Is Billing part of the customer experience team? We find out.

Written by on March 20, 2014 in BillingViews, News with 0 Comments

BillingViews – up until now – has been wary of getting involved in customer experience issues. They, frankly, seemed too fluffy, too cloudy to really get to grips with. Then our own Tony Poulos interviewed Peter Bithos of Globe Telecom and this made us decide to fully embrace the topic.

One issue that is fascinating is where things belong – where the most effective fit for functions is within an agile telecoms company.

Questions such as “who owns the master database” (asked in the voice of Darth Vader) are questions that have interested us for years. Who owns CRM used to be answered by ‘we run Siebel’ type answers, indicating that no-one really knew. So, in an on-going programme of finding where things fit best in the agile telco, we will certainly be looking at real-time, for instance – and, of course, our new best friend, customer experience.

ETIS, our other – long time – best friend has launched a new portal. It has all sorts of functionality such as forum and survey capabilities and we decided to try the survey capability the other day, in Istanbul.

We asked the assembled operators this question:

To what extent is the Billing team involved with the Customer Experience team in your company?

Bearing in mind this was a quick, straw poll amongst the 13 operators present, encouragingly none said that they were not involved at all.

One out of 13 is invited to meetings but has no influence.

Seven out of 13 has a voice on the team.

Three out of 13 has a vote on the team.

And very encouragingly, two out of 13 is in charge of the programme.

Given the old, but on-going, discussions about the importance of billing as a marketing tool, the result of the straw poll is overall quite encouraging. Now that online billing, and therefore billing to any device is on the increase, with 85 percent penetration in some regions, then the bill as positive, ‘value adding’ tool becomes more viable, more clickable. Indeed there are some instances where Billing has made or saved enough money by going online (for instance) that they have started their own little marketing campaigns, made more money and are on their way up the value chain within their companies.

Customer experience is possibly unique in that it should be in a company’s DNA and everyone should live and breathe it, but who does ‘own’ it will be a good follow up question. Who do you think should own it, is another.

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .

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