In today’s ultra-competitive business sphere, multi-pronged services like convergent billing are the rule instead of the exception. By streamlining the billing process for consumers, such services increase revenue for the service provider, while also making things easier. In essence, convergent billing is a billing solution that benefits both the provider and the consumer, and is robust enough to handle the many different options available to the end-user today. According to CSG International, it is no longer enough to just combine platforms without also raising the operational efficiency of the service.
1. Reduced Price for Better Service
As any business owner knows, if she can offer her customers the tandem of better service at less cost, while also increasing company revenue, then demand skyrockets. Convergent billing systems do precisely that; by bringing together the many different systems consumers use these days onto a single dashboard, the end-user can enjoy benefits in pricing. The company can now offer a packaged service at a reduced price, since it’s costing much less to maintain. Additionally, these cross-service discounts are some of the most attractive advertisements to corral new business.
Although convergent billing is still working on fully incorporating pre-paid billing options into its paradigm, it is already capable of centralizing pre-paid and post-paid services when it comes to customer support. Indeed, it allows for smooth integration of CRMs (customer relationship management) systems. As a result of all these abilities, the market for convergent billing is growing by leaps and bounds, according to a report by Research and Markets.
Not only is simplicity linked to ease-of-implementation, it also provides a greater amount of time to market efficiently. Essentially, it is akin to targeted marketing; the business owner uses less time to garner more results – and, best of all – spends less money to accomplish all three.
4. Business Benefits
This final benefit is largely for the service provider – but it can certainly be passed on to the end-user in some ways. The merging of platforms that is the hallmark of convergent billing systems means that the consumer see more services she may want – it’s like free advertising. Companies notice a rise in the number of purchased offerings when such systems are used, with a correspondingly greater customer satisfaction. Preexisting customers tend to add new services, whereas prospective clients find the parent company more attractive than its competitors.
Challenges Up Ahead
Although there’s no question that convergent billing unifies formerly disparate elements of the service provider-consumer interaction, according to telecom learning platform, Tutorials Point, there’s still work to be done to realize its full capabilities. For example, there are still quite a few products that aren’t easy to incorporate into a single, seamless package. Some signal carriers use real-time charging systems, which can’t currently be handled by the convergent billing methodology – there are too many variables.
In the coming years, consumers can certainly expect convergent billing to be able to handle roaming charges, discounts over multiple consumer accounts and other customer hierarchies. Additionally, for accounts that employ post-paid billing, the calls cannot be charged for convergent billing because the traffic is not in real time (it was paid for already). Despite these small issues – which won’t affect the overwhelming majority of consumers – an interface is in the works that will extend the benefits of convergent billing by merging the systems. The truth is that convergent billing systems are becoming more flexible by the minute, in the continuing surge toward complete business compatibility.