Welcome to the Spotlight: Why Billing and Customer Management Systems are Taking Center Stage

Welcome to the Spotlight: Why Billing and Customer Management Systems are Taking Center Stage

In most organizations, billing and commerce systems have traditionally been relegated to the back office, managed by IT professionals who led ongoing processes, as well as defined its requirements, scope, milestones and capabilities. Sales and marketing teams had limited involvement in defining their desired requirements, or in the platform selection process.

But this is now changing. The selling of services and products, mainly or entirely online, is driving digital enterprises to realize that billing platforms play a significant role in their success. Increasingly they are being relied on to not only deliver the business models that customers demand, but also to drive the overall customer experience. Acknowledging the importance of such systems, digital enterprises have started to shift them to a more prominent position and to treat them as a strategic component that delivers significant impact on the customer’s journey.

As billing and commerce platforms are often the only interaction the enterprise will have with the customer, its centricity in the customer journey is crucial and invaluable. This new framework relies on billing and customer management systems to deliver flexible solutions that improve customer experience, while still supporting back office processes in a mature and secure way. At first glance this appears easy and simple, but it’s actually very complex.

In a recent Forrester Consulting research paper, commissioned by Amdocs Optima, 300 IT and business professionals provided insights to their current and future billing systems. The research revealed that 58% realize that their customers want more flexible billing and commerce options. In addition to meeting customer needs by implementing more flexible billing and commerce options, 45% anticipate improving customer experience; 39% expect improvement in customer service; and 35% predict an increase in customer loyalty and retention. In addition, 43% believe that a more flexible billing and commerce system will increase operational efficiency and business agility. These results reinforce the significance of billing and commerce systems in the customer lifecycle.

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Given that consumers are reluctant to commit, often engaging in a one-time transaction with an organization, customer loyalty and recurring engagements is the top priority of any enterprise.

As organizations become “customer obsessed” and billing and commerce systems move to center stage, marketing and sales professionals are increasingly being relied on to provide input and guidance, as well as to participate in the system selection process.

This effort alone has the capacity to help digital enterprises optimize the customer experience at every point of contact and turn single consumer engagements into a relationship.