Who Do Those Customers Think They Are?

David Byrd : Raven Call
David Byrd
David Byrd is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Raven Guru Marketing. Previously, he was the CMO and EVP of Sales for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, He was CMO at ANPI, CMO & EVP of Sales at Broadvox, VP of channels and Alliances for Telcordia and Director of eBusiness development with i2 Technologies.He has also held executive positions with Planet Hollywood Online, Hewlett-Packard, Tandem Computers, Sprint and Ericsson.
| Raven Guru Marketing http://www.ravenguru.com/

Who Do Those Customers Think They Are?

I will always remember when I was asked while participating on a panel during a past IT Expo if Broadvox was concerned about competing with Verizon and AT&T. I immediately answered with a confident, "No". They will, of course, make more money selling IP communications than Broadvox or any similar ITSP. However, they will not slow our growth or limit our market. We control our own destiny.

A carrier like Verizon and AT&T assume that they will maintain market share due to their size and frankly their customers' lack of desire to pursue competitive offerings. My favorite example continues to be Verizon FIOS. Verizon sells it as an alternative to DSL and cable, but they will also add voice services via IP. Now, do they pass any of the savings to their customer base? Absolutely not. In fact, A Verizon spokes person made it very clear that their IP Voice service was not as good as their TDM/traditional voice service. However, they were still going to charge the same for either service. How ridiculous is that? First of all, the cost to provide VoIP is much less than VoTDM. At Broadvox, we are fairly confident that most customers that switch to us will save around 50% versus similar services from a LEC like Verizon or AT&T. Moreover, we also know they continue to play a FUD game when saying that the service is not as good. They do not want to see their business customers rushing to switch to VoIP service as provided by them or us. It would seriously unbalance their networks and jeopardize their revenue streams.

However, their audacity never ends. In an attempt to explain to the State of Florida why they did not meet the state standards for timely phone line repairs.  John Bonomo, a Verizon spokesperson, pointed to the standards and the consumers or customer-base as being at fault. He boldly noted that when landlines failed in the 1970s most customers voluntarily stayed home from work the next day to wait for repair crews because they had no communication alternatives. Today, however, with cell phones as an alternative, they push back repairs to accommodate their schedules. Can you believe that? It's our fault that they can no longer inconvenience us.

While the standard may have been a bit tight in they should address network issues within 24 hours, where scheduling was not an issue they only resolved 15.5% of out-of-service gripes within 24 hours - down from 50% over the same months in the previous year.

So...does Broadvox relish competing against the LECs in this space? In the words of a well-known ex-governor, "You betcha!

As communication services become more varied and competitive, true customer service and high levels of customer satisfaction will increase as priorities for businesses and consumers. We will continue to see a flood of new business as their markets transition from TDM to VoIP/SIP Trunking. Our 99.99%+ network availability, tremendous cost savings, better feature offering and company culture to deliver better service than expected, should provide us the opportunity for another record year of growth.

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