Customers are vital for any business, without customers, there is no revenue, and without revenue, you cannot sustain or grow a business. When customers do business with you, they can have several concerns related to your industry expertise, capability to design and implement solutions, provide robust support, etc. One of the customer concerns can be related to CSP billing. Microsoft CSP billing can be quite complex and challenging. This can be attributed to numerous factors such as multiple license models, frequent price changes, different billing cycles for different customers, tiered pricing and discounts, usage-based billing, compliance requirements, communicating price changes to customers, etc.
Though managing CSP billing concerns effectively can be challenging for Microsoft CSPs, these need to be addressed as a priority due to several reasons.
- Ensures customer satisfaction- customers expect a hassle-free and prompt resolution to their CSP billing concerns. By proactively addressing customer concerns you can improve customer satisfaction, foster customer loyalty, and strengthen customer relationships. A positive customer experience can help drive future revenue.
- Maintains steady cash flow– a stable cash flow is important for operating a business as well as investing in growth initiatives. Billing delays and disputes can lead to overdue payments by customers. Resolving customer disputes regarding billing can help minimize the disruption to cash flow and ensure the financial health of your business.
- Safeguards reputation– negative experiences related to billing can lead to harming the reputation of a Microsoft CSP business. Unhappy customers will share their poor experiences with others impacting the image of the business. Managing billing concerns will help build trust and capability and promote a positive brand image.
- Fulfills legal and compliance obligations- As a Microsoft CSP, these are legal and compliance obligations you need to adhere to. These include tax compliance, data privacy and security, Service level agreements (SLAs), and other contractual obligations. Managing the billing concerns will help you remain compliant and be safe from legal disputes and financial penalties.
Customer concerns with CSP billing
There are several concerns that customers can have with CSP billing. These concerns can vary depending on different circumstances and billing scenarios. Let us have a look at the common concerns customers can face with CSP billing.
Considering the complexities involved in Microsoft CSP billing such as varied billing cycles, frequent updation in prices and discounts, diversity of subscriptions, a large volume of billing transactions, etc., customers can be unsure whether they are being billed correctly or not. There may be instances of incorrect pricing or inaccurate usage tracking by manual billing systems leading to inflated invoices. Also, in a manual billing system, there can be chances of the billing information such as billing name, billing address, and contact information not being up-to-date leading to the generation of invoices with incorrect customer information. The customers expect that they should be billed correctly and errors or discrepancies in the invoices can lead to billing disputes, delayed payments, etc. In cases of frequent billing errors, customers will have to spend additional time checking the invoices and getting them rectified. This will increase their administrative workload and reduce trust in your Microsoft CSP business.
As we have seen above, Microsoft CSP billing is complex making it difficult for customers to understand how they are charged for their subscriptions. They might want information on the pricing structures, usage details, additional charges, etc. Customers look for billing transparency so that they can evaluate their cloud usage and make informed decisions on optimizing their cloud costs. Transparent billing also allows customers to easily detect any errors in the invoices. In the absence of CSP billing automation, it can be exceedingly difficult to track where errors are being generated in the billing process. Lack of CSP billing transparency leads to lowering customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty.
Customers can have concerns about sharing their sensitive financial information such as credit card/debit card details, bank account information, etc. Customers may not be comfortable putting their financial information into unsecured payment gateways. Customers expect you to protect their financial information against any data breaches or fraudulent activities. Customers can be concerned about whether their data is encrypted or not during storage and transmission. Another area of concern could be that access to financial information is restricted to only those employees who need the data and access can be tracked. Without payment security and privacy measures in place, customers will be hesitant to do business with you. Compromization of financial data can severely impact on your reputation and strain long-term business relationships with customers. Prioritizing cybersecurity is important to protect your organization from incidents of data breaches that can compromise customer data. You can read the blog by Microsoft titled “Why cybersecurity is vital for all Microsoft partners” here to learn more.
Leverage CSP billing automation to address customer concerns
Billing can serve as a frequent touchpoint between your business and your customers. Resolving CSP billing concerns can help you enhance customer experience and maintain a positive relationship with your customers. Handling customer concerns and complaints related to billing can be quite difficult if you are manually generating invoices and keeping track of the billing using spreadsheets. Manual billing can lead to an uptick in billing errors which will lower the confidence your customers have in your billing system. According to research carried out by PWC “32% of customers will walk away from a brand they loved after a single bad experience.”
If you want to learn more about the major billing and invoicing mistakes you should be avoiding to improve customer experience, you can read our blog.
By leveraging CSP billing automation you can address the concerns of your customers and build long-term business relationships.
Improve billing accuracy
CSP billing automation can help reduce customer concerns around CSP billing by generating precise and timely invoices. Replacing manual billing with CSP billing automation ensures that the pricing, usage, and discount data used to generate invoices is correct which results in accurate invoices. This leads to building trust as the customers are satisfied that they are being billed only for the services they are using. Apart from reducing customer concerns, CSP billing automation will also help save time for both the customer and your team. This will not only lead to an improved customer experience, but the time saved by automating billing tasks can be used in resolving other customer concerns.
Increase billing transparency with self-service
With CSP billing automation you can offer your customers self-service capabilities that can lead to an increase in billing transparency. With self-service, customers can have 24/7 access to their subscription details, upcoming and pending invoices, payment history, etc. Customers can see the pricing tiers and discounts that are being applied to them, the usage they are being billed for, etc. This increased visibility helps customers ensure that they are being billed only for what they use. With CSP billing automation, apart from having round-the-call access to their billing data, the customers can also be notified of upcoming renewals, payment acknowledgments, payment issues, etc, and can act on billing issues when needed. By tracking their cloud usage, customers can assess their cloud needs and adjust their cloud resources to align with their business needs and reduce unnecessary costs. Self-service further increases billing visibility by providing customers with more control over their accounts. The customers can edit and update their billing information such as billing address, contact number, and payment information, and also adjust their subscriptions.
Ensure payment security
CSP billing automation provides increased payment security when compared to traditional payment methods. CSP billing automation allows your customers to choose their preferred payment methods and transact using secure payment gateways. The payment gateways use several security measures such as PCI DSS compliance, SSL and TLS protocols, 3D Secure, tokenization, etc, which protect your customers from financial fraud.
CSP billing automation tools are usually compliant with industry regulations and standards related to payment security which will further ensure that the customer payment information is secure. By using a CSP billing automation system, you can place access controls on who can view and modify customer billing information which will protect the customer’s financial data from unauthorized access. You can read more about improving customer payment experience to achieve business growth for Microsoft CSPs here.
Overcome customer billing concerns with C3
C3 offers you the ultimate Microsoft CSP billing automation platform that can help you address customer concerns around CSP billing. The range of features offered by C3 can help you streamline your billing process and enhance customer experience.
- Establish a positive relationship with your customers by always sending accurate invoices with the help of CSP billing automation.
- Improve billing transparency by empowering your customers with self-service capabilities.
- Offer your customers a more secure payment experience by integrating external payment gateways such as Stripe, Authorize.Net, Bill&Pay, MCB, and EziDebit.
Book a demo to learn more about how the CSP billing automation solution by C3 can help you.