I have been selling Windstream services for over a decade. Back in those days I had contracts with 8-10 carriers and tried to be the best resource for customers thinking I had shelf space of everything they needed.
As the years went by and consolidation was happening at a rapid pace (I’m sure this took Congress by surprise), the local carriers (LEC’s and CLEC’s) were crushing the long distance carriers because there was a lot more competition driving the rates down killing profits, while the local carriers who had infrastructure built were still getting termination fees on all long distance calls and enjoying less competition.
I originally started selling MGI Communications in 1998 out of Las Vegas who had a pretty decent agent program and a channel manager I could trust. Their second city was Atlanta and it turned out to be a good choice. First, let me explain how I get paid. For selling a carrier service, I get a percentage of the total bill, minus the taxes every month. Similar to your insurance agent who helps pick your policy, makes recommendations and is a point of contact should a claim be filed. The best telecom agents (like us of course!) figured out on-going support from DiscountCall was much better on everyone by not having their customers sit on hold all day long or not know how to ask the right question. (Sorry but the cable carrier that starts with a C and ends in ast comes to mind!)
So MGI turned into Mpower and I inherited a new channel manager who I liked even more. Joe knew how to get stuff done and maneuver around the tape to keep me happy as which made our customers even happier. The monthly pay was worth it, even though there were growing pains and install disasters which were rectified quickly. Mpower was one of the first carriers to bring T-1 Service to Atlanta at an affordable price. $419 per month with voice lines and 1.54M of Internet. Not too bad when you’re talking to customers who hated DSL or couldn’t even get it!
Mpower was then purchased by FDN Communications out of Orlando. They took everything that was good about Mpower and kept it and threw out the rest like you should with garbage. They even invented software that talked to Bellsouth called RIO. It was amazing and did three things for DiscountCall:
- Directly linked to Bellsouth portals so there were no mistakes in how many numbers the customer had, what the numbers were, and the provisioning dates of the numbers. Bye Bye paperwork done by humans which can always cause errors.
- It allowed us to see the history and notes of each customer and input our own notes. If one of our customers wanted to add a line, no need for paperwork, we would just input the order and watch the order flow. No other carrier had that capability.
- We could see our commissions on those screens, what the customer billed each month and dates of when their bills were due. Imagine all of our other carriers sending us an Excel spreadsheet every month and us having to take their word for it! If you want great service, the company needs to be making money to afford it!
The reason I’m always forthcoming with how DiscountCall is paid is I always want our customers to understand that we’re profitable with their account and will be around for the long haul. Since we are paid every month, we have an obvious responsibility to upkeep their account for the long haul. It’s a huge advantage when customers are deciding between us and another salesperson from another company.
So then FDN was purchased by NuVox who didn’t change a thing other than add a few products and allowed us to sell in a larger footprint. We were again happy with the change and kept adding out of town customers with our phone systems and NuVox Voice & Internet services.
Then came the beast. Windstream gobbled up NuVox for hundreds of millions like you and I buy socks. Windstream had money in the bank and an extensive residential footprint and willing to buy up other carriers to complete a network in 48 states. They added technology, extra support for us and mainly the services that are marketed today including Cloud Services, Colocation centers and the promise to keep adding more. By offering all of these services, they are able to provide more bandwidth, one stop shopping at a price point that is easy to understand.
Our techs enjoy inside support with portals and a dedicated staff just for us. Our customers enjoy the peace of mind knowing everything will work at a competitive price. Most of them will want the Cloud services Windstream provides and the one company who can provide all of it. When our customers are happy so are we since almost 100% of our customers are referral-based.
Our niche in the marketplace is being able to put together enough pieces of the communication maze to offer our client’s solid choices while we are able to profit and support them as they grow. Windstream helps us accomplish that while extending our service offering without us having to represent more cloud vendors if we so choose. In-house IT directors, business owners, and contracted IT vendors are the main people we serve and without Windstream we’d be a supermarket without milk and bread.
Image Source : WindStream