Bill visibility and drilldown analytics that increase customer retention, reduce costs and help deal with multi-platform environments
COVID has driven a massive change in the market, taking place in a very short period of time. Both UC providers and enterprises using UC solutions are still trying to adjust to this transformation, and one of the things requiring renewed attention is the bill.
“The bill has never changed so quickly and so much in its entire life,” notes Ian Lindsay, SVP Sales at Soft-ex.
This change triggers a profound need for intelligent billing tools, which allow a better understanding of what companies are actually paying for. Or in one word: visibility.
The Soft-ex solution is all about that visibility – providing interactive billing and analytics to UC providers and carriers, which in turn use it to present the bill to their customers.
“The overall theme is visibility, and what that visibility actually gives,” explains Lindsay.
“This can be divided into two categories: benefits for the channel reseller (the provider), and benefits for the end user (the enterprise)”
There are significant benefits for UC providers in using the Soft-ex solution.
First off, visibility in the bill allows the provider to become more of a partner to their customer. This, in turn, leads to enhanced customer engagement and customer retention.
“Visibility is not just about producing data. It’s about using that data to prompt a discussion,” says Lindsay. “This discussion then leads to a joint strategy, which ultimately leads to the provider retaining the customer, and often to an upsell as well.”
Visibility also reduces the provider’s internal costs by significantly diminishing incoming calls to their helpdesk.
“We spoke to a number of our partners that said their biggest expense was calls coming into their help desk, 90% of which were actually bill queries,” explains Lindsay.
“By delivering a bill that contains pro-rata charges, they can answer all those questions in advance. The customer then says ‘Right, I understand that. There’s no point in calling.‘”
Another benefit for the provider is being able to have scalable, multi-tenant financial packages as their customer base grows.
“Many providers used off-the-shelf financial packages, which were good when their customer base was low. But as it grew, they found that those packages were limited, and couldn’t be used to apply different bundles or rates to different customers. The Soft-ex solution allows resellers to provide customers with tailored bundles across one or multiple platforms.”
Bill visibility, along with analytics on performance and infrastructure, has a number of significant benefits for the enterprise as well.
One of the primary benefits comes from the Soft-ex solution being multi-platform.
“Companies today use multiple platforms. Microsoft Teams, Cisco, Zoom all use different billing terms. Customers need a solution that pulls all of that together in a common terminology,” explains Lindsay.
The cross-platform terminology allows the enterprise to compare the different platforms and reach helpful conclusions.
“They can see which modalities and licenses are being used which aren’t, look at the adoption rate, and then agree on a strategy forward that suits their specific needs based on that data.”
Another benefit is improved customer experience, which is becoming increasingly important. The Soft-ex solution provides critical call analytics that contribute to that end.
“Our solution allows looking at a company’s incoming calls across all platforms, and particularly at platform-to-platform usage: how those calls are handled, whether they’re being answered or not, do they disappear into a hunt group, etc. Those things are critical to customer experience.”
Last but not least, companies benefit from bill visibility and self-serve analytics in terms of compliance.
As company directors are being held increasingly responsible for everything happening in their companies, it’s essential that they understand the bill, and be able to optimise infrastructure and performance across the organisation.
“Company directors often sign off a telephone bill without having a clue what’s happening behind it. Bill visibility can help solve that”
“UC analytics is still in its infancy,” Lindsay concludes. “As things continue to change, agile self-serve visibility is key to helping both UC providers and enterprises get the best ROI out of their costs, enhance customer experience and optimise performance.”