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Posts Tagged ‘e-bill’

The biggest TelCo in North America gets it horribly wrong

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 | Customer Applications, Go Green for Businesses, Industry News, Operational Tips | No Comments

After more than two years of in-depth conversation with Striata, the largest wireless telecommunications service provider in North America decided to build its email billing solution internally. We were fortunate to get access to the final solution recently, and were incredibly disappointed. Written by Garin Toren   on Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Unfortunately for both consumers and the industry, they have missed almost every important strategic advantage that makes ‘push’ delivery of ebills via email so powerful.

In fact, the only thing they got right was the ability to securely deliver an ebill via email.

The TelCo’s internal email billing solution – each mistake they made:

1. Registration barriers – Eliminating the registration barrier is the most critical element in the success of email billing. This TelCo’s ‘opt-in’ process requires registration (choosing and remembering yet another username and password) at their self-serve portal. The option to receive your bill via email is buried under preferences. This is a customer satisfaction disaster and – the entire strategy dies right there. The Striata eConsent process does not require registration, nor choosing and remembering any information. The goal is to make the paperless consent a one-click process, with no website to visit.

2. Marketing – Push delivery of bills via email offers amazing marketing opportunities, both in the body of the email as well as within the attachment. Its specific advantage is enabling the consumer to draw from a host of offers and apply them to the message based on an intelligent rule set. This results in the recipient only receiving relevant, targeted and very personalized promotions. This biller has chosen not to take advantage of this opportunity in any way.

3. Personalization – Multiple personalization points within the body of the email and subject line, allows the consumer to intuitively trust the message, as well as create a great customer experience. The only hint of personalization in this solution however is a partial account number. Do you know your TelCo’s account number? In addition to this, there is no salutation in the email message, so they have chosen to go with no greeting at all, never mind addressing their customers by name. Unless you recognize your account number, there is no way to tell if the message is genuine. They have completely missed the many opportunities to create customer satisfaction.

4. Online to access – One of the key advantages to email billing, when done correctly, is that you do not need to be connected to the internet to access your documents. This TelCo’s solution requires an active Internet connection in order to decrypt the email bill. (This process also generates numerous PDF Reader security warnings – enough to make any consumer nervous to proceed.)

5. Cost to promote – As this solution requires the consumer to register at their portal, they will have to incur significant marketing expenses to promote the solution. In fact, probably double the cost of promoting their self-serve portal. An eConsent process, properly executed, only requires an accurate email address to gain paperless consent, at almost zero cost.

6. Not mobile capable – To be a wireless provider and offer email bills that do not work on any email capable mobile device is a bit bizarre. As a wireless service provider, you would think that would be important, right? (All of Striata’s email delivered bills are mobile ready and enabled by default.)

7. Not for everyone – As portal registration is required, this TelCo has limited their email billing solution to the 30% of consumers that may sign up at their portal. As near to 80% of their customers regularly use email, they have effectively and once again only catered to the innovators and early adopters that make up less than a third of their customer database. The very point of email billing is that it is meant to be for everyone.

In summary: This TelCo has developed a solution that is expensive to market, incredibly difficult to sign up for, doesn’t work on your smart phone, is only available to a small portion of their customers and one that has a negative customer satisfaction result.

Does this mean that email billing failed? Definitely not, it simply means that if a great idea is executed badly, it won’t succeed.

It’s taken Striata 12 years, with more than 500 implementations in 14 countries to get it right. As demonstrated above, having IT resources and budget it not sufficient to succeed, you need strategic experience and know-how.

Talk to us
before you develop your email billing strategy. Even if you decide to build it yourself, we really want you to get it right.

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