“Billing data covers a huge amount of information and that’s the kind of information that drives change in your organization.”
– Chris Sanders, Developing Billing into a Value Adding Customer Experience webinar
Sanders, a globally recognized consultant with 30-plus years of experience who acknowledges much of his time spent these days is on billing improvement, built upon that statement on a recent RecVue webinar with the following:
“What can you use it for? Everything is there within billing systems to provide you all the insight you can possibly need for your customers.”
As Sanders noted, that data is so incredibly valuable because the process through which it flows touches more people more often than anything else within a business. And, let’s be frank, some of those people are more valuable than others.
“It’s much more customer-facing than anything else within an organization,” Sanders said.
He’s not alone in thinking this.
Power Through Proximity
“Billing data is going to become even more valuable because it’s part of a first-party data strategy,” said Forrester Senior Analyst Lily Varon during a RecVue webinar in early 2022 titled, “The Future of Business Requires Powerful Billing Technology.”
Varon, who has been covering billing for more than a decade, highlighted how this data maps out a customer’s full lifecycle of engagement – what, when and how a product or service was purchased and other changes along the way.
“(Billing data) has really useful and unique and contextual information on customers that companies will leverage more of in the future when other sources become less prevalent,” she said.
It’s why, Varon said, she remains surprised whenever she comes across companies relegating billing to a manual task or to being handled by “one or two humans.”
Too Important For Spreadsheets
The number of enterprises in this category, however, continues to shrink by the day. Today’s more modern requirements as well as the increased variety of revenue channels and heightened expectations opened up by technology demand it. As does the data flowing through this process.
A Forrester report, authored by Varon earlier this year, pointed out that in this age of heightened security concerns, global regulation and changes in big tech operating systems and browsers, the value of that data can only increase. Billing data, Forrester noted, is critical to “fill in the gaps that data depreciation leaves behind” given the potential for customer details, engagement and offerings improvement it holds.
Varon, in the RecVue webinar, stated the Forrester prediction “that retailers and brands will know fewer than 20% of their customers.”
In his session on the importance of billing as a true value-adding customer experience, Sanders said that today’s billing has more systems, prices, contacts and, as a result, more potential issues that must be taken into account.
“Having a good process properly managed with good endpoints, this is something you really need to consider,” he said. “Otherwise, it’ll end up in the black hole everyone refers to when they talk about billing.”
Orchestrate To Differentiate
Explaining the importance of a truly sophisticated billing solution based on countless conversations with customers across this industry, Varon said the right solution, one able to support all revenue models, can become an orchestration platform and competitive differentiator for a business.
“But,” she said,” this configurability should not come at the expense of usability. We will see a lot more emphasis in these billing tools because they are such an important record of the customer relationship.”
If this has sparked your interest and you wish to explore what is most critical in the areas of billing technology and automation today, please join a gathering of your peers for an immersive virtual workshop on April 26 & 28, presented by Chris Sanders Consulting. To learn more about this unique event and to register, please visit here.