Customers are baffled by unclear bills and – as a result – telecoms companies risk lower revenues and increased churn, according to a new report, The Next-Generation Bill: Commercial and Technical Strategies, published by Analysys, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media
The report argues that there is a gap between what telecoms companies believe customers value, and what customers actually value. Service providers put huge amounts of effort into developing new services and competing with each other on price, but much less into ensuring that bills are clear.
“What we are hearing repeatedly is that residential and business customers are increasingly frustrated by bills that make no sense,” says the report’s author Teresa Cottam. “Marketing strategies are falling at the first hurdle: people are so worried about the cost of new services that they don’t even try them. They dread receiving their bills because they are unpredictable, and become frustrated because they don’t know how to change matters.”
The report argues that the bill is a unique opportunity for telecoms companies to communicate with customers and offers several commercial opportunities. “To deliver the optimal next-generation bill, service providers need to shake off outdated assumptions about their customers and gain a clearer understanding of their needs. If they do not change, powerful competitors from outside the telecoms industry are waiting in the wings to show them how,” says Cottam.
• Not enough effort has been put into bill presentment (the way that bills actually look). Making bills more useful to customers will increase customer loyalty and cut the cost of queries.
• Business customers often fear the cost of new services, yet providing bill analysis to demonstrate benefits of service plan changes can be good for both customers and suppliers
• In the wholesale market, bill cycles must shorten to improve revenue management for all parties.