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The telecoms market is a highly competitive one these days. Not only that, but the modern customer is aware that they have more choice than ever available at their fingertips. For consumers who still choose to pay for services separately, this can quickly become expensive.
Bundles are now the product of choice for many, and often these include a number of services paid for with one monthly fee and perhaps some call charges (depending on the package) on top.
Bundles tend to include:
These are known as double, triple and quadruple-play services, depending on the number of services chosen by the customer. So, for example, a customer might choose to have their broadband and TV from one company and this would be a double-play bundle.
The advantages to choosing broadband bundles lie in cost. Choosing a provider that offers all of the services that you need not only tends to be less expensive, but it also means that the customer has one — rather than several — bill to worry about each month, making home budgeting much easier.
Indeed, some customers can save $100s each year by choosing to bundle their services together. This is especially true of heavy users of internet, local, long-distance and international calls and adding further channels to their TV service.
Many consumers are seduced into buying bundled broadband services due to short-term promotional rates offered by large companies. However, this is not necessarily the best choice, as after the promotional period expires, consumers could find themselves on the end of a large bill which they haven’t really accounted for. This means that it’s better to shop around and discover the best rates on an annual basis, alongside the level of customer support and additional services that the vendor might offer.
According to John Breyault, research director for TRAC (Telecommunications Research and Action Center):
“It takes time to research new service, schedule any technicians that need to come in, and be there for the installation. There may also be service outages to put up with while the switch occurs.”
This can be enough to put consumers off and make them stick with their current providers — and lose money where they could be making savings. Of course, bundled services are not suitable for every user; a consumer who lives alone, and doesn’t really use extended TV services or stream on broadband, is unlikely to require a full, quadruple bundle. So they will have to shop around and look carefully at where savings can be made on what they do use, such as long-distance and international telephone calls.
Tailor Bundles Towards the Individual
With this in mind, for the telecoms and cable provider, it makes sense to offer bundles that vary enough that they are suitable for a range of customer needs. For example, a customer might only need a basic TV package alongside a fast internet connection and a telephone. However, their telephony costs may be high as they regularly call family and friends long distance or even internationally.
In that instance, it would make sense to offer broadband telephony to the customer as they will save substantial amounts on the calls that they make when compared to a traditional, fixed line.
Alternatively, a customer may be a heavy user of broadband for downloading or streaming TV services, but rarely use their landline, relying instead on mobile calls — which can become expensive. They may also prefer to have the full TV package so that they always have a wide range of entertainment at their fingertips. In this instance, it would make sense to offer broadband telephony (VoIP) to replace mobile calling. However, the customer could still use their mobile device using a fully featured VoIP app and make further savings.
Some customers may worry that if their power connection cuts out then they are cut off from the world completely if they rely on broadband calling. However, whilst routers and modems do of course rely on electricity, it’s possible to purchase an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) to ensure that they have no interruption to service.
These are not particularly expensive and are used regularly in office environments where an interruption to power could mean a loss in business. For the consumer, they offer further peace of mind that they can remain connected to the world in the event of a power outage. Broadband services tend to offer 99% uptime, so it’s more likely that the customer will be hit by a power cut than their internet going down, unless they choose a particularly poor service.
Bundled broadband saves your customers money — often quite significant amounts each year. With this in mind, it makes sense to offer a variety of bundles to your customer to ensure that they can find the best set-up for their individual circumstances.