The telecom industry in the 1990s saw a lot of developments, which prompted the need for new, more efficient billing systems. We’ve only really seen those surface in the last few years. The complexity of mobile devices, and the tiered pricing and packages that are now standard, have paved the way for robust Intelligent Billing systems that make life simpler for all users.
Billing solution providers are always looking for ways to shield customers, and telecom operators, from billing issues. They are adding new features that ensure collections are managed properly, bills are clear and easy to understand, are processed promptly and that users are in control.
The Process at a Glance
A basic billing system follows a series of steps:
- Collect call data
- Record data to a customer database
- Calculate charges
- Add any additional charges
- Process bills
- Generate an invoice
- Distribute invoices to the relevant customers
Why Use a Billing Company?
These jobs could be done in house, but there are benefits to using a specialist billing company:
Customers want to get accurate data, and telecom billing systems allow for that. Telecom billing companies have sophisticated, robust databases that contain all the details required to produce an itemised bill.
Telecom billing systems are designed from the ground up for that industry, unlike other systems that are tweaked to try to fit an unusual and piecemeal type of billing. This means that telecom billing companies produce accurate bills that customers, and providers, can trust.
Smoother Customer Service
If a customer is having an issue, then customer service agents are empowered to solve it quickly, since they can pull up information about the bills quickly.
Prevention of Duplicates
Duplicate records and redundancy are prevented through sophisticated billing systems that can also pick up on fake data (such as made up email addresses or addresses), ensuring that you know your customers properly.
While some consumers still like paper bills, electronic billing is an option, and one that modern billing systems can provide. Paperless billing is faster, less expensive and better for the environment.
What Does the Future Hold?
Over the coming years, we’re likely to see a move to cloud-based systems that offer effective data security, more scalable solutions, and access to information anywhere. Cloud computing offers better cost control and the ability for users to grow their operations more easily based on demand.
Another thing we are likely to see is convergent billing. This has a lot of benefits. Data charges, IPTV, mobile and other billing can all be combined into one single bill, which means that people only have one transaction to think about, and also helps to incentivise customer loyalty. If they can get all their services in one place, why would they feel the need to shop around? Bundled packages offered at a discount can be very appealing to the consumer, while still generating good revenue for the company that is offering the package.
Self-service facilities are becoming increasingly popular with end-users. They like being able to log in to an app and manage their account for themselves. This feature is useful for the business as well since it reduces the burden on the customer service agents, freeing them to deal with more complex calls.
Telecoms companies need to invest in their billing solutions. Consumers do not have much tolerance for slow, awkward or opaque systems and poor customer service, and there are plenty of providers out there who offer smooth and pleasant billing experiences today.