Customer RespOrg and the Illusion of Control
Recently Travis Hinton and I held a webinar on busting toll-free myths which you can view here:
Of those 3 myths, the one we hear the most is that maintaining your own RespOrg gives you “control”.
Now, when customers say they want “control” what they really want is peace of mind, and they think maintaining their own RespOrg will give that to them. They think that way because they’re under the assumption that if they have access to toll-free routing, have direct vendor relationships, and maintain direct connectivity to their toll-free carriers that they’ll be able to provision, modify, and maintain their toll-free network better than a RespOrg provider (like Bandwidth) can. It’s the idea that, “Hey, if I can put my hands on it, and I can touch it and feel it, then I have control over it.” That’s an illusion, and here’s why.
- Control over routing: if you act as your own RespOrg, it’s your responsibility to manage your toll-free templates in the Somos database. This database tells the world where to route a call to when someone dials a toll-free number. Sounds simple, but what if there’s a problem at 2am on a Saturday? Or worse, 2am on a Monday? Do you have someone available 24/7/365 to react to an outage so that your customer’s toll-free calls don’t fail? Bandwidth does, with a 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) dedicated to eliminating downtime with proactive network monitoring.
- Direct vendor relationships: having direct relationships with vendors can be really empowering. You think if you have relationships directly with the toll-free carriers that you’ll be able to negotiate really low rates and play the carriers against each other. You think having that “multi-carrier” approach will give you flexibility. Well, we take a multi-carrier approach too, utilizing four Tier-1 toll-free carriers in addition to having our own toll-free network for 5x carrier redundancy. Use us and leverage our buying power, with billions of minutes of use (MOUs) with our toll-free partners and our network owner economics to reduce your toll-free costs. Plus, why would you want to take on the responsibility of maintaining all those relationships, managing all those rate decks, and negotiating all those contracts? Let Bandwidth take care of all that.
- Connectivity directly with the toll-free carriers: you want direct connectivity to the carriers to avoid being “single threaded”. Your thinking is, “Well, if I’m only using Bandwidth, and Bandwidth goes down, I won’t be able to receive any calls until Bandwidth is back up.” And you’re right. But a LOT of things have to go wrong for this to happen. We solve for this by building not only 5x carrier redundancy, but diverse connectivity (1) from our network to our customers, (2) within the core of our network, (3) to our toll-free carrier networks, and (4) to our own Feature Group D network. Then on top of this, we’ve deployed a balance of machine automation tooling and human intervention to see beyond those networks deeper into the PSTN. If you want to manage the relationships with your toll-free carriers directly, then you have to manage the connectivity to them as well. This means deploying and managing connectivity to each vendor, managing diverse routes to each, understanding each carrier’s customer and PSTN facing redundancy and failover, and finally (and here’s the tricky one) having that visibility into the PSTN to be able to identify and route around local market outages.
Toll-free peace of mind
This is not about being perfect with no chance of outages ever. That’s not a guarantee anyone can make. It’s about mitigating risk; you’ll feel like you’ve mitigated all the risk by doing these things yourself. It makes you feel like you’re in control which gives you peace of mind. Until there’s an outage or other issue and you find out you didn’t have all the redundancy you thought or you hadn’t made the investments in a 24/7 toll-free team that could respond quickly enough. Maybe it’s an issue where you don’t have visibility and it takes hours to figure it out. While this is going on, your calls aren’t completing, you can’t make money and you lose customers. That’s when you find out that the control you thought you had was an illusion.
Peace of mind with toll-free service is expensive, time-consuming, and complex. Let a carrier like Bandwidth, who has already made the investments in people, network, and tools, take the responsibility out of your hands. You’ll still have a lot of control via the Bandwidth Dashboard where you can, in real-time, order toll-free numbers, set up trunk groups, provision failover, and make many changes. Porting is also super easy. Best of all, we do all that for free along with offering competitive toll-free number and cost per minute options.
There’s no illusion in that.