Mobile users want richer, clearer, better billing that matches their personalised experiences

By: Alan Coleman

The bill has always been the debt collector of the telecoms industry, unwelcome on your doorstep or inbox with a demand for cold, hard cash. Mobile operators, though, are missing a trick by ignoring the bill as a means of communicating with their customers and as means to generate additional revenues and cut call centre costs..

It’s a sad truth that consumers don’t like phone bills, their only regular communication with their operator, but they dislike even more the lack of clarity in the bill itself. Operators still present billing in terms that are meaningless to consumers – after all, who really knows what watching a movie clip means in megabits of a data bundle consumed? If customers can’t tell from their bill what they’re getting and what they’re being charged for, how can they be expected to commit to spend more with their service provider on new services and offerings?

What’s needed is a blend of more attractive, user preference-aware bill presentment that clearly breaks down a user’s consumption and then makes helpful, relevant suggestions as how they can manage their spend better. This isn’t about an operator damaging its business by suggesting ways for its customers to spend less; it’s about bucking the trend of bad customer service and changing the user’s perception of their operator from an undifferentiated utility provider to a brand that’s in-tune with individual customers’ needs.

Beyond meaningless megabits

Presenting customers with clear, easy to understand bills moves operators on in consumers’ eyes from being companies that are trying to extract as much money as possible from them, to being companies that are providing real value. The telecoms industry has hidden for too long behind meaningless billing codes and boringly presented bills and it has suffered reputational damage from headline-grabbing issues such as bill shock.

What’s needed is greater trust and transparency between operators and their customers and the bill provides a platform to enable this, communicating clearly about a user’s consumption, rate plan and charges – critically using easy to understand metrics. Beyond improved customer satisfaction and enhanced brand reputation, there are real financial benefits for operators to accrue by getting their billing communications right.


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