How the Cloud Transforms the Telecom Buying and Selling Ecosystem-Part 4

Posted by admin, December 21, 2015

Throughout this series we have been digging deeper into the top benefits of a cloud-based online marketplace platform for the telecom buying and selling community (i.e. telecom providers/distributors, resellers and customers).

Just as Amazon transformed the traditional processes of buying and selling from multiple vendors, an online marketplace platform can similarly transform business for this telecom ecosystem. Providers, for example, can increase their share of profits earned by their resellers through channel empowerment; utilize business analytics in order to glean key insights for improvement; and can increase efficiencies through seamless data integration.

Meanwhile, resellers can use an online marketplace platform to peruse services offered by multiple vendors via one global cloud catalogue, as well as can create more targeted service packages with just the click of a button. Additionally, they can integrate their existing third-party platforms to more efficiently manage revenue, as well as conduct predictive analyses on customer buying patterns and preferences.

But what about the customer, who is arguably the most important part of this ecosystem? There are plenty of benefits of an online marketplace platform for them, too:

Easy-to-use Customer Portal, Richer UX

It’s becoming more common today for companies to offer a user portal that enables customers to login via a username and password to carry out a number of tasks, like pay bills and view service usage details. Just because an organization offers a customer portal, however, does not mean the technology will function as needed or truly contribute to a richer user experience.

An online marketplace platform differs in a few notable ways. For example, the solution enables users to log into their customer portal in order to see all necessary data in one central interface, regardless of the device being used (i.e. tablet, smartphone, laptop). Using their device of choice, customers can review and pay bills online, review service usage details, edit their information (i.e. change service address, add a new phone line), and can make purchases or upgrade their service packages—all with the click of a button. In this way, resellers and providers also stand to significantly gain. With customers being able to independently buy new services through their own portal, resellers and providers stand to increase cash flow while exerting barely any effort. Also, the ability for customers to manage their own services day-to-day means providers and resellers can potentially decrease their helpdesk support efforts—and its associated costs.

Overall, research shows that nearly 70 percent of customers prefer self-service for handling business; however, this preference is heavily determined by whether a company gets its self-service techniques right. A reliable yet easy-to-use customer portal will ensure customers are being taken care of on their terms.

Stronger Integration, More Intuitive Customer Support

Ensuring a consistent and excellent customer experience is what keeps consumers feeling connected and loyal to a brand, thus increasing the chance that they will spend more on services on an ongoing basis. Due to its integrated nature, an online marketplace platform nurtures customers at multiple touch points to ensure the best overall experience with their service vendor. For example, customers are supported with multiple payment options that flexibly meet their preferences and schedules; they can make same-day payments through a customer portal, call in to pay over the phone, submit payments at a kiosk in-store or schedule payments weeks in advance online.

What’s more, an integrated, online marketplace platform empowers customers with real-time payment notifications that will alert them of upcoming payments as well as when payments are missed. This feature is a win-win for resellers, providers and customers alike. For customers, the technology ensures payments won’t be missed and that payments can be submitted in a more convenient way, which increases their level of satisfaction. Additionally, the platform can seamlessly integrate with third-party systems, like CRM and ERP, to ensure customer data is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. While customers will enjoy the benefits of this cutting edge technology—timelier bill payment and less headaches in resolving data-driven issues—resellers and service providers can gain a clearer view of predictable revenue. What’s more, because customers will be proactively reminded in advance of upcoming payments, resellers/providers can near-guarantee they won’t face revenue leakage.

As one can see, the customer benefits of an online marketplace platform simultaneously benefit resellers and providers/distributors. In giving customers what they actually want—i.e. more autonomy in the management and ordering of services, better customized service packages—they will be more satisfied, and resellers will see sustainable profits grow as a result.

So, only one question remains for resellers and/or service providers: Are you intrigued enough to want to learn more about an online marketplace platform? Click here to schedule a free demo of BluLogix’s solution to see if it’s the right fit for you.