More than three-quarters of UK small and medium-sized enterprises are putting service levels before price when they choose telecommunications providers, new research shows.
A survey of 175 SMEs, carried out by analyst firm the Yankee Group, found that 76% said service was more important than price in selecting new telecoms suppliers.
But looking for a cheaper service or product is still the main driver behind moves to switch suppliers, with more than seven out of 10 reporting this as their reason, the research commissioned by telecoms provider Telstra Europe found.
Poor technical service would lead 62% of those surveyed to switch suppliers, while more than a third (38%) would abandon their supplier if they experienced poor customer service.
Yankee Group EMEA director of broadband and media, Anette Schaefer, said, “Pricing is important but these companies are looking for market expertise to help them understand the technology and the tangible business benefits.
“Technical support and strong service level agreements will also be key in inspiring customer confidence and increasingly their understanding of the new technology.”
The research also found that more than a third of SMEs were planning to upgrade their telecoms services this year, driven by increasing take up of voice over IP.
The survey found that 40% of respondents were already using converged voice and data services, with a third expecting to adopt VoIP this year.