Billing and accounting errors have become disappointingly normal for the telco industry; a recent study from software company Brite Bill found that a substantial proportion of complaints about telecoms operators were due to billing and contract issues, with billing issues accounting for 30 percent of complaints.

As a way to compete in the new digital age, telecom providers have diversified their services into wireless, broadband, TV & digital, and M&A activity to thrive in challenging market conditions. But unfortunately broadening their remit has opened them up to overlap, negligence, and redundancy in billing.

Telecoms companies are under pressure to put an end to the overbilling of customers for the services they use. This requires a conscious effort to implement internal controls and processes which provide a holistic overview of customer activity and span across different services offerings.

Telcos providers work from multiple systems, which makes it harder for them to create an agile system fit to compete against new innovators. Ageing legacy systems are one of the main causes of inaccurate telecom billing for customers. This traps service providers in a repetitive cycle of overcharging, slapped with fines and investigations by regulators.

Success in today’s business landscape hinges on a telecom provider’s ability to deliver high quality customer service. Delays in telecom providers dealing with customer requests can fuel further frustration.

At one point or another we’ve all felt the stress of waiting endlessly in a queue, and so can understand the urgency of getting in touch with someone when a problem arises – especially when it’s something as crucial as billing. Telecom providers can improve customer experience by carefully listening to feedback and maintaining quality customer service when problems occur. With the stakes in the battle for customers higher than ever, innovative technologies can boost efficiency for back-office processes and can manage customer requests in a more timely and accurate manner.

Automation can also enable telecoms businesses to take a proactive approach to customer care by modernising the back office. For instance, automation can reduce the average handling time for billing calls by 70 percent, allowing staff to direct their energy towards customer needs and provide the best experience possible.

Real-time data allows telecos to measure user experience, enabling better informed decisions. Monitoring customer behaviour at different touch points of a customer’s journey allows businesses to adopt a proactive approach and pivot accordingly. With brand loyalty being a thing of the past, customers will not be afraid to air their discontent on social media platforms after a bad experience or instantly look elsewhere.

In order to reduce this risk, telecoms companies need to focus on improving contactability and cutting down the call rate, ensuring that complaints are handled effectively. Partnering with digital experts who have deep domain knowledge of the industry will support telco companies in their quest to become more agile. It will enable them to take back market share from new entrants who are not hindered by old data management systems.

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