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11 January 2024

The nicest craftsman is a smiling craftsman. And he’s smiling because he’s finally using a cloud PBX!

In Norway, being nice matters. Want proof? Look no further than the Norway’s Nicest Craftsman award, started by leading B2B MVNO Talkmore and now successfully running since 2017.  Winning it is a well-recognised and important achievement in the country’s commercial landscape and victory focuses attention and bestows pride on the significant craft industry.

“Significant” here is an important word. Thousands of Norwegians use craftsman to perform important domestic projects and tasks and though customer satisfaction ratings for their work are high, craftsmen themselves have historically had something of an undeserved negative reputation. They’ve been perceived as being somewhat grouchy and unhappy.

But that perception is changing, and it’s one reason Talkmore sponsors the award. Its innovative Cloud PBX service based on Gintel’s technology is perfect for craftsmen and in recent years it’s been helping to put the smile back on their faces. Perhaps that should come as no surprise, as any craftsman who’s been used to using a mobile to run their business will quickly benefit from a Cloud PBX.

It’s hard to smile when you’re working in a storm!

Where did this image of the unhappy craftsman come from? If we hope to change it, we need to first understand that. So, here’s a question: why should Norway’s plumbers, builders, electricians, joiners, and others be miserable? What have they got to be unhappy about? There’s no apparent shortage of work for them to do…no shortage of things that need to be built, connected, constructed, and irrigated! And the craftsman doing the work have the tools they need to do their jobs. So, to quote a famous Batman villain (although it’s no joke), “why so sad?”!

Well, there was one possible reason. Craftsmen are trying to do their jobs, but the communications networks and service providers they were relying on to help them run their businesses effectively were actually making their lives more difficult, not easier. As trying to run a small business using only a personal mobile phone with access to just a few, not-really-useful-or-relevant, consumer rather than designed-for-enterprise services was pretty hard going, perhaps craftsman once had  a reason for grimacing, at least when their phone rang. Inadequate comms services tend to put a frown on your face!

Just imagine…

Happily, times have changed (hence the growing number of smiles). Having recognised the issue, today Norwegian MVNO Talkmore offers a cloud PBX service. But that’s not always the case globally, so Norway provides a case study from which there’s much to learn.

Mobile service providers in other countries can also offer solutions that target craftsmen in their own domains, and Gintel can help them do it. Let’s look at the advantages of doing so.

To do that, we’ll go back to Norway. What turned those frowns into a smile? What did craftsman need, but not have? That’s the question Talkmore had to address. In fact, the answer was a profit opportunity sitting right in front of them. A few scenarios make the point.

  1. The overloaded craftsman

Workflow for the craftsman isn’t always evenly distributed. It can be random, and cyclical. Sometimes lots of projects are on the go at once and additional hands need to be brought in. Trying to manage a fluctuating team from a single mobile device isn’t easy, if not impossible. Why not have additional, simple handsets ready to increase the available number of phones reachable by the same number, so that calls to the business can be routed to any of those users that are available? Why not also make it easy for temporary and occasional employees to use their own devices for work?

One, or more, phones could have Cloud PBX user accounts which can be used with their own smartphones. These could make and receive calls. Simple handsets might only answer, rather than make calls. All activity could be based around a single virtual number. All devices could be used as terminating points with designated employee devices acting as agents.

  1. The craftsman who struggles to grab opportunities.

All those opportunities for work and just a single, consumer mobile device to field them. Why can’t the craftsman set up hunt groups to handle enquiries and queue incoming calls between the members of the team, instead of having to panic whenever his phone rings? Why can’t callers – prospective new customers – be played a message if they need to wait in a queue? Why can’t they have options while they’re waiting, just like in a larger business? Options like press 1 to arrange a quotation, press 2 to talk to a foreman or supervisor, press 3 to speak to accounts, and so on. Why can’t different craftsmen who are working on a project log in and out, depending on their roles in the business, rota and shift patterns?

It’s a simple enough scenario and easy to base the solution on modelling how calls are routed correctly to the members of a team, depending on the individual selected. It’s a basic enterprise communications service which craftsmen don’t seem to have widespread access to. But why not?

  1. The craftsman who needs a voice mail system that works!

The craftsman isn’t smiling because he can’t keep up with incoming calls. People who try to reach them could simply go to a rival. Why isn’t there a queue system, with overflow forwarded to voicemail? Why aren’t accumulated VMs sent to a single point, perhaps to email, if not the craftsman himself?

Again, nothing complicated here. Just a cloud PBX needed. Nothing physical to deploy. Portal access via subscription. End result, smiling craftsman enabled to run his business seamlessly.

Adequate enterprise services infrastructure, please

The summary? The perception of the frowning craftsman may well have been because his existing telecoms infrastructure (usually, just a mobile subscription) simply wasn’t doing the job. It was an easy problem to solve, with access to a Cloud PBX fully integrated with the mobile network.

This reality extends far beyond Norway, and mobile service providers wherever they’re located thus have no excuses for not making sure their own craftsman clients don’t have reasons to smile.

A country’s nicest craftsmen should also be their happiest. It boils down to this: Gintel’s Cloud PBX can help operators deliver enhanced productivity solutions to their enterprise customers – and craftsmen should be among the prime targets, alongside any other B2B customer.

Talk to Gintel

Our solutions help service providers like Talkmore deliver services to different segments – from the smallest to the largest. The problem is that many service providers neglect segments like craftsmen – and shopkeepers, small professional services companies, and so on. If you are not thinking about such customers, you are missing a huge opportunity.

We can help you target this, profitably – so get in touch to find out how.

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