“Ask Anything” – Nigel Barnett – Part 2

In the latest instalment of Fibrenews’ Ask Anything series, Jonny Rae interviews Nigel Barnett, CEO of Telecoms Acquisitions Limited, to delve into the intricacies of customer base migration, acquisition hurdles, and effective customer acquisition strategies in the consumer broadband market.

Jonny Rae: What does the process look like to migrate a customer base?

Nigel Barnett: Most of the wholesalers you deal with for your services are likely to be our suppliers already, whether it’s CityFibre, Vodafone, TalkTalk, or other alternative networks. We already have existing accounts with them, which makes the migration process far more seamless. On the day of completion, the account with the network transfers into our name, and we assume liability from that day forward. You’ll need to give your customers 30 days’ notice that you’re transferring the service. You notify them on one day, and we follow up two days later to introduce ourselves. This is required by law.

We’ll need a file from you containing all your customers’ data and the products associated with each customer. If platforms like GoCardless are involved to collect Direct Debits, they provide an ID number that matches the customer data. Once we have this information, we can input the data into our systems. Typically, we ask you to bill for the first month, but since we’ve assumed liability, the payment will be due to us. This gives us 30 days to load the information into our system. We’ll start billing from the first of the next month and handle all service calls.

Jonny Rae: What can prevent an acquisition from completing?

Nigel Barnett: It’s not a pleasant topic, but some people use their wholesale networks as a bank and might accumulate extra costs or fall behind on payments. It happens to everyone. What we need is for the alt net or supplier to agree to give us clear title to the customer lines. If there’s any debt, it must be settled simultaneously and directly to the network, not between us and the party we’re acquiring.

The only thing that has held up deals so far is ensuring that the alt net or supplier provides a clear title and resolves any outstanding debts.

Jonny Rae: In your opinion, what’s the best method for new customer acquisition?

Nigel Barnett: There are two main approaches. You can either spend a lot of money, or you can leverage your current customers, who can be crucial for business growth. Some businesses use a “refer a mate” strategy. By engaging with customers and asking them to refer friends and family, they generate more business through recommendations.

Every customer you gain might provide another 2 or 3 leads. This is the most cost-effective way to acquire new customers. Provide excellent service, maintain good relationships, and ask for referrals. Reward your customers for referrals. Each customer likely knows 2 or 3 people who might need your services. Start with this approach to understand and grow your business organically.

Nigel’s full episode will be released shortly. To receive updates on any of our video-based content, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter, found on our homepage.

Jonny Rae

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