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4th July 2017 0 Broadband

Just Telecomms: An Interview With Richard

Our director Richard spends his time rushing around and running the business, but occasionally we have a moment to pin him down. For today’s blog post, we thought we’d ask him about Just Telecomms and our history. Have a read and learn more about how we’ve evolved!

Morning Richard! What made you want to go into this type of business?

Morning! We actually became a telco (telecommunications company) by accident. We started out as a domestic gas central heating service company who moved into domestic gas and electricity sales in the late 1990s. This then led to brokering gas and electric commercially, which in turn led us to offer telephony brokerage as a natural extension. But finding all the telephone companies we worked with offering both us and their clients a shocking level of service, we naturally gravitated towards setting up our own. Just Telecomms was born out of a frustrated comment by one of the directors storming out of a board meeting to deal with the latest let-down, muttering about doing a better job ourselves. While he was away, the third director and I got on and found the software we needed to bill telephone calls, line rentals were not available then, and also someone to provide us with the calls.

So it’s true that we became a telco by accident!

How would you sum up what Just Telecomms does?

Just Telecomms find the right solution to our customers’ communications needs. In many cases, this is offering them the services they already use at a lower rate but for many it is tailoring a solution that fits their unique circumstances.

How long have you been in business?

We incorporated as Just Utilities Ltd in November 2000 as a sister to our existing energy brokerage Heat Assured Ltd, which had a sole arrangement to get clients for Enron.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run Just Telecomms?

As I said previously, we became a telco by accident so had to learn everything as we went along. 17 years on and I think we know something about it! I even sit on some industry forums alongside the likes of BT.  That said, I am a computer engineer by trade and whilst in the early days this had no direct relationship to running a telco, I now find my networking skills coming into their own again with the advent and uptake of VoIP. Only now I network telephones instead of computers! In fact I did an HNC in computing to update my skills in this department back in the noughties sometime, and this has come in handy on many occasions.

What’s been the proudest moment(s) of your career so far?

My proudest moments always occur when we get thanked by a customer for the lengths our company has gone to to sort their issue. Relying on Openreach to do the installation and repair of phone lines and internet connectivity, it is nice to be recognised when we have gone the extra mile when Openreach has been unable to resolve an issue in a reasonable time period.

Where do you see your business in the next five years?

In five years time I am planning for Just Telecomms to be the go-to communications provider for Lincolnshire. We are a national company, having customers in the length and breadth of the land, but I sometimes feel that we are Lincolnshire’s best kept secret. I feel it now time to shout from the rooftops to let Lincolnshire businesses know what they have available right on their doorstep.

Can you describe your customer base?

Our customer base is business. All we do is business telecomms; we don’t operate in the residential market  But above that plenty of our customers are loyal and have even become friends in many instances. Where possible we do business with our customers and have been to birthday parties, clay pigeon shoots, and even AMG driving days and the like with many of them.

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

You would have to ask our customers that. It certainly isn’t my good looks! But I would hope that it is our honest and open approach with them. Even when we are not the cheapest we have won or kept business because we are trusted to provide a quality service.

Aside from your own business, which company do you admire the most and why?

There are many many businesses I admire. The number of tech companies that are worth billions of dollars that did not exist when we incorporated is huge, however if I had to pick one I guess it would have be Facebook. Facebook has only been going for 13 years but it’s hard to remember life before it. It is everywhere and everyone uses it. Last month, even my wife even got herself a Facebook account for the first time. When my wife takes up something tech-y, then you know it’s stood the test of time, weathered many storms and that everyone else has been using it for at least a decade. She only got her first mobile phone about 4 years ago.

Name three tracks that feature on your office playlist.

I am only the boss I don’t get to pick the music. Mind you, that’s probably because I would make a cheesy selection. Some of these will show my age, but I’d go for Foreigner – Love On The Telephone, Blondie – Call Me and Adele – Hello. And if any of our customers on our VoIP platform read this, pick up your handset and dial 8000 for a little surprise. A built-in Easter Egg!

Thanks Richard!

If you like the sound of our business and what we do, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team and see how we can transform your business’s communications needs.