In the real world, billing is an intricate process, spanning multiple departments and systems. There are multiple pre-billing processes and complex functions such as Event Handling and Rating that have to take place. In some cases, you have to know up-to-the-second what a customer has purchased and what services have been consumed in order to maintain customer satisfaction or up-sell services. Additionally, charges must accurately reflect not only what a customer initially asked for, but also the incremental add-ons purchased along the way. Or, conversely, the credits and discounts needed to mitigate the effects of poor service quality. You then have to ensure payment according to varying customer preferences and rules. And make sure your customers understand how/why they are being billed. That’s billing.
While most businesses view billing as an essential function, the billing systems themselves may prohibit it from becoming a strategic asset. In fact, for many companies, billing began with Excel spreadsheets and, as sales grew, became a time consuming and laborious headache. Businesses continue to use these manual processes today. Others have adopted costly systems that process bills but don’t do much more. Both options are error prone, lack a view into real-time data, and are difficult to correct.
All companies can benefit by shifting the perception of billing. Instead of thinking about billing as monthly invoices and payments, consider how billing could be a differentiator. Billing can help your business anticipate, recognize, and respond to changing dynamics and customer preferences. Billing can help your reduce customer churn. Billing can help you quickly introduce new packages and capture new revenue streams.
With a sophisticated, strategic billing system, businesses can improve service velocity, increase customer touch points and monetize customer activities in ways that increase revenue and deepen customer loyalty.
To learn more about our new subscription and usage-based billing platform, TRACT®, Contact email@example.com or call us at 512-829-4000.