The telecom industry is a very competitive and fast-paced industry. Carriers are always launching new plans, new offers, new promotions, and new incentives to differentiate themselves from other carriers. As soon as one carrier does away with contracts, within hours’ other carriers follow suite in fear of losing market share. If another carrier offers an attractive unlimited data plan, easy financing and improved networks, competitors immediately adjust their strategy and offer more aggressive discounts. While this promotional war may be good for customers, the constant changing of offers, pricing and contracts, often leads to revenue loss for carriers. Profits drop, investors are not happy and suddenly there is declining revenue and increased cash flow pressures.
While many would assume lost revenue was a result of conceding to the competition and offering rival plans that compromise the bottom line, more than 20 percent of revenue is lost due to billing mistakes.
With carriers constantly changing their promotions, marketing can’t keep up with communicating the changes to IT and IT, who is already time-strapped, can’t program the changes fast enough. And with the constant changes, and inability to update information accordingly, customer service is also unable to keep up with the newest promotional offers. According to Gartner, up to 20 percent of telecom charges are incorrect, resulting in billing mistakes that can cost thousands.
The most frequent billing mistakes are caused by billing the incorrect rate whether it is for newly installed services not receiving the quoted rate, missing the quoted discounts, or a contract renewal for a lower rate that is not applied to an invoice. Other mistakes include continued billing for discounted services past the stop-bill date and being charged for unauthorized services.
Complicating things even more is that each transaction often requires numerous exchanges of data between system touch points inside and outside the organization. Any missed opportunity or bad data translates to lost revenue. Yet, many telecom providers continue to rely on siloed processes, stand-alone solutions, and even manual entry.
In an industry that’s focused around adding value with simple solutions, and helping customers to pick and choose the right features and functionality, error-prone processes are no longer acceptable – they’re directly correlated to lost revenue, risk of higher churn, and lower customer satisfaction ratings.
The cost of billing inaccuracies and bad data goes further than affecting the bottom line; it negatively impacts a carrier’s reputation and increases operational costs. It takes a considerable amount of time for the carrier and customer to rectify billing discrepancies.
Imagine a customer’s great experience during the purchasing process only to be overshadowed after receiving their first bill that is full of mistakes. A customer finding themselves on the phone for hours trying to rectify over-billing charges is going to be irate – no one wants to be on the receiving end of this call. Collateral damage is likely to ensue with social media backlash, embarrassing headlines, high call center volumes, customer loss and even litigation. When issues multiply, they can negatively lead to mis-stated financials and regulatory fines – it’s time for action.
With carriers now facing increasing pressure to transform billing and payment processing systems, they need a solution that eliminates billing errors, reduces costs, achieves regulatory compliance, and, most importantly, stops revenue loss. Fortunately, there is a solution that does all of that.
A big data analytics solution can harness and process high volumes of data to eliminate manual billing checks and automate the process. The solution provides automated, end-to-end data analysis that extracts, aggregates and analyzes large volumes of data in real-time. The solution gives carriers the ability to continuously audit and visualize every transaction in their enterprise. This helps eliminate under- or over-billing that can result in fines, misstated financials, litigation and lost customers. And, at the same time, payments settle accurately and on time. Using the solution can improve operational inefficiencies, streamline compliance, and better manage liquidity all while improving customer service, improving productivity, managing costs, and improving quality of data.
To learn more about preventing billing errors to avoid revenue loss, download the data sheet below.
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