User satisfaction stems from coherent network performance and billing communications

Global Telecoms Business

June 15, 2014

Key causes of customer dissatisfaction are poor network performance and inaccurate or confusing billing
and charging. Instead of hoping customers don’t notice, operators should communicate more clearly and
customers might be more willing to accept issues.

“If we focus on network performance such as network outages, we’ve noticed the public response across social and traditional media become more vocal — it’s no longer possible to hide,” said Leon Hardwick, the director of sales and marketing at SpatialBuzz.

“Silence is no longer golden and therefore it becomes more important to manage how you communicate about what’s happening on the network. We’re trying to promote a more transparent approach to the issues. It’s time to acknowledge that we don’t live in a perfect world and problems are going to happen. Managing customer expectations is a major issue.”

SpatialBuzz is working with operators to provide multiple touchpoints for customers to get live information
about the state of the network. “In a market place where we’re all trying to sell similar services, it’s the operator that delivers this type of innovation that can gain a real competitive advantage,” he added.

Network performance isn’t the only bear trap for operators seeking to differentiate on the customer experience
they provide. The bill has been a traditional bone of contention but is a critical touchpoint between operators and their customers. Now, as the service portfolio becomes more complex and those involved in service delivery proliferate, the potential for billing systems to create errors is heightened.

A modern approach to billing is required, argued Kirill Rechter, the chief executive of LogNet Systems, which
provides the MaxBill billing system. “Operators have disconnected and fragmented billing systems and face the
challenge of turning billing from a burden into a company asset,” he said. “Modern billing must be strategic, holistic, empowering and direct.”

Rechter wants to see billing being used to enhance the customer experience by bringing together the complex chain of partner relationships and revenue sharing agreements to provide accurate billing and valuable insights to users and partners. “The key is to have all business processes connecting and impacting each other such as in the order-to-cash process,” he said. “The aim is to remove bottlenecks and reduce costs.”

“Modern billing should be able to be integrated by systems integrators and should give control back to the
operators,” he added.