Mystery Caller – August

This month our mystery caller is interested in tablets for his business. He has heard all the hype about Apple tablets but knows there are a lot more options out there. Traditionally his mobile staff have been issued with a mobile phone and a laptop, after complaints of having to lug a huge piece of kit around all the time and the natural upgrade cycle about to expire he is wondering if he will still be able to get the same out of his staff if they have tablets instead of laptops. What are the compatibility issues he needs to worry about and what kind of lifespan can he expect from a tablet over a laptop?

Mobilephonesdirect.co.uk

I had a little look at the website and saw they had quite a few deals on tablets at the moment so I thought they would be a good place to start my journey. Unfortunately they weren’t, I got stuck in a queue behind nine other folks! Not wanting to give up right away I thought I would hang on for a bit to see how my call was being handled. Every few minutes or so an automated voice would tell me I was getting a bit nearer the front of the queue and also reminded me of their website where I may find the answer to some of my questions. After five minutes and reaching seventh in line I decided I would call back a bit later.

When I rang back a few hours later I was delighted to hear I was now first in the queue! A delightful lady picked up the phone, unfortunately I didn’t catch her name and it’s probably just as well! I was asked what kind of use the tablets were likely to get and I mentioned a few applications which were must haves. I was then treated to a tech spec read out of the Apple iPad Air2 which I was told would be her first choice for me.

As I had specifically said I wanted to find out what else there was aside from Apple as their products were a bit pricey for me I pushed a little bit more. I had their website open in front of me so I asked about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as it was about £230 cheaper than the iPad. Unfortunately this is where the nameless sales person stumbled a bit. She did say it would be her second choice but struggled to tell me anything about it. Mid way through my sentence explaining that I just wanted to know if I should buy from them or nip down to PC World I was promptly told to hold because there may be someone else better equipped to handle my questions.

After a brief moment on hold I was told it would be best if I spoke to Elliot because he had better expertise in this area. He was currently busy so I was invited to email him or leave my number and wait for a call back. Having wasted enough of my life already I took the email address and hung up so I could finish a packet of salt n’ vinegar which I had foolishly opened prior to the call. Elliot wasn’t getting an email from me, at that point my crisps had a better chance of selling me a tablet!

Total 10/30 Ok, maybe I’m being harsh here but for some reason an anger was woken in me which is usually reserved for speaking to airline customer services after my flight has been cancelled.

 

Evolve

Chris initially took my call at Evolve and listened to my query before passing me over to Costa (yes, like the coffee). While I was waiting for Costa to pick up the phone I was amused by the on hold music which had an automated voice telling me about all the awards Evolve had won and what a great company they were. After two minutes of that I was beginning to feel a bit brainwashed!

Costa finally picked up the phone and immediately launched into a world record attempt for the most words spoken in a phone call! He took me through the basics of why tablets are now generally preferred to laptops and how Evolve as a company has recently made the switch to tablets. Costa also took me through tethering and asked me a few questions to  ascertain whether we would need SIMs or just the tablets. He told me if they were going to be used frequently then its best to have a separate data SIM as then it won’t drain your phone battery and it can use its own antenna instead of having to share which makes it more efficient.

We got onto the tablets themselves and Costa mentioned they sell a lot of Apple products but he is constantly trying to point out to customers that there are other tablets available that do the same thing for a fraction of the price. One of his favourites is the Samsung Galaxy Note range as it has a dual app function which allows you to have two apps open side by side. They are also cheaper to repair than Apple products.

Costa then took me through what Evolve could do for me, in terms of repairs and replacements they would have us covered and as provide a 24 hour replacement service for any broken devices. In terms of security Evolve use a company called SOTI which would help protect our data on devices, lock down certain parts of the tablet, remote wipe and all sorts of other cool things which could all be controlled via a web portal. It wouldn’t break the bank either.

Costa mentioned that he was currently using a Surface Pro 3 which did intrigue me as I knew these where even more expensive than some of the Apple products. He said he didn’t have a PC anymore, he would saunter into the office and plonk his Surface tablet into a docking station and he was ready to work. He also said he found it great when he needed to dive into a meeting as he could effectively bring his entire computer with him. I did query the price but Costa explained you actually get what you pay for as you aren’t limited to the apps on the Windows platform and you could install 64 – bit programs like any other PC.

Total 26/30 This was a great call! Costa spoke to me at length (30 mins) about what Evolve could do for me and my business and I really felt like no stone was left unturned afterwards. He was polite and incredibly knowledgeable but he spoke at such a pace that I had to go a make myself a cup of tea and have a sit down in a quiet place afterwards! Saying that I can’t mark him down for being passionate about his job.

 

Round up

Two polar opposite calls this month! When I initially called Mobilephonesdirect I was thinking about the difficulties of managing the flow of customer traffic during the peak periods and actually thought they were doing an OK job. They made sure to point customers to the FAQ section of their website and let them know what position they were in the queue. It was unfortunate that I only have a five minute threshold for staying on hold but I called back later anyway. This was where things started to go south. The person I was talking to seemed to think reading a specification sheet about each tablet was going to spark interest and pitched the Apple iPad product at me first despite me asking about non Apple products because I was price sensitive. I obviously asked too many questions because I was shipped over to someone else who wasn’t available to speak to me. The whole experience left me feeling like I do when I ring BT about my home broadband speed.

On the other end of the scale was Costa, this guy could talk… a lot! If we were at a dinner party I would be throwing my vol au vents at him just so I could get a word in! Lucky for him we weren’t and his words were full of useful information. This was one of the best calls I have ever done and although I was somewhat weathered by the speed at which Costa spoke he covered everything I could think of and was more than happy to help. Well done!

Final Scores

1st  Evolve

2nd Mobilephonesdirect.co.uk

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine