Reactive or Proactive?

It has bothered me for a while that the telecoms industry on the whole is reactive rather than being proactive. This is true for product development, support and network investment and it has got me wondering as to why? Fluidata is relatively new to the telecoms and networking market especially when you look at how long the likes of Cable & Wireless and BT have been around. So why do we think we should be proactive as to how we offer and support our services when the vast majority do the opposite. Is it just impossible to be proactive in this industry and by persisting are we doing our company more damage than good?

My background is predominately from VARs (Value Added Reseller) where account management and customer service is key especially as the products you are trying to shift (Microsoft, HP, 3Com etc) are available anywhere. If a customer isn’t happy with a particular brand or technology it was easy to recommend something else and maintain the client relationship. This was the ethos behind Fluidata and so far it has worked but because we are actually providing the service rather than a product more input is required by us in delivery than would be by a VAR.

This means we have to be proactive in investing in the infrastructure to ensure we continue to offer choice and different products in the market. However this does mean we have a lot more communication with our client base than our competitors do and it is this that may not be always a good thing. In our industry no news is usually good news and a client contacting their network provider is usually only because there is a problem. So by us notifying customers of network changes and upgrades is that positive or negative? It shows we are being proactive and investing however when compared to another provider that has no communication, who is seen as the most reliable by the client?

I probably won’t get to the bottom of it but for the meantime I think we will keep it as it is because it is a unique selling point and is how I would want to be dealt with if I was a customer. Even if I didn’t totally understand the technical ramifications I would like to know that my provider is at least considering me.

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