Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bell Canada - The bane of my existance

It's been a while yet again since my last post and much has changed. My personal life has gone topsy turvy and admittedly I got caught off guard.

The Telecom Consulting business on the other hand has been a good diversion and continues to "pay the bills". It seems, much to my fortune I suppose, that Carriers, Suppliers, etc. in this space can't seem to get it right.

Some are leading though and the ones that are understand its all about relationship, trust and honour. Let me expand.


Its not necessary to make friends with all your customers. Some you will click with, some you will just have a professional relationship with. The point is there has to be a relationship. If they call, you have to call them back. Plain and simple.


To cement the relationship, there has to be trust. Is this person taking me down the garden path for a ride or are they really doing something that is win-win? The client is looking for help. That help has to be correct for them, their business and their reputation with their superiors (and their customers).


What I mean here is respect, honesty, integrity and transparency. Give me the straight goods. Promise only what you can fulfill.

I am really pleased to say that we have evolved our business with many client past our original contracts because we continue to deliver. In the Telecom business its tough to satisfy - things are varied and complex. One statement that resonated and stuck with me was "Exceed expectations by meeting them". It's a tought gig but we try hard.

Now here is where I take another pot shot at Bell. They have actually managed to lower the bar and make it easier for other companies to "Exceed by meeting".

I'm thinking Bell has become one of the worst companies to work with. Period. They are disintegrating before our eyes with personnel and support cuts. Each department operates in silos and they apply their own flavour of the rules and regulations however they see fit. The annual sales upheaval means the account teams are short term focussed and we've encountered documented cases where the sales people have overcommitted clients on contracts, split the scene, and now the team left behind is left trying to dig in their heels to enforce a contract that is just plain ethically wrong.

If they do the right thing for the customer - they take a revenue hit. The last team got the win, the new team now does everything in their power to preserve the revenue. This even includes perpetually charging customers for services they don't need, don't have, or should have replaced with more contempory alternatives.

Bottom line, they can't and won't operate in the customer's best interest. This is a Management fault - high turnover, improper training, understaffing, and improper compensation models.

Every once in a while I talk to someone who just "get it" and they will get my business. For the rest - watch out - we are about to show our customers just how bad you are.