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Wholesale VoIP Feature Article

Hosted Billing Solutions for Wholesale VoIP Service Providers

March 23, 2017

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

If you were to tally up the number of calls you have to make to customer support, you’d probably find that a large number of them – if not the majority of them – can be attributed to billing. Billing is often a manual process, and where there are humans, there are mistakes. The function of billing often lies at the point where many different processes meet (operations, accounting, shipping, call center, etc.), and these processes aren’t always properly integrated. This inefficiency opens the process to errors, and having to cope with billing errors often leads customers to believe they’re doing your company’s job. It’s not a great recipe for building customer goodwill.

For providers of services such as wholesale VoIP, the billing process can become even more complex. Customers are often operating under a variety of plans, which can lead to limitless combinations of rating and charging. Wholesale VoIP providers frequently tempt customers with pricing packages and promotions, which requires even more customization of bills.

To improve efficiency for the process, many companies are turning to hosted billing solutions to eliminate the siloes of data and the manual processes by automating workflows that dictate daily billing processes. The goal is to increase efficiency and productivity while simultaneously lowering costs. In a recent article for VoIP Innovations (News - Alert), Allison Boccamazzo outlines some of the features to look for in a hosted billing solution.

Does it allow flexible payment options? Customers may be looking to be able to specify automatic top-ups for prepaid accounts, or they may wish to have configured spending limits for postpaid accounts. A good billing solution can automatically send preemptive credit card expiry notifications, or apply penalty calculations for overdue amounts.

Does it have good reporting? Customers will have questions about their bills, and nothing will kill a relationship faster than “I don’t know” from customer support. Ensure any solution you adopt provides all the information you need in one place, so when customers inevitably call for bill reconciliation, all the info agents need is in one place.

Does it have a tax module? Complex tax systems on services often mean that billing becomes muddied when it comes to taxes. Look for a solution that offers complete end-user taxation; the ability to view billing modules; easily add customer tax exemptions; and access a third-party tax expert if necessary to assist with mapping and consultation.

Essentially, you’re looking for a hosted solution that can collect, rate, tax and bill voice and related services in a way that doesn’t make the process overly complex to customers. Customers like transparency, and when it comes to understanding bills (and making sure they’re correct), the last thing customers want to be doing is your job. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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