A robust billing solution is a fundamental part of running a successful business; so fundamental, that is it is often taken for granted. In addition to generating invoices, a billing solution performs a number of other key tasks including monitoring cash flow, ensuring proactive contract renewal as well as maintaining regulatory compliance. In fact, the right billing platform can provide everything you need to make informed decisions, improve customer experience, and unlock the highest levels of profitability. In spite of this, many organizations spend a lot of time, money and effort in manually carrying out the billing process, which in most cases, is a very inefficient way of dealing with a process as complex as billing. If you’re failing to consistently deliver timely, accurate, and professional-looking invoices, maybe it’s time to opt for a modern billing solution.
- Type of business: The need for a billing solution arises from the type of business you are. If you are a small B2C organization with just a handful of customers and limited billing requirements, you might be able to do without a billing solution. However, if you are a large B2B or B2B2C organization and manage hundreds or thousands of enterprise customers across different regions, you certainly need a solution that integrates the distinct billing requirements of each of your customers. A billing solution will not only streamline the billing process but also make it more efficient, timely, and customer-friendly.
- Customer demographic diversity and needs: The location, language and currency your customers deal with are a major driver for choosing a billing solution. With customer experience becoming an important differentiator for any company, keeping in mind your customer demographic, their diversity and needs are vital to earn the respect and trust of your customers. Do you know? organizations that invest in the right customer experience strategies improve satisfaction levels by up to 20%. If your customers are spread across various geographies, are demographically diverse, and have very distinct needs, a billing solution can enable you to offer services across a range of diverse needs.
- Cloud vs. on-premise: The type and variety of billing needs of customers are astounding, and trying to meet each of those needs without a billing solution is next to impossible. Although you can manage to cater to the limited billing needs of a handful of customers on-premises, if you are a large enterprise, with complex billing requirements and customers spread across the world, a cloud billing solution would fit your needs better. Such a solution would be able to scale up to your demands and would be able to serve the needs of your customers in a more efficient and streamlined manner.
- Fixed vs. flexible consumption: No matter how big or small your company is, the need for a billing solution also depends on your consumption pattern. If you have fixed consumption, you can manage your billing process without a billing solution. However, if you have big growth plans, you need to choose a solution that can perfectly fit your long-term growth strategy. Such a solution will be able to meet your flexible consumption needs, adapt as you introduce new products and services into your portfolio, and scale effectively according to the needs of your customers and your business. What’s more, it will also offer you the flexibility and control to manage subscriptions, upgrade or downgrade service plans, purchase, renew, resume or cancel new plans and enable better relationships and engagement with your customers.
- Revenue leakage: For any organization dealing with billing, revenue leakage is a common challenge. If you find yourself struggling with revenue leakage, a billing solution can come to your rescue. By offering sophisticated revenue assurance and reporting functionality, a billing solution can identify areas of security breaches, revenue leakage, and misbilling. Automated revenue assurance tasks will not only ensure the safety and security of your data but also ensure that you’re neither undercharging your customers or being overcharged by suppliers. This will help in minimizing leakage and maximizing revenue.
- Compliance: For organizations that need to deal with complex billing processes for a variety of customers, compliance becomes an important factor. Since there are several regulatory, legislative and tax requirements across different regions and communication services such as VoIP, wireless, internet, satellite, cable, IoT etc., choosing a billing solution that simplifies this process for you makes total sense. Opt for a solution that is compliant with location regulations, considers taxation policies, exemptions, inclusions and special rates for different states and offers custom and real-time tax calculations for compliance across various services.
- Configuration vs. customization: Not every billing requirement can be met with an out-of-the-box billing system: some would require to be configured, while some others might need to undergo extreme levels of customizations. Since most modern billing systems are configurable, choose a billing solution that allows you to control settings, manage interfaces, schedule processes, build workflows and manage all your products and prices with ease. And not one that wastes your time, effort and money on IT intervention or writing custom code.
- Price personalization: Another major driver for choosing a billing solution is the need for price personalization. If your customers have varied communication needs and billing cycle preferences, a billing solution with an innovative pricing strategy will meet all your needs. By offering a variety of charge types, such as one-time, recurring, usage-based, feature-based, volume-based, rule-based pricing etc., a billing solution can enable precise billing methods to suit each of their needs.
- Manual vs. automation: The importance of using a billing solution is too significant to simply be overlooked. But, despite the various benefits, many organizations manage to work without it, although not as efficiently. Without a billing solution, companies have to manage every billing task manually – this is not only time consuming, but also makes the entire process prone to error. A modern billing solution can automate several crucial tasks, including invoicing, compliance, taxation and more. By offering a unified platform for all billing activities, it can streamline the billing process and make it far more efficient.
- Service fulfillment: Another important driver for choosing a billing solution is service fulfillment. If your current billing methods generate confusing invoices, deciphering each item is bound to frustrate your customers. A billing solution optimizes the billing process and makes service fulfillment possible; by offering customized invoicing, personalized prices, different billing cycle options and more, it ensures efficient billing and improves customer satisfaction.
Make the right choice
Choosing a billing solution is a big decision for any business. And although the process might seem complex, is a very crucial one. Since the billing solution will be at the heart of your entire business, understanding the need for a robust solution is extremely important. Statistics show that 18% of small businesses do not use billing software and only 21% have accounting and invoicing integrated; cash flow issues are a major reason why many of them shut down. If you are looking to effectively send out invoices, track your finances and improve customer satisfaction, it’s time to opt for a modern billing solution that offers long-term support. And if you have questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with billing solution providers and clarify each one of them to make the right choice.