A few months ago, we shared a white paper on Customer Satisfaction in the Carrier Billing ecosystem. In the expertise we addressed best practices around transparency, anti-fraud, local adaptation and customer care. Now we want to go further in the next step to improve the purchasing experience by focusing on post-purchase, understanding this process as the end-user’s need to fully comprehend what appears on their mobile phone bill.
For Guillaume Briche, CEO of Digital Virgo and member of the AF2M board, “ What happens once the user makes the purchase should be as important as all the steps taken in the pre-purchase process. Support, inform, facilitate and respond, are the four main challenges of the post-purchase experience and have the common goal of improving customer satisfaction”.
Let’s discover how customer satisfaction can be improved by addressing the four main challenges of the post-purchase process.
1.Support in the Purchasing Experience
Regulation for Customer Satisfaction
All payment solutions need to be regulated to offer to users, confidence and convenience. Many players in the ecosystem are involved in setting up secure and regulated practices.
- Regulatory Authorities
- Trade Associations
- Telecom Operators
- Service Providers
- Technology Solution Providers
All these organizations work together to establish standards aimed at providing the end-user with an environment of trust and confidence, which facilitates the development of mobile payments. While there are national standards that may differ from country to country and region to region, there are also different habits and practices among telecom operators in the same country.
The activity of organizations such as the AF2M in France or WASPA in South Africa – which bring together and coordinate the work between electronic communications operators and groups representing service publishers and technical providers, is an essential element for success.
The user journey in Carrier Billing is mainly based on three key steps:
- The act of payment by entering a mobile number, by a simple click, by sending an SMS, or by a phone call
- A welcome SMS
- A billing confirmation SMS
The end-user is then informed of the service’s URL, its ID, and the customer service contact details to complete the delivery experience. With this information, the user can access the post-purchase customer area provided by the telecom operator. However, there are disparities between telcos, who sometimes have different processes and habits.
The monthly invoice, on which the payment transactions appear, is often at the center of the debate. It is a major lever for improving customer satisfaction, with a real information challenge.
2.Information and Post-Purchase Communication
Transparency in the display of information
According to a data study published by Zendesk, 91% of customers prefer to access the information they are looking for on intuitive and efficient databases. That’s why customer satisfaction is directly linked to the availability of information in a clear and transparent way.
The mobile operator bill has two main challenges, visibility, and comprehension. The first parameter is directly linked to the organization and clarity of the customer area available online. Does the end-user have clear and quick access to his interface? To this end, a lot of work has been done on UX strategies and, although there are still areas for improvement, it can be considered that the access to operators’ billing spaces is becoming clearer to customers.
Understanding is often the most problematic point. Carrier Billing involves a plethora of players, the telecom operator, the service provider, and the aggregator. While most of the time the end-user can easily identify his telecom operator, the same is not always true for the identification of the merchant from whom he buys the product or service. The bill shows the transactions made by the subscriber, but is it clear enough? How can it be improved? Some telcos have launched several initiatives, particularly in Europe, which identify certain “best practices” affecting the post-purchase journey:
- Enter the name of the service on the invoice.
- Indicate the email and number of the associated customer service.
- Explain on the invoice the role of each player and clearly identify them.
- Create a section on the invoice dedicated to third-party products and services paid via Carrier Billing.
An informed user in the post-purchase phase will give us a clearer picture and more accurate information to improve our analysis and user protection.
Although many efforts are being made to communicate with the end-user, the bill remains an essential information channel with key elements that need to be displayed. By working on its clarity, visibility, and understanding, all players in the Carrier Billing ecosystem can contribute to customer satisfaction.
“As players in this ecosystem, we are all responsible for helping to fulfill these two missions. Expanding protection and improving the reputation and understanding of mobile operators’ bills. By improving post-purchase and making it more transparent, customer confidence will inevitably be enhanced” adds Guillaume Briche.
3.Facilitate the Post-Purchase Process
Users’ autonomy in the post-sale customer journey
Another key issue is the subscriber’s need to control their payments. Digitalization has given users a lot of autonomy. They have become accustomed to it and demand a customer space dedicated to their transactions where they can easily manage their subscriptions and data after the purchase.
In the section dedicated to customer information, we mentioned the importance of visibility and therefore of providing a privileged space for the subscriber. This area, today, is one of the essential parts of the post-purchase customer journey, just like the delivery of the service or the act of payment. It must be simple and allow the user to find the details of the transactions carried out in a minimum number of clicks.
- A direct access link from the confirmation SMS.
- A responsive platform designed for the mobile environment.
- Real-time information
(subscription, unsubscription, invoicing, full refunds…)
At Digital Virgo we offer a portal dedicated to the end-user to provide him with autonomy when checking and managing his subscriptions.
4.Respond Clearly to the User
The essential Customer Care platform
According to a Gartner report, 64% of people consider the quality of customer service to be a key element when choosing a brand – even more important than the product or the service itself. In fact, a Forrester study shows that companies that position customer experience at the heart of their strategies see their retention rate increase by an average of 1.7 times!
Customer service is an essential lever for customer satisfaction. It is activated immediately after the act of purchase. The reputation of the service, of the publisher, and of the telecom operator will depend on its efficiency and speed of response.
The quality of post-purchase customer services depends on accessibility, but also on the level of training of professionals and their ability to solve customer problems. The most common problems related to payment by invoice are:
- The customer tried to pay but the transaction failed.
- The customer was charged but did not receive the service they purchased.
- The customer claims that they never made a purchase and demands their money back.
It is therefore important that support teams can provide a clear and appropriate response, using tools and displaying channels tailored and created to offer the best post-purchase experience.
At Digital Virgo we propose a dedicated customer service portal to manage the entire end-user relationship. We provide carriers with a well-adapted and dynamic solution according to their needs.
In addition to responding to questions and requests, subsequent analysis and feedback will also be essential for the future.
“More qualitative feedback allows for more analysis and data automation, which ensures few benefits such as higher protection for end-user and fewer errors in the future post-purchase strategy”, says Guillaume Briche.
After realizing how important is the post-purchase experience in Carrier Billing, it’s time to go one step further on improving your customer journey. Contact us!