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How we help our customers avoid nasty phone and IT bills

How we help our customers avoid nasty phone and IT bills
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How we help our customers avoid nasty phone and IT bills
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Our efficient and reliable IT systems are a key attraction for the small and medium-sized businesses who use our offices, studios and workshops.  But we do more than just provide super-fast connections; we also keep on top of our customers’ internet and phone usage to help them avoid unexpectedly large bills.  We’ve been talking to our busy IT Manager, Chris Martin to find out how he does this, and how this benefits our customers.

Internet is ubiquitous nowadays, and one of Chris’s main jobs is to monitor usage across our nine business centres so that customers don’t get any nasty surprises: “For internet usage, we charge on a what-you-use-is-what-you-pay model. Some customers barely use internet but some monitor CCTV all over the country and they’re streaming huge amounts of data. Because of this variation, we split the internet into bands A-F, with the band they fall into dictating what we charge on their internet access. When a customer comes in, they start on a generic rate for a period of time, then we review that and look at the last six months’ use, and we adjust which band they are in. If a customer starts seeing abnormal data usage, then it’s my job to figure out what’s going on or what machine is playing up and narrow it down for them.”

Avoiding surprise bills

Fortunately, Chris’s expertise means he is aware of the main culprits of abnormal internet usage, and applies this to help bring bills down for our business accommodation customers: “Quite often nowadays cloud storage is becoming bigger and bigger, and a simple tick in a box can hugely change your data usage – changing your settings to having your data backed up every single day as opposed to only when a file is changed can incur large data charges. That can cause a problem and it’s one of the more common ones we’re seeing nowadays; it can spiral out of control really quickly. It’s not so bad for home users, but in a commercial environment it can get expensive quite quickly.

“It’s not just the internet, we also do the same with phone calls to monitor if there is a long-distance lengthy phone call. For example, if someone makes a lengthy phone call to someone in Dubai, it can incur charges and so we look to liaise with the businesses, just so they are aware exactly what their phone is being used for.”

Keeping a transparent IT service is very important because it helps to establish trust between us and our business accommodation customers. Our Pay-As-You-Go system is great because it means you only pay for what you use – not for the IT needs of your neighbour.  But if we do see abnormal usage, we’re always here to ensure that you know exactly what your systems are being used for and help you bring your bill down.

To find out how  CapitalSpace virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667