How can mobile billing and provisioning software help you to manage and scale up your mobile services offering?
1. Winning business
A billing platform should help you gain a competitive edge by providing flexible options for creating customer tariffs and bundles for inclusive minutes, SMS and data plans. Ideally, you should be able to apply these to varying entities such as companies, sites, groups, or per cellular telephone numbers (CTNs).
One of the best advantages of having your own billing platform is that you won’t be required to simply mirror the tariffs offered by your suppliers. You can bulk purchase services and, providing it has the capabilities, use the billing platform to bundle services and create packages in any way you choose.
2. Setting up customers
A decent billing platform should provide you with automated tools for importing CTNs and services, making it efficient to setup new customers, and removing much of the administrative burden from winning the big deals. Most leading systems should provide a straightforward process for importing information from customer contracts into the billing system, and for documenting tech/hardware funds if you provide this service.
3. In-life management
When you are managing customer accounts during the life of a contract, you will often need to adjust customers’ tariffs and service bundles. It’s also fairly common for customers to require temporary data boosts to accommodate business trips and other short-term changes of circumstance. A good billing platform should have features to effect these changes, whether they are temporary or permanent, and automate the process of updating their bill.
Some advanced platforms will also provide features for interrogating customers’ data usage, helping you to identify the optimal tariff for each customer. Another advanced feature that can be really useful, is for automating the process of importing call data records (CDRs) from your suppliers. This enables you to closely track customers’ network usage by updating their account as often as CDRs are made available which is especially important for customers that have set billing caps for mobile services.
4. Buying intelligence
Though it’s not essential, having a billing platform that provides features for analysing your customer base as a whole, will greatly help you to estimate the economy and viability of bulk buying data bundles and other services from your suppliers.
Continual downward pressure on prices means optimising the profitability of mobile services is becoming ever more essential, so having a billing platform that can perform this function is increasingly important.
5. Customer invoicing and reports
The invoices you send to your customers will often be the most regular and consistent point of contact you have with them, so it’s important that their aesthetics perfectly match your brand’s look and feel, reflecting the quality and professionalism of your company. They can also be a good opportunity to advertise special offers and promote new products and services.
A quality billing platform will have a range of options and templates for customising your invoice designs, enabling you to get the exact look you’re hoping for. Many will also include the option to upload advertising artwork that can then be dropped into dedicated advertising areas on the invoice.
In addition to their bill, many customers will also require reports to better illustrate how they are using their services. This is particularly true when it comes to mobile. It’s advisable, therefore, to find a billing platform that can automatically generate predefined customer facing reports (a report that illustrates a customer’s data usage is a typical example) and include these with customers’ invoices.
Advanced billing systems will, in many cases, also come with the option of an end-user facing billing portal which can be white labelled with your company’s branding and made accessible from your company’s website. By accessing the billing platform’s database, these portals can provide your end users with access to past and present invoices, self-service reports and analytics for their services, and in some cases even allow the user to set up alerts to notify them if usage exceeds a certain threshold.
We hope that you have found this information helpful. As you might have guessed, our aBILLity™ platform provides all these features in addition to many more that make it ideal for managing and billing mobile services.
If you’d like to know more about these or any of the other brilliant new features in the aBILLity platform, please contact us.