Cut Billing Calls for a Better Employee and Customer Experience

 

Nobody enjoys calling a company to discuss their bill. Customers don’t want to make these calls, and contact center agents don’t want to receive them. Yet, when customers are confused by their bill or experience bill shock,hey often pick up the phone. According to a recent CSG-commissioned survey of contact center and customer service employees from 64 companies in the U.S. and EMEA, 84% of respondents (across industries) reported that up to 50% of inbound calls are bill related.

To prevent billing calls and improve employee and customer experience (CX), businesses must reduce bill confusion. Proactively explaining current charges and month-to-month changes in subscription billing is the answer.

Contact Center Agents Are Tired of Explaining Bills

Explaining monthly changes is often a waste of agents’ime.

Explaining billing charges (and price increases from the previous statement)akes up valuable contact center time that could be better spent on more complex customer problems—or even on potential upsell opportunities. Most contact center agents answer more than 100 calls per day, hindering their ability to provide a personalized experience that can deliver a positive customer outcome.

Not surprisingly, call center agents who handle a large number of calls may be at higher risk of burnout.

Fielding many billing-related calls increases the agent utilization rate (the percentage of total available working time an agent spends actively handling customer inquiries, problems or after-call tasks). Higher utilization rates (above 85%) mean agents don’t have much time between calls to catch their breath, decompress from stressful conversations and collect their thoughts before the next call. Handling calls constantly without a break is stressful, especially when agents are dealing with strings of dissatisfied callers, such as those reeling from bill shock or those who have made several unsuccessful attempts to resolve their problem.

Agents spend most of their time speaking with disappointed, frustrated or angry customers.

According to one customer service expert who has researched call center fatigue, more than one in five consumers admit to yelling at (32%) and cussing at (24%) an agent. When customers are confused about their internet bill changes or auto insurance premiums, emotions run high, and they often take out their frustration on the agent who’s trying to assist them. Even the most patient, empathetic and well-trained agent can quickly become stressed and burned out from handling a steady stream of difficult calls and negative vibes.

High call volume contributes to agent attrition and hurts the bottom line.

Contact center agents commonly experience stress and burnout that lead to them finding other work. The average annual contact center turnover rate is 38% (but may be as high as 200% in some call centers). Agent turnover is expensive and hurts your company’s bottom line. In fact, it costs an average of $20,000o replace an employee who performs at a typical level. Now, imagine how your call center employees’ experience could improve if your company proactively provided customers with comprehensive information about their billing statement without making them call an agent.

When agents spend hours every day answering the same billing questions—and listening to the same complaints about confusing statements and unexpected charges—boredom sets in, and the employee experience suffers.

Billing Calls Don’t Please Customers, Either 

“I enjoy waiting on hold for customer service representatives,” said no one, ever.

Billing-related calls waste customers’ime. Waiting on hold and then being transferred between several agents—repeating the question each time—is a frustrating,ime-wasting experience. Almost half (44%) of customers get annoyed or angry when they wait on hold for between five and 15 minutes. Customer satisfaction drops significantly when customers have to wait in line to reach a live agent—and when it takes more than 10 minuteso resolve their issues.

Many customers prefer self-service. Most (74%) consumers try to resolve issues on their own before contacting customer service. Among customers who contact customer service, 55% have already tried to resolve the issue using the company website and 26% have checked the mobile app. By providing a digital self-service option, businesses can reduce the load on contact centers and create a positive billing experience.

Also, a lack of self-service options results in customer churn. Among customers who switched insurance or telecom companies due to poor customer service, almost one-fifth (19% of insurance customers; 17% of telco) churned because of a lack of or limited self-service options. 

What’s the Answer?

To reduce billing-related calls and improve the customer and employee experience, you need to proactively explain each customer’s bill with contextual and personalized language. Ideally, you’ll send the customer or inform the contact center agent with a link (via email or text)o a personalized billing microsite that explains billing statement information, including:

  • Changes from the previous bill (including why the amount changed)
  • Balance due
  • Payment terms
  • Usage fees and additional charges
  • Taxes and other balances

CSG Bill Explainer harnesses the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI)o craft individualized microsites that thoughtfully dissect each customer’s bill. Through intuitive step-by-step navigation, it provides a comprehensive breakdown of changes and the reasons behind them. Bill Explainer takes customers on a journey through their statement, meticulously listing all charges while offering clear, context-rich explanations for each one. By seamlessly integrating with payment gateways, it enhances understanding and accelerates the payment process, ultimately improving financial outcomes.

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Cut Billing Calls for a Better Employee and Customer Experience