Every organization wants to be the best at what they do. With the right strategies in place, telecommunications providers can achieve this goal, rising above competitors by delivering top-level service. Several factors come into play to ensure businesses reach their highest potential in the areas of customer experience, data accuracy and overall delivery. Of all the components, billing lies at the apex of importance to a company’s success. With a comprehensive subscription billing solution in place, telecom providers can easily introduce new services to support revenue growth.
Whether priorities are focused on increasing business or maintaining a loyal customer base, scope and revenue can benefit from the following best practices in telecom subscription billing:
Many organizations from virtually every industry tend to rely too heavily on manual processes. The telecom sector is certainly no exception. By automating different processes, companies are cutting out the time-consuming, manual procedures that employees would otherwise have to do every day. Additionally, automation streamlines overall operational efficiency, improving accuracy and accelerating service delivery. With less time spent on laboring tasks, employees can spend more time developing new strategies and working through groundbreaking ways to improve their subscription billing operations.
This point might seem like a no-brainer. However, in the telecommunications industry, in which businesses often use free trials to attract customers, revenue leakage – finances that a company earns but fails to collect – is a common occurrence after billable services begin. According to a report from Telco Professionals, in the telecom industry alone, 1-3% of revenue is not billed and 2-6% of billed revenue never gets paid. Even businesses with the highest profit margins can’t risk losing out on up to 6% of earnings.
A high-quality subscription billing system can safeguard against potential missed revenue. Through automation and data reporting, a thorough billing platform can monitor and protect funds, so every dollar earned is properly received.
Incorporate advanced payment options
A typical practice in subscription billing is charging customers in arrears, or the traditional pay-as-you-go system. While this payment schedule isn’t necessarily a negative solution, it surely isn’t the most proactive strategy for telecom companies. Instead of sticking strictly to a pay-as-you-go schedule, subscription billing solutions should include the option to require payment of recurring bills in advance. To attract customers to an advanced payment system, consider offering incentives to users who opt for this expense schedule.
Provide user-friendly formats on all interfaces
More than ever, it is crucial that businesses respond to their customers’ preferred methods of completing transactions. While many consumers rely on desktop formats to check on billing information, others prefer to check this information on the go via their smartphones. In order to accommodate a broader audience, organizations need to make sure their subscription billing systems are intuitive on both desktop and mobile interfaces.
What does it take to be mobile friendly? Many telecom billing services automatically integrate their information onto the appropriate channels. This means altering the appearance of a page to fit the typical smartphone screen size, rather than forcing users to zoom in and out of a page that was designed only for desktop use. The easier and more intuitive the billing experience is for consumers, the more likely they will be to continue utilizing services.
Increase transparency to improve the customer experience
Even with highly knowledgeable agents and a customer-first mindset in place, telecom service providers face the risk of tarnishing their reputation when they let a simple error get past them. Keeping customers content and satisfied is crucial, as customer retention can be more valuable to the bottom line than new business transactions. One of the main factors that can improve consumers’ experience – particularly in billing – is increased transparency, and thus, improved quality of communication.
Must-have communication and notification capabilities that can improve transparency include:
- Alerting customers when there is an issue with their payment method
- Automated payment retry
- Informing consumers when a credit card on file is about to expire, so they can ensure they have an alternative payment method in place before the next billing cycle
- Notifications and/or refund eligibility after there is a disruption in consumers’ service
Outsource your billing solutions
Some telecom companies choose to have their own engineers craft a customized subscription billing platform. They assume that by having in-house employees in charge, they’ll save money in the long run. In addition, they may think that creating a customizable software system will allow for increased flexibility. However, using in-house engineers in this way can actually produce the opposite result from what was intended. When creating their own billing system, companies may waste too much of their engineers’ time, resulting in lost productivity and cutting into the business’ bottom line.
Rather than using in-house professionals, it can be valuable to leave the heavy lifting to someone else. When your business is ready to take the next step in evolving the quality of its billing services, it may be time to replace your existing system with a comprehensive telecom billing platform. Switching to a high-performing solution can yield results in several areas of your business, from communication practices to billing accuracy.
IDI Billing Solutions’ CostGuard application provides a proven platform with an intuitive, data-driven interface to meet all expectations while ensuring your business receives all the earnings it deserves, on time and in full. If you’re wondering how integrating to a new billing system will impact your current operations, or if you’d like to find out exactly how IDI can improve your telecom billing functionality, contact us today.