July 12, 2018

3 Ways to Digitalize a Bill

Digitalizing a bill means going beyond converting paper bills into online variations by incorporating key aspects from the end-to-end digital customer journey.

If any aspect of communications services is first in line for some sort of digital enhancement, chances are good it’s the bill. Although bills have been delivered via PDF, website and even video for years now, making a bill truly digital is more sophisticated than taking the printed version and turning it into a PDF, a colorful dashboard or a video tour. Bills are part of the digital customer journey and can be transformed into something simpler; they can provide more interactivity for marketing and sales purposes and should be as easy as possible to understand and pay. Here are three basic things service providers can do to digitalize a bill.

1. Make it Easy to Pay Any Time

The goal posts continue to move on what makes for a simple payment. Moving from paper checks to auto-pay via credit card was a big step for the industry. Today, payment technology has evolved substantially. Digital payment services like Venmo and Zelle are being adopted rapidly and often are operating on top of service providers’ networks and devices. The more service providers can intersect with the new ways in which customers prefer to pay digitally, the better performance they will achieve with regard to float, collection, delinquency, revenue visibility and other important financial metrics.

2. Match Usage to the Best Plan

Often the idea of “right-sizing” customers onto plans that best fit their usage is controversial. Arguments say that stimulating the base will drive churn and right-sizing results in less revenue. But endless studies show that proactive customer care in any industry results in greater loyalty and more revenue. For service providers, right-sizing tools are conversation starters. They give customers a positive reason to come into the service provider’s online storefront, interact with the service provider and see what’s on offer. A customer that doesn’t bother to visit the website or use the app isn’t going to spend time shopping for new devices, accessories or features. So think of proactive care tools like plan right-sizing as part of the digital bill, part of the customer journey and a digital way of encouraging customers to browse, shop and spend.

3. Simplify the “At-a-Glance” View

Customers may not take the time these days to review a bill, but they will often notice if something is out of the ordinary. A simplified “at-a-glance” view that focuses on the total charges, service usage versus allotments and payment status provides the customer with the confidence to pay as well as a simple gateway into customer interactions like plan right-sizing – a form of configure-price-quote (CPQ), shopping and self-service support. The key is providing just enough data to engage the customer and communicate confidence. Too much information, too many visuals and too many buttons will detract from the experience; remember that digitalization and simplification nearly always go hand in hand.


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