This article is the fifth in a series of 10 articles on the techniques which can be used to get Roaming Partners to sign Roaming Agreements with you. Seduction may not sound like the right word for the skill needed to get other Operators to be your partner, but what we really mean here is that you have to “win them over” to your way of thinking. These articles are intended to help you get your roaming agreements signed and launched quick!
In Europe the Regulators recently raised a demand upon Operators under Regulation to offer SLA’s to ARPs (Alternative Roaming Providers) in order to guarantee service levels between all three parties in the delivery chain for Roaming.
This caught my attention because service levels as formal as this have never been requested before between Operators in the Roaming scenario. Commercial demands an customer complaints tend always to get the attention of Operators and generate action in scenarios where service fails or response times are not adequate enough. However when working as a Roaming Manager it always concerned me just how unequipped Operators were to respond when SLA’s are not formally agreed in contracts. I recall such a fault case when one of my roaming partners lost their GPRS coverage for two weeks and were completely unresponsive to my customers needs (i got a second network in that country and steered traffic to the new partner asap).
This situation needed to be explained because its quite unique and important for this industry and should be understood in context of my recommendations below.
The Basic Technique: Roaming agreement provision or delivery is rarely run like a project, but thats no reason why an Operator faced with a challenging delivery with a Roaming Partner shouldn’t put some project planning in place and set an SLA for actions taken towards the Roaming Partner.
Following up is naturally important to guarantee responsiveness from your Roaming Partner. You should consider that as a basic principal. Unless YOU follow up then the “project” WILL NOT be delivered.
Get on the phone! Follow up on regular intervals (for example try every Tuesday morning at 10am). Treat your delivery of the Roaming Agreement like a project you must attend even if you’re the only one in the meeting.
The Seduction: Create a project plan and SLA for your responsiveness and delivery and then beat it.
Map out timelines for contract delivery, testing dates, and launch. Tell the Roaming Partner the schedule your working to and that you will respond within 24 hours whenever they contact you. But you won’t respond in 24 hours you will respond in 12 hours or less (because that’s the kind of quality of service your Roaming Partner can expect when working with you).
This works because they will be impressed with your professionalism, meticulous approach to delivery of the agreement and most importantly, they will know that when they have time to deliver an agreement with you, that you will be there waiting and reactive to their needs.
Look out for next weeks article on Technique Number 5.
Grow Roaming Consult Rocco.