How boosting a retail business’ broadband service has supported a Henley institution through an uncertain year


Our Zzoomm business customers are characterised by several key elements: they want a fantastic, reliable, fast broadband service for now and the future, they want great customer service when there is a concern and they embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, a spirit needed to face the many obstacles that this year has brought them. We got in touch with one of our first Zzoomm business customers and asked him to share his story on why he became a Zzoomm customer, and what it has done for his business, and him.

Zzoomm Start 100 customer David Rodger Sharp is a local entrepreneur who lives in and runs businesses in Henley-on-Thames, having moved to Henley two years ago. David is most well-known for running his namesake jewellery store and online platform.

“What I love about Henley is the kindness and generosity of everyone in the town. People in Henley really want to support local businesses, charities and causes. Henley has a great feeling for anyone who wants to open a business here.”

Challenged by an unreliable broadband service, before Zzoomm

David was having internet connectivity problems that were negatively affecting his business.

“The number one bugbear for me was the unreliability of my previous ISP. We are a business that relies on card payments, we don’t use cash. Two or three times a day my card machines would stop working, that’s just embarrassing, and it puts off potential customers.”

David is thorough when it comes to choosing his suppliers and selecting a brand-new broadband provider was not a lightning-fast decision. He took careful consideration of the benefits of switching to Zzoomm.

“Originally, I thought oh here we go, another telecom company. There was an assumption that Zzoomm would piggyback off the existing BT network, but I found out early on that you were building your own infrastructure which itself caused a stir in the business community because of the projected inconvenience.”

Many businesses rely on broadband that uses old copper infrastructure, and this is why connections can be unreliable and dramatically slower than connections utilising a fibre-optic network. Full fibre is a technology which is designed for and can carry much more data and therefore manage multiple services needing to use the connection at the same time. David’s previous business connection was suffering because it used old copper cables, leading to dropouts and service interruptions.

Check out our video below where we illustrate the differences between network infrastructures.


The time to switch

David had the benefit of speaking to Zzoomm directly during the network build and was aware of the new Full Fibre network build plan throughout Henley town centre. Along with other businesses David voiced justifiable concern in early 2020 over the Zzoomm network’s town centre build and its potential disruption and impact on local business. Whilst Zzoomm had plans in place to enable businesses to carry on, as usual, 2020 had other challenges.

The pandemic changed business as usual across the UK. Local high street shops such as David’s had to close or adapt. Shifting to an almost online-only business model looked impossible with his then-current broadband provider. The pandemic allowed David time to identify what he wanted from his broadband supplier, and who could give his business that and more.

“When deciding who I wanted to provide my connection, I weighed up the speeds I needed, the support issues I had faced before and the fact that I just wanted my broadband service to work. I didn’t want to notice it; I wanted to be able to forget about broadband problems and get on with running my business.”

Do you take card?

We’re entering an age of cashless and contactless payment. From tapping our phones to pay for coffee or a train ticket, to using chip & pin for buying the weekly food shop or even a loved one’s gift from local high street shops. Cash is simply being used less. Since 2010 there has been a steep decline in cash payments and helped by the use of the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay a sharp increase in card payments which is set to only continue increasing over the next five years. You may be noticing this trend in your business.

The rise of card and contactless payments increases the necessity of card machines and in turn, these machines require a stable and reliable connection to the internet to work. However, many businesses in Henley may not enjoy a stable or reliable broadband connection. This is due to the simple fact that the old copper network that most businesses use is commonly insufficient for the needs of the business leading to the struggle to utilise even the most basic retail transactional tools.  Now that David has brilliant Full Fibre with Zzoomm this issue is firmly in the past. “If you have a customer ready to pop the question and has just spent their long-stored savings on a diamond, you don’t want a delay in the payment process or any uncertainty to creep in. I would prefer a customer to come back to me in the future with a concern than lose a customer from the outset due to bad service,” David explained.

Customer Service

Most people experience common broadband complications at some point. Whether the issue is device-related, connection related or something else entirely, it’s important that the internet service provider support the customer, especially now when a reliable internet connection forms an integral part of many businesses.

“At the beginning of lockdown, I had an outage that lasted a number of days, with no clear solution, and to rub salt in the wound, my old supplier asked me to pay for the fix!” David elaborated.

Zzoomm prioritises customer support and being local to Henley-on-Thames allows that support to come quick and fast, offering a 6 working hour service level agreement to all Business customers with options for even faster response if needed. This level of support proved incredibly affective for David when he contacted the customer team late one evening and an engineer was there the next day to provide the right support and a solution.

“I can call up, message, or speak to anyone.  Their customer service is friendly, knowledgeable and they call back when they say they will. I feel that I trust Zzoomm. Their service is great from the end of the phone to the guys who come and fix it.”

2020 has proved to be a challenging time for most businesses in Henley with some closing or struggling to adapt to the ‘new normal’ that is life during a global pandemic. One thing 2020 has taught many business owners like David is that broadband is a necessity for success, growth and most importantly a key aspect of any businesses agility to move with market shifts. A fast and reliable broadband connection with swift and expert support is an invaluable investment for any business.

Life with Zzoomm

“It simply works. I would definitely recommend other businesses review what they need from their broadband provider and look at what Zzoomm has to offer.” – David 

David made the switch to Zzoomm in August and is not looking back, even with the choppy business and retail scenarios that 2020 has engulfed him in. But how has David found working with Zzoomm’s best business broadband solutions?

“It was important for me to have a broadband provider that I felt like I could trust so having Zzoomm’s office down the road means in some respect they would have to try harder. I spoke to a few representatives, over the phone and face-to-face, and settled on Start 100 which is ideal for what I needed. We have a big online presence so having the reliability of Zzoomm really helped to do the job and having that 6-hour SLA is a great relief.”

Switching to Zzoomm is straight forward and for most businesses requires a short survey before the installation can take place (you can find more about that in the Zzoomm installation guide here). The installation process is so easy and the service so good that David now has Zzoomm broadband in three of his businesses with an eye on getting it in a fourth.

Zzoomm’s broadband service has both supported David’s online sales and improved the in-shop shopping experience for his customers as well as the selling experience for him, making it both easier and seamless. “Now my internet works for me. It simply works and I don’t come in and worry about ‘will it drop out today’. And I know the Zzoomm team is just a quick call away.”

So, you’re interested in Zzoomm but you’re still in contract

Unfortunately, there are many businesses across town in a similar position as David, with an unreliable broadband connection, but are still locked into years-long contracts with their sub-prime network infrastructure.

“I still have my old connection just for the phone line, I’m setting up with KIT VOIP service at home to see how that works and see if I can introduce that into the business to get rid of the phone line altogether.”

David currently has a number of Zzoomm connections but is keeping his old service to manage the phone line It’s easily possible to have a Zzoomm Full Fibre connection to your business and retain an existing older connection if need be to avoid contractual penalties. You don’t have to end your contract with BT, Talk Talk, Sky or others to order Zzoomm, we run off of our own propriety network, separate from other operators and brand new which means reliable, fast, futureproofed and available right now.

As David continues to explore future business opportunities in the new commercial landscape, his previous broadband experience and recent relationship with Zzoomm has led to his change of broadband supplier for his home and business use as well as supported his future business plans.

David summarised his Zzoomm experience so far with “It simply works. I would definitely recommend other businesses review what they need from their broadband provider and look at what Zzoomm has to offer. ”

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