The telecommunications industry is growing at a tremendous rate.
Forbes reports that the telecom sector has generated nearly $1.5 trillion in revenue, and this number is expected to grow with the emergence of 5G technology. However, with this growth comes several challenges that can make it more difficult for telecom billing companies to function as a cohesive unit.
For one, growing telecom companies have to deal with numerous customer data which could result in too much time consumed in preparing bills and sending invoices. This can increase the likelihood of late payments and inaccuracies, which can have an adverse impact on your cash flow. One way to resolve this issue is taking advantage of powerful telecom billing solutions to prevent billing inconsistencies and high customer attrition.
With a dynamic billing platform in place, telecom companies can provide high availability and accuracy of itemized bills for their consumers without comprehensive training or an economics degree. Technically, telecom billing software solutions are geared with robust features that make it easier for companies to check duplicate records and manage subscriptions timely.
Let’s discuss the best features of billing and invoicing software for telecom to ensure you pick the right solution for your operations:
1. Customer Relationship Management
Understanding customer goals and objectives is vital for telecom companies to provide products and services that are relevant to them. Therefore, ensure that your telecom billing solution has innovative customer relationship management (CRM) features that allow you develop a deep understanding and build strong customer relationships. Usually, a list of telecom billing tools that have CRM capabilities allow you to handle customer management tasks effectively.
This makes it easier to monitor customer interactions and unify the presentation of data to ensure accessibility. Providing a centralized location of reference for billing of telecom products and services for customers also gives your customer representatives the ability to answer queries regarding discounts and service rates. Through this process, you can get everyone on the same page and deliver personalized communications and messages that are of value to your customers.
By personalizing customer communications, you can increase engagement and change their behavior and buying patterns. Telecom billing CRM features can also trigger automated reminders to avoid late payments and ensure a positive cash flow. With automated payment notifications, you can provide customers with sufficient time to prepare the money and encourage timely payments.
2. Identical Record Checking
Duplicate invoices occur far more often than most telecom companies realize. Recent numbers show that roughly 0.1% to 0.05% of invoices paid are usually duplicate payments. Usually, this is because of siloed business processes that enable professionals in several accounts payable departments to make payments without thorough controls in place that are built to prevent duplicates.
Although many duplicate invoices are settled after companies notice the mistake, most of them require intensive recovery audits and manual processes to resolve. This can ultimately result in significant financial losses or perhaps customers abandoning their customers. What’s worse is that these customers usually turn to your competitors after finding out that you have billed them twice than the service they have accrued.
By ensuring that your telecom billing solution can spot duplicates, you can overcome billing challenges such as wasted costs and lost income and prevent any adverse impact on brand reputation. It also allows you to maximize the effectiveness of your communications with existing customers and help build the perception of your telecommunication organization in the general public. After all, customers are the sources of not only existing business but also new business opportunities and keeping them satisfied is key to achieving great service.
3. Business Model Support
Telecommunication companies have different business models, such as prepaid, postpaid, hybrid business and usage-based models. Therefore, you must ensure that your chosen telecom billing system has the ability to support your business model to maximize the full advantages of the solution and ensure efficient billing and revenue management. For example, it is important to calculate data usage accurately for invoicing for consumption-based models.
Choosing the right system for your business model is also critical in staying ahead of rapid industry transformation and responding to the ongoing pandemic crisis. However, the challenge with telecom billing solutions is that there are so many providers in the market falsely advertising how their solutions can meet your goals. To make it even worse, it is not uncommon for telecom billing providers to concentrate on providing detailed summaries of product features that they miss essential points on how the solution will help your business.
A rule of thumb in narrowing these providers is evaluating your top candidates and asking for a comprehensive product demonstration. With an in-depth product demonstration, you can gain a complete understanding of how your chosen telecom billing system will resolve pain points and improve processes. It also allows you to ask product-related questions to ensure that the telecom billing solution will deliver its promise when implemented in real-life business situations.
As the world moves towards digital transformation, the number of cyberattacks on billing platforms are also growing significantly. More often than not, these cyberattacks are initiated through malware or phishing. A separate Forbes report reveals that roughly 25% of malware target financial and billing services, resulting in credential leaks and compromised credit cards.
That said, companies need to ensure that their telecom billing products are built in with excellent security features to prevent these invaders and provide customers with a peace of mind to do business with them. Among the security features that a telecom billing solution should have is a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate to ensure secure transfer of online data from the customers devices to the billing platform and vice versa. An SSL certificate provides end-to-end encryption from data ingestion and transmission, helping users and subscribers to build trust in your platform.
Besides an SSL certificate, you should also ensure that it has tokenization capabilities to secure data even further. This can be especially important when dealing with credit card numbers and other sensitive financial data that is used repeatedly. Through tokenization, you can strengthen the security of your billing platform and ensure protection against traditional security and network threats such as packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, and distributed denial of service threats.
5. Integration with Multiple Payment Gateways
Integrating your telecom billing system with multiple payment gateways provides a significant opportunity to expand your operations. As the world becomes more interconnected through the internet, customers expect telecom companies to provide several payment options. Without it, businesses only limit themselves to customers using the same electronic payment provider as them.
This reduces the number of acceptance points for telecom companies resulting in missed conversions and revenue opportunities. On the flip side, having an interoperable telecom billing solution can provide customers with the needed flexibility and convenience, especially when making cross-border payments. By integrating your billing solution with popular payment gateways, you can expand your reach and allow customers to pay subscriptions on their domestic currencies.
This way, you can speed up the payment process and reduce currency conversion errors. It can also provide customers with an option to make payments in partial installments if they are experiencing financial trouble. Unlike traditional billing systems, the best telecom billing solutions reduce the time accounting needs to spend on tracking and receiving these partial payments, allowing companies to allocate resources to areas that need more attention.
Achieving Accurate Billing through Telecom Billing Solutions
The importance of accurate billing is too hard to ignore, especially nowadays wherein the telecom industry is experiencing a monumental change due to the pandemic. Luckily, the start of accurate billing is as easy as choosing the right solution such as OneBill which powers the whole lead-to-revenue generation experience. OneBill is a subscription billing platform which is geared with dynamic features such as partner management, service delivery, and real-time provisioning is available on a quote basis.