Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Practical Guide to Revenue Assurance Management

Five Rules on how to enhance your Communication Service Provider Revenue

With the growing trend of LTE and an increasing mobile market, telecom companies today are facing the challenge of providing a variety of enhanced services to customers, but while staying profitable and securing their revenues. Revenue Assurance is key when it comes to ensuring long-term growth and the financial security of a company. But what does an efficient Revenue Assurance strategy look like? It doesn't need to be rocket science; but sometimes it helps to consider new methods to optimize a company's revenue.

Codec Translator accepted the challenge and has put together an easy guide of five rules for Communication Service Providers to ensure an efficient Revenue Assurance Management.

1. Look for hidden revenue

Have you ever thought of what happens if you don't pay your bill? Well, for some reason many Service Providers have a tendency to avoid invoicing some of their customers, not only because of unclear billing reports, but can also be because of their customer status. It is often reported that there is a specific customer base considered as "untouchable", even when this customer would not pay the bill. But why shouldn't correct billing apply to these customers?

A first step here in order to avoid this kind of revenue leakage is obviously a well working reporting tool for your billing records. Then, reflect what payment strategy is most appropriate for you. In a serious case of parties that are not willing to pay, you might possibly consider stronger contract bindings, or even penalties for non-paying customers or distributors for infringing their legal agreements.

Looking for the leakages in your billing strategy could make you easy money, all by just applying your standard billing Terms and Conditions.

2. Communicate with other departments

The bigger your company is, the more correct billing will become a serious challenge, especially when various customer bases are registered in different departments. Cross-departmental communication might be the key here to solve billing questions, and tools that provide a revenue transparency should be encouraged. You might be surprised and discover new invoicing models or customer groups that have not been invoiced so far, because they've been out of your department's scope.

Therefore, supporting open communication with other departments and by adopting standards and policies to help regulate communication will certainly help you enhancing the Revenue Assurance Management.

3. Revenue Protection is also fraud prevention

New ways of communication such as IP-telephony, messaging, and new services not only bring new opportunities, but also give fraudsters new opportunities to steal money. The Press and several fraud associations frequently report about significant losses in the telecom sector due to fraud attacks. One single fraud attack can have an impact of losses of up to five digits USD for just the one fraudulent call placed illegally in a Service Provider's network. Facing the potential for disastrous consequences in revenues and reputation, the telecom industry starts to rethink of prevention mechanisms to protect their customers from fraud attacks.

In order to reduce fraud as an obvious source of revenue leakage, installing a high performance solution that will protect LTE, IMS and VoIP networks of fraud attacks is a good investment. Today, light-weight solutions can detect fraudulent attack in near real-time, and the ability to block fraudulent calls as they happen reduces any further revenue losses.

4. Know your customers

Obviously, an appropriate billing infrastructure is crucial when it comes to invoicing customers. Moreover, it's good to know what services your customers most value. To better understand your customer's behavior, you will need a solution that provides an end-to-end network visibility, which displays user behavior in the past as well as trends of current usage. This information, together with the ability to group and organize your customers will help you to learn about your customer's preferences or any issues they might experience while using your service. The better you know your customer, the better your Customer Experience Management will be. A solution to measure the Customer Experience will not only help you to troubleshoot service issues, but also to understand what your customers really want and which of your services they value the most.

5. Set reachable goals

This simple life rule also applies to an efficient Revenue Assurance Management.

Whenever you decide to adopt a billing system, new systems for network monitoring, or fraud prevention mechanisms, you might need to consider opting for high performance, yet easy to use solutions. The lower the barriers are to implementing and using new solutions, the more likely you and your team will be to successfully adopting the new systems. This will not only be paying off your investment, but also fostering an enhanced Revenue Assurance Management.

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