6 Ways a VaaS Approach to TEM Makes Customer Service Great

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In today’s digital communication era, managing telecom expenses effectively has become more important than ever for large enterprises. Marketplace pressures abound and technological advances accelerate at a pace like never before. It is easy to get overwhelmed for expense management leaders, but this is to be avoided at all costs.  

Large enterprises continue to need to effectively manage their telecommunications services and expenses, and they need to do so efficiently and as painlessly as possible. This is where the importance of customer service comes into play when considering prospective telecom expense management (TEM) providers.   

A reputable provider will add tremendous value to this key area of support, especially if the TEM provider is customer-centric in its focus and embraces the concept of value as a service (VaaS). 

The value as a service (VaaS) model, coupled with domestic-based customer service for TEM, is an unlikely “game changer” within the telecom expense management industry. It may not possess the sexiness or allure of artificial intelligence (AI) or appeal to the ever-present desire for immediate audit and optimization savings, but it truly matters in terms of highly effective long-term TEM program success. 

In this article, we will delve into the powerful synergy between Value as a Service and domestic-based customer service within the context of Telecom Expense Management.  

We will examine how this combination is not just improving the quality of TEM service delivery but also redefining more broad value businesses derive from it. From discussing the core benefits of VaaS to understanding the very real impact of local customer support, we will uncover how this combination is setting new standards for a TEM industry where TEM providers have commonly outsourced customer support overseas to save money.  

Let’s provide more context around how these concepts intersect relative to the discipline of telecom expense management.  

Value as a Service: A Fresh Approach in Telecom Expense Management

Value as a Service (VaaS) represents a significant shift from traditional service models. In contrast to conventional approaches that focus primarily on cost-cutting and operational management, VaaS emphasizes delivering tailor-made, value-added solutions.  

It is an approach that aligns TEM services directly with an enterprise customer’s business outcomes, ensuring that every aspect of telecom expense management actively contributes to the overarching goals of the organization and customer satisfaction. 

At Tellennium, one area that we feel truly sets VaaS apart relating to telecom expense management is the integration of high-quality, domestic-based customer service. 

The Importance of High-Quality Domestic-Based Customer Service

Integrating domestic-based customer service within the VaaS framework provides one more layer of strength to this important but often overlooked area of support. Some TEM providers such as Tellennium have always prioritized domestic-based customer service.  

But the embrace of the VaaS business framework further bolsters the emphasis in this area. Personalized, more locally aligned support cannot be overstated. When TEM customer service teams are based in the same region as the customer, they bring a deeper understanding of local market dynamics and regulations.   

Time zone challenges, cultural differences, and language issues are also eliminated. This proximity and familiarity enable customer-centric TEM providers to offer more responsive and high-quality service, fostering a stronger, more trusting relationship with their enterprise customers. 

Great customer service is a lot like good health. You do not appreciate it until you do not have it. Let’s refresh on VaaS at this point

Defining Value as a Service

VaaS is a service model that goes beyond the mere provision of TEM services; VaaS is intrinsically tied to the delivery of measurable value. Unlike traditional TEM models where services are often standardized and the focus is on operational tasks, VaaS is inherently client-driven. It involves creating tailored solutions that are directly aligned with the customer’s overall business goals and objectives. 

Key Characteristics of VaaS 

Customization: VaaS solutions are customized to the unique needs and objectives of each business, ensuring that the services provided are not just effective but also relevant. 

Outcome-Oriented: The success of VaaS is measured not just in terms of service delivery but in tangible overarching business outcomes. This could include improved efficiency, cost savings, or enhanced productivity. In the end, the most important outcome is customer satisfaction, so this is a big one. 

Agility and Flexibility: VaaS is characterized by its agility and ability to adapt to changing business environments and needs. This flexibility ensures that businesses can respond quickly to market changes, something that is more important than ever in today’s volatile business marketplace. 

Strategic Partnership: VaaS fosters a partnership-centric model, where the TEM service provider collaborates extremely closely with the enterprise customer, becoming an extension of their team. This approach facilitates deeper understanding and alignment with the customer’s business and their unique requirements.

VaaS &. Traditional TEM Services

In traditional TEM services, the focus has often been on operations and expense management, invoice processing, and important support areas such as maintaining inventory. While these are extremely important TEM areas requiring expert support, they are operational tasks that do not necessarily align directly with other organizational strategic business outcomes.  

The VaaS model, however, adds even more value to the mix as it approaches TEM from a highly strategic viewpoint. It integrates these key operational and expense management TEM tasks and elevates them by aligning services with the broader business objectives of the enterprise customer. 

The Importance of Value-Driven Solutions in Telecom Expense Management

Telecom expense management is no longer simply about managing costs or handling invoices. It is about leveraging telecom resources in a way that delivers real, strategic value to the organization. This could mean optimizing communication channels to improve customer service, using telecom data to drive business decisions, or ensuring that telecom infrastructures are scalable and agile enough to support future growth. Proactivity is stressed, rather than reactivity, which was all too common in the past. 

VaaS in the context of TEM represents this shift towards a more holistic, value-driven approach. It is about seeing telecom not just as a cost center but as a strategic asset that can drive business growth and success for other important considerations of the enterprise.

The Role of Customer Service in Telecom Expense Management

Effective customer service is critical in any service delivery model, but in the context of TEM, its significance is accentuated due to the intricate and often complex nature of telecom services and expenses. 

Customer Service: The Backbone of Effective TEM 

The ability to navigate complexities fluidly is important: Telecom expense management can be labyrinthine, involving varied contracts and addendums, complex billing structures, and rapidly evolving technology. Customer service plays a crucial role in helping customers navigate these complexities, ensuring they understand and effectively manage their telecom expenses. 

Proactive problem-solving is an imperative in a well-run TEM program: Quality customer service in TEM is not just about responding to issues; it’s about proactively identifying potential problems and addressing them before they escalate. This can include monitoring for billing errors, advising on cost-saving opportunities, or suggesting efficiency improvements. 

Personalized support is more important than ever: Each business has unique telecom needs and challenges. Effective customer service in TEM provides personalized support tailored to these specific requirements, ensuring that solutions are relevant and impactful. 

Challenges in Traditional TEM Customer Service 

Traditional TEM often suffered from a lack of personalized attention and an over-reliance on generic, one-size-fits-all solutions. This can result in multiple issues: 

Inadequate Resolution of Issues: Without a deep understanding of the customer’s specific needs and challenges, TEM service providers may offer solutions that are ineffective or irrelevant.  

Simple issues like resetting passwords may be easily fixable by far off remote teams, but issues more complex that involve complicated billing challenges, sensitive security concerns, or fixing mobile devices will require more responsive and local firsthand involvement by subject-matter-experts with proven records of success. 

Delayed Response Times: Inefficiencies in traditional customer service models can lead to delays in resolving issues, impacting the business negatively, especially if organizations are overly reliant on outsourced customer service overseas. 

A less than optimal team may offer support, but is it effective? Did it really solve the problem in a timely and expeditious manner?  

Limited Understanding of Local Markets: For businesses operating in specific regions, a lack of localized industry knowledge is always a significant drawback as relates to customer service. Again, customer support teams based overseas will not be able to deliver the quality of support that domestic-based teams can. 

Keeping up with regional business practices (e.g., US) and changes in local tariffs is difficult enough for those domestically based. Asking a team of support personnel across the globe to assist is replete with challenges.  

For a complex business such as enterprise expense management, there are simply too many moving parts that make overseas support untenable for organizations that truly value strong customer support for their enterprise communications networks. 

6 Ways TEM Benefits with VaaS -Centric Domestic Customer Service

Let’s review and summarize in more detail the relationship between VaaS and domestic-based customer service, and how this integration is creating a new paradigm in telecom expense management, elevating both the efficiency and effectiveness of customer services provided. 

1. Localized expertise makes a real difference

Domestic customer service teams bring an in-depth understanding of local telecom markets, regulations, and business cultures. This expertise is invaluable in tailoring VaaS solutions to the specific needs and challenges of domestic customers. 

When enterprise customers tell us why they were interested in switching their TEM provider, this is one of the top reasons. 

2. Business communications are enhanced

Proximity in customer service not only facilitates faster response times but also improves the quality of communication. Teams based in the same region as the enterprise customer can offer support in the same time zone and without language challenges (e.g., accent issues even if English is spoken), which is crucial for clear and effective communication. 

The world of TEM is a communication-intensive business with little room for error and poor communications. This is another common issue that we hear about often from customers who chose to leave their prior TEM provider because of poor communications and customer service.

3. Personalized and responsive service is easier on your employees

Domestic-based customer service teams can provide a more personalized service experience. They are better positioned to build strong relationships with enterprise customers, understand their unique business environments, and respond quickly to their needs. 

TEM providers need to work extremely closely with their enterprise customers to ensure overall TEM program success. As noted, there are so many moving parts, involving potentially hundreds of locations, various carriers, copious contracts, ever-evolving tariffs and service guides, numerous employees, etc. 

When the TEM provider interacts with your organization’s team and personnel outside the company, i.e., carrier employees, communications and responsiveness to your organization’s needs are better served via strong domestic-based customer support. 

4. Improved solution tailoring to your organization’s unique needs

The combination of VaaS’s flexibility and domestic customer service’s local insights leads to more effectively tailored telecom management solutions. 

Nowadays, one-sized fits all solutions do not work well within the world of TEM. A reputable TEM provider with a highly competent domestic-based team will provide the best support for your organization.

5. Quicker problem resolution will keep your internal team happy

Local customer service teams can address and resolve issues far more rapidly, minimizing downtime and enhancing overall service efficiency for your organization’s employees.  

Better supported employees will be more productive and happier. And this will benefit the organization’s bottom line.

6. A stronger relationship is formed between your internal team and the TEM provider

The personalized approach of domestic customer service fosters stronger, trust-based relationships between the TEM provider partner and your internal expense management team, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty. 

For large enterprises that want a healthy and productive longer-term relationship with their TEM provider, this sets up all parties for success. It’s real work to switch TEM providers, and it can be costly. This variable alone can detrimentally impact this relationship if customer service is not of the highest quality.

Better supported employees will be more productive and happier. And this will benefit the organization’s bottom line.

Closing Thoughts on VaaS-Centric Customer Service

The integration of VaaS into telecom/technology expense management is setting new standards in the industry. We find it an extremely useful model to embrace relative to all aspects of TEM and see it as the next evolutionary step within the discipline.  

We hope to have made clear the benefits of embracing this approach for the especially significant role of customer service in TEM. 

This approach not only improves telecom expense management service delivery but also ensures that telecom resources are leveraged in a way that delivers strategic value to the enterprise, contributing to business growth and long-term TEM program success. 

If you’d like to consider Tellennium in your telecom/technology expense management vendor comparisons, contact us to schedule a brief demo of our solution. 

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