Unlimited data is not the answer for B2B customers

Business customers are not simply groups of retail customers. Unlimited data is nice, but it’s not a step forward in addressing their needs. If it’s the answer, the question is probably wrong – what should MNOs be asking?

A number of MNOs have recently announced new, unlimited data plans for their B2B customers. That’s very nice, but how does it add any new value to a B2B package? It simply represents parity with a typical high-street consumer bundle. Let’s face it, unlimited data is the norm.

If unlimited data is the answer, it’s probably safe to assume the wrong question has been asked. Business users may well appreciate the extra data, but it hardly plays to their real needs. Surely it would be better to understand exactly what they really want? What actually matters more to them than a bit more surf time?

Well, some operators are trying to address this by asking a different set of questions. We’ve seen the results of such investigations from our customers and prospects, because these customer needs must be translated into product features and capabilities. The answers show how MNOs can do more than tinker with pricing for the components of a typical bundle.

Indeed, some of the more creative operators are beginning to understand that the answers – and even the questions – will differ according to the market being addressed. For example, what pain points are experienced by businesses with 10 or fewer employees? It transpires that, after extensive interviews in the field with such companies, one answer is “missing calls”. That probably sounds obvious, but the really important thing is to understand first, why this really matters and, second, how the problem can be solved.

There are several reasons why this matters. Clearly, a missed call is a missed opportunity, so not being able to handle incoming calls can have an immediate negative impact on a business.

But, there are other factors to consider too. Failure to answer a call may not result in an immediate loss of business but it might have an effect on reputation. Similarly, there can be a problem once a call is actually answered – if there is no easy way to transfer a call to the right person, the caller may simply lose interest. So, it’s not just missing a call per se, it’s what happens when the call is processed – if, indeed, there is a way to process this efficiently at all.

Understanding all of this requires interaction with businesses, so that these problems can be articulated and understood from all angles. MNOs can’t simply assume that they know they answers or even understand the challenges faced by business customers based on preconceptions. They need to find out, first-hand.

The next step is to translate these problems into solutions that can be used, easily and effectively by business customers. This is critical, because ease of use is key to getting businesses to use the solutions MNOs offer to them.

All of this takes time and thought. It needs a degree of investment and it needs a recognition that businesses are different and cannot be treated simply as big groups of consumers. So, unlimited data is a great idea, but if you need help defining the questions and solutions that really matter, we can help. Get in touch to see how.

MNOs, B2B Customers

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