At Network Connect we are continually searching for ways in which we can improve our services to our customers. Our aim is to provide the best ‘customer experience’ in our industry. We start with the simple things, like answering our support calls promptly with no queues or call backs, and then we build on the basics in order to provide maintenance and support services of the highest possible order.
Network Connect's Professional Services, i.e. the delivery and implementation of its solutions, and the support and servicing of its customers, represent the core values of the company. Although not easily achieved, we attempt here to provide a 'flavour' of the way in which we go about our business.
Pre Sales - How we handle your enquiries.
Project Management - How we implement your solution.
Installation - Our installation procedures.
End User Training - Getting the best from your phone system.
After Sales Service - How we keep you abreast of changes.
More Than Just A Maintainer - How we support you and your system.
Customer Satisfaction - How we monitor our performance.
The task of selecting a new communication system comes around only once every 5 to 10 years. When that time arrives, you want clear, professional advice from experts in their field, individuals who have your interest in mind. We obviously want to receive your business, but we also want to provide you with a service and to work in partnership with you towards the common goal of implementing outstanding communications throughout your organization.
The basic hardware components which make up the architecture of the systems which we supply are easily explained. Our strategy is generally one of educating our customers to a level of understanding which enables them to make informed decisions concerning when to invest in additional hardware or technology options. It is the role of both our sales staff and our project managers to ensure that level of understanding is created.
Each member of the Network Connect
sales team is fully trained to the highest
level of accreditation for the products
which we supply.
Each member of the Network Connect sales team is fully trained to the highest level of accreditation for the products which we supply. This ensures their technical knowledge is second to none and, just as important, it ensures you can have complete confidence in their ability to provide you with the right solution for your business. These people are accountable to you, they will be the people who re visit you after the completion of the installation and will carry out the Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ). If they or Network Connect get it wrong tell us where we have erred for only then can we improve for the future.
The change to a new telecommunication system should, in theory not be a cause for disruption to a business operation. This theory is sound as long as a few fundamental practices are followed:
There must be effective communication between the project manager and the customer at all times. Probably the prime reason for inadequate implementation of a communication system can be found when poor dialogue exists between supplier and customer.
The customer's requirements must be fully explored by the project team to ensure full advantage is gained from the available technology, for the benefit of both the customer and the companies with whom he deals.
Technology should not be implemented for technology's sake. If there is no business advantage, either commercial or operational, then there is generally no requirement for its implementation.
If it can go wrong it possibly will go wrong. Every effort must be made to ensure that contingencies can be quickly put in to place in the event of a problem or failure.
No stone is left unturned in an attempt
to get it right the first time.
Network Connect's project management team is trained and monitored for its effectiveness in realizing the above. No stone is left unturned in an attempt to get it right the first time. A typical installation scenario consists of the initial programming meeting, where a dedicated project manager will meet with the customer to discuss the application in detail. It is at this stage the project manager is tasked with exploring the customer application in detail with a view to extracting the maximum benefit from the available technology. Bespoke programming templates and support documentation which are provided for the customers enable them to detail their programming and implementation requirements. During the weeks leading up to the commissioning of the system, Network Connect takes on the responsibility of arranging line requirements and of scheduling engineers and any other additional services. Further project management meetings are arranged if deemed necessary. With all the programming requirements supplied by the customer and the i's dotted and the t's crossed by the project manager, the installation should be commissioned without a hitch.
Engineering falls into two main categories:
- The installation of the cabling system.
- The installation, programming and commissioning of the system hardware.
In both areas our engineers are trained, not only in the core technical competencies which are essential to implement a first class installation but also in customer facing skills thus ensuring complete empathy with your company's needs.
We recognize our customers are at their most anxious when a new system is brought in to service. This is understandable for any degradation of service may adversely affect the business as a whole. A project manager will attend site, in addition to our engineering staff, at the time of the changeover to the new system thus ensuring any anomalies or customer concerns can be dealt with in the shortest possible time.
Our experience shows it is good practice to have an engineer in attendance on the first full working day after the system live date. Although a costly exercise for us, it is one way of ensuring we respond quickly to any problems or unforeseen changes to our customers requirements.
Some individuals welcome change whilst others hide from it. The role of our end user training staff is not just to work through a user guide and to demonstrate the key features of the system, it is to ensure your employees utilize and welcome the business advantages of the equipment in which you have invested. Therefore, prior to the system live date, our trainer's task is to concentrate on imparting the necessary skills which will allow your staff to reap the benefits of the new system and to instill enthusiasm for the benefits which will occur. If this is carried out effectively it is possible to totally eliminate the fears of the most reluctant individual and to ensure all concerned greet the change with enthusiasm.
Many years of experience in monitoring
customer satisfaction levels have led us
to believe we can extract the maximum
Many years of experience and monitoring of customer satisfaction levels have led us to believe we can extract the maximum benefit from the end user training by adopting the following format:
- Comprehensive system handset training in groups of approximately 8 people prior to the system go live date.
- One to one system manager and operator training prior to the go live date.
- One to one with the operator at system changeover.
- Voice Mail and peripheral product training several days after the system changeover.
We have a tremendous amount to lose if we fail to provide you with the service levels which you expect after installation. We would lose the chance of repeat business from your growth, referrals to other companies and our reputation as a whole. Our intention is to provide you with the highest possible level of service so you do come back to us time and time again. In this highly competitive world it is no easy task to continuously expand our customer base, having gained a new customer we certainly do not wish to lose him.
Our account managers are experts in their field and are available at short notice to meet with you to discuss all aspects of your voice and data communications. When considering the requirement for account meetings we take our lead from the needs of our customers. In most cases we would expect to conduct either biannual or quarterly account review meetings by a dedicated account manager, the aim being to:
- Ensure we are fulfilling our contractual obligations
- Ensure we are delivering the value added services which differentiate us from our competitors
- Ensure we have delivered the best possible service to you
- Provide advice on any new developments on the products we have supplied
- Determine if there are other services we can supply
- Provide advice and information in relation to new technologies emerging within voice and data communications
Internal Account Manager
In addition to a field sales account manager an Internal Account Manager is assign to each customer. The role of the Internal Account Manager is to provide their nominated customers with a 'one stop shop' for all aspects of their communications. Whether it be to report a fault, request programming changes, request additional equipment and services or simply to seek advice. Our experience shows that providing a single point of contact in this manner leads to a close working relationship, accountability within our team and an end to the all too familiar feeling of being passed from 'pillar to post'.
Customer Updates - the systems which we supply are continuously developed to incorporate the latest advances in technology. You have purchased from us a platform which allows you to develop your communications and to take advantage of these new technologies. If you are unaware of these developments how can you possibly take advantage of them? Network Connect's Customer Web Portal, is continuously updated and revised with the latest technology which can be incorporated in to your business. Our Internal Account Managers are also tasked with delivering this information to their individual customer accounts.
How we deliver our service and support.
Faults and Support Requests.
Firstly let us consider Network Connect’s definition of a support request. The majority of our competitors respond to support calls only if a fault is apparent on an item of equipment specified on ‘the maintenance contract’. Network Connect takes a different position. Here, we will assist with a request for support on the entire communications infrastructure whether it relates directly or indirectly to the equipment which we maintain. For this reason we do not refer to ‘faults’ we refer to ‘support requests’. In addition to responding to equipment failure, Network Connect will, liaise with third party network providers, logging and expediting network associated problems on your behalf. Furthermore, we will provide remote programming free of charge and assist you in any way we can to ensure your communications are as efficient and trouble free as possible.
In what ways should our customers contact us? - in whatever way they wish.
Some individuals prefer the telephone as a method of communication, some prefer e-mail and whilst others use electronic text methods. It makes no difference to Network Connect we have made available to our customers a whole range of communication tools, allowing them to communicate with us in whatever way they wish. A swift, friendly and professional response is assured whatever the method of communication.
Support Requests by telephone.
Calls on our dedicated support lines will be answered by your own internal account manager in a friendly manner, quickly and professionally. You will not be held in a queue. You will not be given a reference number for us to call you back at a later time. We will deal with your call there and then. Your account manager will have your contract details to hand and will able to remotely connect to your systems within seconds so as to commence fault vetting and diagnosis.
Support Requests by e-mail or fax.
Rest assured requests for support by e-mail or fax are responded to with exactly the same degree of urgency as a telephone call.
Most of our customers are
on ‘first name terms’ with their
internal account manager
Support Requests by Instant Messaging.
Instant Messaging, made available via the secure customer services area of our web site, allows customers to communicate with any member of our team live using text chat. Most of our customers are on ‘first name terms’ with their internal account manager and this facility enhances that close relationship. It allows the customer to select other member of staff with whom they may wish to converse.
Support Requests by our Customer Services Web Site.
Many of our customers log their programming and support requests on our secure customer services web site. It is quick and easy to use, giving a confirmation, not computer generated, that your request is being dealt with within minutes of posting. This maintains the personal and professional approach to support requests.
Support Requests by Instant Meeting.
Our Instant Meeting Web Collaboration Facilities allow our customers to join with us across The Internet in Web Meetings. This powerful facility may be used when using a normal telephone whilst at the same time viewing images and documentation on-screen. The friendly, personal touch is taken to a new level by the inclusion of video so allowing you to see, - even if you do not have your own camera, - the member of our customer support team with whom you are conducting the meeting. Facilities available during an instant meeting include screen sharing, instant messaging and white-boarding, i.e. the ability to draw on-screen to communicate more effectively.
Using the ‘screen sharing’ facility, applications on your PC, such as telephone system programming applications, can be viewed at our support centre by a member of our support team. This allows us to assist you with programming changes or simply coach you through aspects of the system administration thus providing assistance similar to that which you would experience during an arranged site visit, but within minutes of the request for assistance.
Acting on your support requests
It is one thing responding quickly and efficiently to requests for support, but how do we deal with those requests after initial contact?
Our ‘Tier 1’ support staff, usually your internal account manager, are trained to respond immediately. Their knowledge on the systems we supply is extensive, they can usually respond in seconds by remotely connecting to your systems to implement programming changes, isolate faults, re route calls etc. At the same time they are fully conversant with the procedures adopted by the various network providers and are often called upon to log faults with the provider and our own engineers at the same time so ensuring no delay is encountered in dealing with the problem. The Tier 1 staff is in constant communication with both our field engineering team along with the manufacturer’s technical support facilities for the products we supply.
On Site Support.
The technical skills and experience within the site engineering team are wide-ranging. Many of our engineers and management are able to call on over 20 years experience within telecommunications. This experience has been augmented further by on going training in the newer technologies of IP networking as Network Connect has evolved into true voice and data communication specialists.
Remote response is established within just a few minutes from receiving a call, with on site response from 1/6/11 to 31/12/11 being 2 hrs 53 min for Partial Failures and 1 hr 10 min for Full System Failures.
Monitoring Support Progress
Keeping the customer up to date on the progress of a support request is an essential part of delivering a first class service. This is achieved in two ways. Feedback is given by our support team, by telephone or by email, at regular intervals, - this keeps the customer aware of the progress which is being made.
Furthermore, through our Customer Services web site, our customers can access the same data logs used by our customer support team. In addition to the clear ‘time stamped’ update notes, the customer is informed of which person within the team currently has ownership of the support request and can even determine if the team member is available. A single mouse click will open an on-line chat session with the support team member.
It is in this area of our web site where the previous fault history, categorized by site, can be viewed by our customers. Every fault is time and date stamped from the instant it is raised to the moment it is closed. Our aim is to provide as much ‘transparency’ in our fault reporting and procedures as possible.
Closing a Support Request
Most support requests will be ‘closed’ by a telephone call to ensure the feedback from the engineering team is accurate and to ensure the customer is entirely happy to close the issue. In closing the fault a log will be generated automatically by our internal systems and e-mailed to the customer detailing the history and nature of the problem. This information is made available on-line to be accessed at any time.
Self Service FAQ’s
An area of our web site is dedicated to providing a central resource to those customers who wish to browse the knowledge base used by our own staff. Hundreds of Frequently Asked Questions, - FAQs, - are available to provide useful tips on handset programming, user guides and software downloads.
Network Connect Support Centre
We pride ourselves on the excellent relationship which we enjoy with our customers. To keep all of the people happy all of the time is quite a tall order for any organization. Naive though it may seem, this is our goal. We do not always get it right, we are reliant on other suppliers and services, both human and machine, all of which can be fallible. The test comes when any of the aforementioned fails, it is then we excel and the difference is evident for all to see.
Every installation which we carry out is revisited by one of our customer representatives and the customer's feedback is sought in the form of our Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire.
Network Connect averages 8.8 out of 10 for
customer satisfaction across a wide range of categories.
That's 88% satisfaction - not perfect, but the figure is rising each month. It is by closely monitoring our performance in this way we can continue to improve.
Customers are only going to remain with us if they are continuously provided with the high standard of service which they have a right to expect. 75% of our business comes either from existing customers or referrals from existing customers - we must be doing something right!
The graphic below indicates the increasing customer satsifaction levels over several years since Jan 1999. Each customer was asked to, rate the performance of Network Connect Ltd. out 10 for each category, and provide additional comments where appropriate to assist in improving further the service we provide. The most up to date 'live' data can be found on our Customer Satisfaction Page here... (opens in new window).
Network Connect's pedigree within the telecommunications sector is best illustrated by its ranking in a survey conducted on behalf of Avaya by NOP, - National Opinion Polls, - during which hundreds of customers who purchased Avaya products were questioned about the performance and ability of the supplier.
Network Connect was placed in the top 4 on no less than 15 occasions out of 19 categories, something achieved by no other company:
- No.1 Quality of Marketing Material
- No.1 Product Knowledge Of Sales Staff
- No.1 Helpfulness of Sales Staff
- No.1 Product Knowledge of Technical Team
- No.1 Reliability of equipment supplied since installation
- No.1 Likelihood to recommend
And most importantly!