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Inside information

This issue deals with the , on the face of it , dull subject of billing and customer relations . But if you want to get a handle on how important it is , just think about your own experience dealing with [ name any utility , CSP , insurance company , bank , etc , etc .]
There are few things in life more likely to distress , enrage , or depress an otherwise well-balanced adult than having to deal with the call-centre of , frankly , most product and service providers . Actually , one thing worse is dealing with an automated system be it a bot or ( save us ) a voice ‘ recognition ’ system – which have only ever been useful to provide easy material for comedians .
Across industries billing practice and customer relations run the gamut from execrable to the high praise of : ‘ at least they ’ re not as bad as those other people ’.
But to get it right , or , at least better , is low hanging fruit . And in a consumer survey of one ( me ), it really makes a difference . My broadband provider is Awful ; well known for it , bottom of most consumer surveys . But the pain of switching is too much because experience means you anticipate that , despite their sincere promises , a new supplier would , at best , be Just a Tiny Bit Better . So , with the usual sinking feeling , I recently engaged to get a new modem sent to a property . I discovered they had a new Chat set up , and it kind-of worked . Without having to speak to a call centre , in about 15 minutes they agreed to send a new device and it turned up . Sure , not great , but so much better than my expectation , I almost filled in their annoying ‘ how ’ d we do ?’ survey .
Our experts discuss in detail the likely needs going forward for CSPs to stay ahead of the curve on billing and customer care . Some astutely point to the human factor ; both of the customer , but also of the provider . How many times have you navigated an on-boarding , or a complaint , or a diagnostic portal and wondered if any human being , any at all , inside the organisation has actually tried to use it ? In a complicated world , easy wins await .
The Wrap 4-8 Cover Story 10-16 Research 18


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