More efficient payments and better customer experience for telecom & broadband companies
Be sure to check out our guide on how you, as a broadband and telecom supplier, can streamline your internal processes and give your customers a better overall digital experience at the same time. Here are three useful tips to whet your appetite!
Despite the rising trend of digitalization in recent years, many broadband and telecom companies are still bogged down by inefficient billing routines. Some of the most common time thieves are manual administration of erroneous payments, payment reminders, and failed transactions. These consume internal resources, putting the brakes on both product development and growth.
Today’s consumers also have a very low tolerance for hassle of any kind. And the younger they are, the more likely they will be to choose a different supplier who can offer a more seamless, customized overall experience covering everything from ordering and payment to contact with customer service.
The importance of payment in customer relationships
Payment is an incredibly important, and frequently overlooked, point of contact between you and your customers. Did you know, for example, that a large percentage of mobile and broadband customers have said that the invoice is the only contact they have with their supplier? Yet surprisingly few companies take advantage of the enormous potential that the payment function has as a channel for value-creating communication.
The good news is that you don’t need to decide which area to improve first, i.e. your internal processes or customer relations. That’s because all of the improvements you make to your billing workflows will help upgrade the overall experience for your customers. It’s a lot of bounce for the ounce, in other words! The tips below are a good way to start!
3 ways of reducing your administration and improving the customer experience
1. Help your customers pay on time
Reducing the amount of late payments boosts both cash flow and customer satisfaction. Your accounting and customer service departments will also have fewer time-consuming cases to manage.
As more customers switch to automatic payment methods, you can focus more on “soft” payment reminders without any late fees attached. These reminders are much friendlier and more helpful than only contacting your customers when their payments are already overdue.
Another proactive tool is dynamic distribution. This involves using automated flows to ensure that invoices reach your customers in a different channel if the first attempt fails (such as sending an SMS if they haven’t opened the invoice that you sent via email).
2. Offer interactive invoices
A PDF invoice sent via email is digital, but what functionalities does it offer? Is it really all that different from a paper invoice? With an interactive digital invoice, you and your customers will derive far greater benefits from all that digitalization has to offer. Amounts and due dates are updated in real time, and customers can interact with your customer service departments directly on the invoice. You can also add clickable banners with customized tips and offers that your customers can act on directly.
3. Dare to skip the late fee
There will certainly be occasions when charging fees to customers who fail to pay on time is warranted. But is it really worth it to charge a reminder fee any time a customer misses a payment? There are also costs associated with administering reminders and late fees, not least for your customer service team in terms of the time they will end up spending on calls with irritated customers. The badwill associated with fees also increases the risk of churn.
So when you digitalize your payment processes, be sure to choose a solution that enables you to control when and how reminders are sent so that you can ensure that it is consistent with your brand and the kind of relationship you are trying to build with your customers. For example, you might want to skip the late fee for a loyal customer who always pays on time but just happened to miss a payment by mistake. And if your billing function has been outsourced, your supplier might have strong incentives for them to collect high fees, which, in the end, could wind up costing you far more than it’s worth. So make sure to assess your invoicing partner’s policies in this area.
More tips and insights in our guide
You’ll find all of these tips and more in our efficiency guide for telecom and broadband companies. Download and read the entire guide to gain more insights and best practices based on customer surveys and data from others in the telecom and broadband industry.