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3 Signs that Customer Service will be the main differentiator in Telecoms.

Signpost with yellow signs pointing in opposite direction: Customer pointing to the right & Service pointing to the left. Indicates that Customer Service is trending in opposite direction to Customer's expectations
When it comes to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), I know that there are several factors that determine customer satisfaction, but customer service is often the deciding factor.

As a business owner and parent in Canada, I understand the importance of reliable internet service. Not only does it allow me to conduct business online, but it also keeps my family connected with loved ones, provides entertainment, and (in theory) helps my teens get their homework done.

But what happens when there are issues with the internet? Either an issue that hits everyone at once, or an issue that just seems to be my house. This is where customer service comes into play. I’ve built my own business on the idea that almost every customer problem can be resolved quickly and without a ton of stress. I’d love to be able to call my internet company and get a problem resolved without making me want to give up and go live as a disconnected hermit in the woods. I digress…

Here’s the thing: I really think that customer service is a critical aspect of the internet provider industry. It’s the foundation for building trust and maintaining strong relationships between the provider and its customers. As a business owner, I need to ensure that my internet service is always up and running to conduct my operations efficiently. But as a parent, I also need to ensure that my family has access to reliable internet for their daily needs.

When it comes to internet service providers (ISPs), I know that there are several factors that determine customer satisfaction, but customer service is often the deciding factor. I want to be able to choose a provider that has a reputation for providing excellent customer service. This means quick response times, knowledgeable representatives, and effective solutions to any issues that may arise.

If you’re a Canadian, you may be laughing now. It’s not really what any of our internet providers are known for here. But I have hope. I recently came across NetJOI. They’re offering high-speed internet and digital phone services at better prices than the big guns. And it looks like they may be the company that actually delivers on customer service.

“I’m lucky I’ve only had to call my internet provider twice in the last year. Both times I was transferred to at least one other department. That would be fine if there wasn’t a wait involved each time. But on the last call, I explained everything, then got put on hold for 40 mins, then got transferred where I waited on hold again for almost an hour. It was so frustrating, but I didn’t want to hang up and lose my place in line!”

Parent of 2 kids

There’s an advantage to being a smaller company like NetJOI. They literally don’t have a dozen different departments to transfer you between. Customer service is handled by a smaller team of agents. Just like working with any smaller business, you get that personal connection that’s missing in large companies with hundreds of support workers that come and go.

One thing that sets the internet provider industry apart from other industries is the immediacy of customer service needs. When there’s an issue with the internet, it needs to be resolved quickly. Businesses need the internet to conduct work, to stay connected, to send and receive money, to coordinate between employees, and to make sure that the services they offer are operating as they should. As a business owner, I can’t afford to have extended periods of downtime that lead to lost revenue and decreased productivity.

It’s the same as a parent. I need to be available if my kids need to contact me. Even if their ‘emergencies’ right now revolve around needing money and rides, they know I’m there for them. And I need to make sure they can access everything they need to do their schoolwork and connect with teachers and classmates. Did you know that more and more schools are switching to online textbooks, virtual lectures, and even writing and submitting their assignments online? When the internet’s down, all that stops.

“I called into my internet people because I tried to send an email and it said it wasn’t connected to the internet. After waiting on hold for what felt like an eternity, I heard a robotic voice that said, ‘Thank you for waiting. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.” I waited a few more minutes only to realize I was listening to the same hold music on repeat. That music was the only customer services I could get.”

Retired contractor

I think customer service in the internet provider industry isn’t only about resolving issues promptly but also about providing education and guidance to customers. If I’m experiencing slow internet speeds, it’s incredibly helpful when a customer service rep can identify the issue, and then walk me through how to optimize internet performance. (It’s even better if this happens when the kids are away, and I can look like the hero when they come home.)

The internet has become a key part of Canadian society. It influences the way we communicate, work, learn, and consume information. It’s transformed the way businesses operate, enabling them to reach a broader audience and conduct transactions online. I wouldn’t even have a business without internet access.

I’m glad the Canadian government has recognized the importance of broadband internet access and has taken steps to ensure that all Canadians have access to high-speed internet. The government’s Connecting Canadians program is supposed to bring broadband internet to 100% of Canadian households by 2030. This initiative will help bridge the digital divide and (I hope) make sure that all Canadians have access to the opportunities that the internet provides.

The internet isn’t going anywhere. And we need service providers that want to be in it to help Canadians, not just to make a ton of money off of us.

We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of Canadian businesses and individuals. It’s forced many businesses to shift their operations online. Because of this, I have new customers that I couldn’t have even considered working for even five years ago. I bet this shift will have a lasting impact on a lot of us.

So, when I have a choice about who I’m going to go with for internet and digital phone service, I’m looking for customer service as a part of that decision. I’m pretty excited to give NetJOI a try, and see what a difference it makes to work with a company that isn’t so obscenely large that they have no motivation to make the experience a good one for their customers.

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