control your mobile costs.

2. Service – Expert Customer Care

As with any technology, there’s always scope for things to go wrong with your phones. You’ll want the issue resolved as quickly as possible with minimal to no disruption to your business. Businesses should demand customer care that’s fast and effective. You’ll want opening hours that suit your business and a single point of contact that can take full responsibility for the issue.

Where is customer services based?
Is the customer services team based locally in Ireland? You’ll want a team with local knowledge, understanding and fast response times.

What are the operating hours?
Ask about opening times. Do you need support in the evenings and weekends? Make sure your contract meets your service needs.

Will I have a dedicated team or account manager?
It makes a huge difference to know that one point of contact is available and will take full responsibility for solving any issues across all types of products. You don’t want to be calling one number to sort out a billing query, another for fixed line issues and another if you drop your smartphone.

3. Network – Reliability and Great Coverage

Communication is the lifeblood of every business. Your employees need to be able to contact each other and they also need to be able to communicate with customers and suppliers. Your company needs a network that’s solid, reliable and dependable.

What type of coverage will I be able to access?
3G ensures internet access, which is required by many smartphone applications. Networks are rolling 4G out across the country, bringing faster data speeds. Check the network’s coverage maps on their websites.

What level of coverage do you offer?
As well as outdoor coverage, look for indoor coverage.

How can we check the level of coverage?

Make sure your mobile network can provide an accurate, up to date coverage checker that highlights 2G, 3G and 4G coverage both indoor and outdoor. Here’s Three’s coverage checker.