3 min read

Not Offering ‘Click to Buy’ B2B Services? You May Not Survive.

Mar 3, 2015 7:30:00 AM


A World Driven by Instant Gratification

Companies in the B2B services market that continue to do billing and provisioning manually may not have a long life expectancy.

The business world is now driven by software and customer desire for instant gratification. Doing something by hand that could be automated by an IT application is a dubious proposition at the best of times. Even if your enterprise manages to get by under the weight of its labor-intensive processes, don’t be surprised  - if you find a moment to look up - to see customers moving away to other solutions.

Automated billing and provisioning or ‘click to buy’ service purchasing is increasingly changing from being an option to an obligation for B2B services companies that want to survive and thrive.

Some Enterprises Find Out the Hard Way

There are several challenges with manual customer billing and provisioning. They also increase in scope as you attract more clients.

  • Errors. Whether through having to re-learn procedures or the monotony of repetitive tasks, human beings are error-prone. By comparison, customers are error-phobic. This is not a good mix.
  • Incompleteness. Manual processes are not always properly run or terminated. Incomplete work flows, exception handling  and staffing problems can easily lead to customer requests or invoices falling through administrative cracks.
  • Slowness. With the best will in the world, people cannot do tasks as fast as computers.
  • Cost inefficiency. Without a centralized automated solution, same data entry must often be made into several systems. Also different groups make multiple manual versions that overlap or are mutually incompatible.

Click_to_Pay

Necessity is Also the Mother of Automation

Telecom operators were among the first to implement robust automation for billing and provisioning. They had no choice. The huge expansion of their user base, the development of voice, data and mobile markets, and the multiplication of network services meant that using manual processes was no longer possible. The telecoms service industry is a forerunner in intelligently automated backend services that also offer business customers transparency and personalization.

B2B companies in other sectors can consider telecoms operators to be good role models in this regard, although telecom operators too are still lagging in frontend self-service integration and their subscription billing systems cannot handle the customer contract level throughout several business offerings as B2B customers expect today,

...and Automation the Mother of Opportunity.

However, correctly automating billing and provisioning does not just save an organization from decline. It also opens the door to new opportunities. Smart marketing to find out what customers want and intelligent automation to serve customers accordingly is a powerful way to move ahead of your competition. A flexible, scalable and reliable automated service can let you better meet customer expectations now and into the future.

As markets and B2B services evolve, good automation technology ‘future-proofs’ your systems and services with insights to help attract new customers while retaining the existing ones.


The Road to ‘Click to Buy’

Two key factors can help speed you along to automated billing and provisioning that guarantees customer satisfaction and profitability.

1) The first is naturally customer-facing: it is the user experience that your automated service offers. Part of the user experience will be determined by the capabilities built into your automation. The other part however will be defined by the choices you make in its implementation.

If you have any doubts about what customers want from a ‘click and buy’ user experience, it’s simple – ask them and try out, too!

2) The second factor is internal. It is the ease of integration of your automation with existing systems, including the migration of manual processes to automated ones.

The right planning, the right software to unite provisioning and contract billing automation from the customer contract point of view, and possibly the assistance of an experienced third party can help you get both the user experience and the integration right the first time and thereafter into the future.

Meet the new breed of business platforms for billing and provisioning

A number of innovative companies, ourselves included, are changing the way service companies can deliver in the age of instant gratification. Manual complexity is fast becoming automated flexibility. For example, we provide revolutionary cloud-based business platforms in billing, delivery and procurement for demaning service businesses competing in the digital economy.


 

Interested? At Good Sign Solutions we have some great cases to illustrate the benefits of automation. 

With Good Sign's solution, for example,  Fujitsu was able to decrease billing lead time by two weeks and eliminate manual mistakes. Now they are serving customers with detailed and relevant, tailored reports.

Read the whole story here:

SEE HOW FUJITSU ACHIEVED ENHANCED SERVICE EXCELLENCE  



 

Taija Engman
Written by Taija Engman

CEO of Good Sign, Taija blogs on digitalization bringing growth and efficiency by building on new business opportunities and customer value.

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