How can digital platforms contribute to more efficient invoicing and payment processes for telecom and broadband companies? How can you use data to strengthen your relationship with your existing customers? And, most important of all, how do you derive the greatest benefits from digitalization, without launching a huge IT project?
These days, to remain at the forefront as a telecom operator, you must not only offer a smooth, digital customer experience, but also quickly develop and launch new products and services. Several smaller players in the industry have succeeded with that, not least thanks to their having worked with digital solutions and customer data in a smart way right from the start. The industry’s giants on the other hand, although they know what they need to do to catch up, have found it difficult to free up the internal resources necessary for that. A great deal of time, for example, gets wasted on outdated and inefficient processes for payments and invoicing.
Offer Your Customers Flexible Payment Options
The newer, smaller companies frequently niche themselves towards digitally savvy customers. These types of customers tend to value a lower price, are accustomed to finding answers themselves, and rarely need to contact customer service. But as a telecom or broadband supplier, you shouldn’t have to choose one customer group over another. With today’s digital platforms, you can offer your customers full flexibility in choosing the payment option they prefer, regardless of whether it’s an interactive digital invoice, direct debit, or a paper invoice.
A digital platform for invoicing and payments enables you to automate a large portion of your customer management activities. It results in a much better customer experience and more efficient internal processes, which, in turn, prevents churn and increases revenue.
Five Ways a Digital Payment Platform Can Streamline Your Processes and Boost Profitability
1. Higher percentage of direct debit payments
Getting more customers to switch to direct debit increases customer loyalty and satisfaction. It also reduces the risk of erroneous payments. In other words, there are good reasons for making it easier for customers to choose this option. To lower the threshold, the process needs to be as smooth as possible because each unnecessary step could discourage the customer from making the switch.
With an interactive, digital invoice, customers can simply click on a link directly on their invoice, choose their bank and then confirm with digital verification. It is also possible to send a link for switching to direct debit in an SMS, or add it as a QR code on the paper invoice.
2. Easier for customers to pay on time
Besides lowering the threshold for activating direct debit, automated due date reminders can be helpful in getting more customers to pay their invoices on time. The customer avoids reminder fees and the company improves its cash flow. Furthermore, a due date reminder is perceived as more gentle by the customer, compared to a reminder when the payment is already late. It thus also serves as a way of improving your relationship with the customer.
3. Lower risk of errors
With each manual task that is part of invoice processing (for both the customer and company) the risk that something goes wrong increases. A digital payment platform facilitates automatic matching of customer and invoice. In other words, payments can be correctly registered even if, for example, the customer has omitted one of the digits in the bill’s reference number. The accounting department can also save significant time by not having to manually review invoices or deal with erroneous payments.
4. Fewer customer service cases and faster resolution times
Questions about invoices and payments account for a large portion of telecom and broadband companies’ customer service departments’ time. For example, customers will often reach out if they don’t understand the invoicing details, have been invoiced a higher amount than usual, have received a late fee or reminder, or are unsure about whether or not they have paid their invoice. Even relatively simple questions take time to answer, since the customer service representative first needs to enter the customer’s details in order to find the right invoice.
All of the three items listed above help reduce the number of questions customer service receives, which shortens the response times for those customers who still do need help. A digital payment platform with interactive invoices also means that the customer service representative is able see the same view as the customer. Any errors can be corrected directly in the invoice, which is updated in real time.
One inspiring example is our customer Vimla, which lowered its volume of customer service cases by 40% during the first six months of having Billogram’s digital payment solution.
5. Using better customer data to build stronger relationships
By knowing your customers better, you can more accurately meet their needs. A digital payment platform provides valuable data that helps you optimize everything from cash flow to the communication you have with your customers. For example, you can send out digital invoices or SMS reminders on the days and times when you know that most customers are open and respond to communication. Likewise, you can also tailor messages and campaigns based on individual customer’s user behavior and preferences, which creates more opportunities for upselling.
When fewer resources are required for invoice processing and customer issues, it frees up room for proactive, creative communication, which increases goodwill and strengthens the relationship you have with your customers. Many companies put a great deal of focus on recruiting new customers, which is obviously needed for a profitable business. But at the same time, you can’t forget to invest in the customers you already have, and even small gestures can be greatly appreciated. For example, the mobile operator, Telness, sent out a Valentine’s Day greeting to all of its customers one year, offering them free data.
But what about implementation?
At this point, you’ve probably realized just how large the savings could be if your company were to invest in a digital platform. But then, you start asking yourself things like: who has the time, resources or energy to launch a massive IT project? As luck would have it, major investments are not required for getting started. Not, that is, if you choose the right partner. Here’s what Telness had to say about the implementation of their platform from Billogram:
– The implementation went exceedingly well! Thanks to the easy-to-read, modern and well-documented APIs, we were able to get the implementation done in a flash.