Billing – It’s Not Just About Collecting Payment

making a payment onlineOf the eight key decision moments across the subscriber lifecycle, Bill – the method of accurately and securely collecting money for each service consumed – is likely top of mind for the majority of pay-TV operators. However, it’s important to remember that monetising your content and service is much more than just collecting payment. In our experience, proactivity during the subscriber billing process can go a long way toward reducing churn.

Expired credit cards for example, can cause the loss of up to a third of a TV operator’s customer base. By better understanding the reasons why subscribers are falling through the cracks, operators can offer a better, more proactive consumer experience, driving subscriber ARPU and reducing churn. In order to pull off a successful ‘Bill’ moment, operators must offer:

Complete transparency – Pricing options of packages must be clearly defined using simple to understand language, without any hidden charges. Customers should be made aware of when the first and all subsequent payments will be taken. These practices build trust and trust builds loyalty.

Open communication – Operators should clearly post bills/statements where consumers will see them as well as be proactive about any billing issues that arise. For example, when a customer’s card is due to expire, letting them know upfront gives the customer ample time to rectify the situation, ensuring that they don’t experience a lapse in service.

Seamless user experience – The look and feel of the payment page provided by 3rd party payment service providers should seamlessly match the design of the TV service provider’s website. This gives consumers confidence and a sense of security.

Flexible payment options – Worldwide, there are more than 186 currencies, 4 major credit cards, dozens of e-wallets, debit cards, mobile banking, scratch cards, vouchers and retail payment terminals. Only 7% of the population in developing countries has a credit card. Payment options should be tailored by region and territory, proving the best options for the customer depending on where the service is deployed. Additionally, some customers feel more secure using PayPal, eliminating the need to share sensitive payment information with TV service providers.

Retention strategy – Operators should use a credit control cycle to manage billing cycles and deal with failed payments to ensure that the customer is not lost. Additionally, there should be a plan for how to manage billing at the end of trial periods and when bundles change in an effort to increase subscriber retention.
Drawing on over 18 years of subscriber management experience, here at Paywizard, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting the Bill moment right. By ensuring that the moment is proactively approached with the customer in mind, subscriber billing can be an opportunity to drastically reduce customer churn.

Read our white paper to learn how to boost loyalty and deliver a better ‘Bill’ decision moment experience for subscribers.