FCS survey shows that independent telecoms providers are meeting the needs of their SME customers better.
An independent survey carried out for Federation of Communication Services has demonstrated the importance of independent telecoms service providers in serving UK SMEs. The survey has clearly shown that the independents are meeting the needs of these companies better when compared with their national rivals.
The survey, which was carried out by YouGov on behalf of FCS, showed that 27% of the telco suppliers were independent service providers and resellers demonstrating that they form a significant part of the market.
The responses showed that the qualities most valued by all SMEs in their telecom suppliers were responsiveness, flexibility and being sympathetic to the needs of small businesses; this applies to the whole sample regardless of whether their existing supplier is an independent or national provider. In each of these key areas the independent resellers were more highly rated by their SME customers.
The survey also demonstrated that a high proportion of SMEs (76% of all respondents) are aware of the roll out of fibre networks and nearly two thirds consider the opportunities which the new technology offers to be important to their companies. Increased bandwidth, higher data carrying capacity and higher speed video conferencing were specifically cited as potential benefits.
A third of the current customers of national providers have attempted to switch to another provider and 62% of those did so successfully. Reasons given for not moving were inertia; “I’ve always been with my current provider” or “it’s too much hassle to move”. Other respondents said that there was only one supplier where they were based or that choice was very limited.
CEO of FCS, Jacqui Brookes commented, “This survey demonstrates the importance of resellers in serving the UK business community. We call on Ofcom and BT to note these findings as they formulate plans for the regulation and roll out of fibre and the services which will be provided over the new networks.