Digital technologies now offer service providers the opportunity to reduce costs, deepen customer relationships and drive customer loyalty. In addition emerging technology is giving new competitors entry into the traditional service provider market and helping to drive a change in both customer expectations and behaviour.
Today’s tech savvy customers are demanding greater transparency and easier access to their billing data, which means those service providers not able to live up to these customer demands are facing high churn rates and missing out on strategic customer insights. As a direct result of this self-service trend by their customers, service providers have to deliver volumes of both live and historical billing data.
As the trend for analysing ‘Big Data’ grows we are also seeing billing analytics becoming a key ‘must have’ within tender documentation – meaning those service providers not able to deliver this will be excluded from tendering – and thus reduce their opportunities to gain new customers.
In previous years’ service providers leveraged things such as network quality, competitive pricing or device availability as a basis for differentiation. However whilst these are still important aspects of what service providers need to deliver, they are no longer enough to ensure customers will remain loyal. The introduction of number portability has also increased the opportunities for customers to switch providers. This means that if service providers are to stay ahead of their existing competitors, and stay ahead of new market entrants, is to ensure they deliver a consistent and relevant customer experience.
Analysing customer billing presents service providers with a key opportunity to sense and respond rapidly to changes in customer behaviour and demands, enabling them to adapt and remain persistently relevant to their customers.
Hence the victors in this changing and volatile market will be those service providers that recognise the changing ecosystem and set out a clear vision for leveraging knowledge derived from their customer billing platforms into driving strategic change through improved customer relationships.