Over the past couple weeks, we've been providing you with advice through excerpts from our whitepaper, “How to Operate a Successful Telecommunications Business” by Jason Tapolci, President and CEO of VoIP Innovations.
Need to catch up? You could always go back to read what Jason has to say about the provisioning and support aspects of a telecom business, but why not hear it from the man himself? Without further ado, we present the pilot episode to our new video series, Talking with Tapolci.
Talking with Tapolci is our new video series which will cover challenges of entrepreneurship and trends of the VoIP Industry. Each episode will be hosted by Jason Tapolci, where he will give advice on how to overcome business challenges based off of his own experiences that made VoIP Innovations an industry leader.
To summarize, here are the main points of today’s episode.
- The three key elements that will determine the success of your telecom business are Provisioning, Support, and Billing.
- Provisioning is the onboarding of new accounts, such as a sale of a DID or phone line and the delivery of your service.
- Support lies in human and non-human interaction. Human interactions involve your call centers and those that you hire. Non-human interactions include your ticketing and notification systems.
- Billing systems must be reliable and scalable. Make sure you are billing system matches up with the product that you are selling.
- For more information on provisioning, support and billing, click here for your own copy of the white paper.
We've already published a couple of blog posts briefly summarizing the provisioning and support phases that Jason mentioned in today's video. Just to bring everything full circle, here’s a short preview of the billing section from “How to Operate a Successful Telecommunications Business”.
Step 3: Billing
"The ability to build solid processes and bill accurately, is a must have when competing in the telecommunications market. There’s an old saying that claims, “Routine will set you free.” When talking about billing, we like to say “process will set you free”. If you really want to build a scalable business, the key is to have well defined processes and accountability while taking the time to develop and document these processes as well. This is another example of having to go slow in order to go fast.
At VoIP Innovations we have defined processes for just about every aspect of our billing system. These processes go anywhere from payments, credits, disputes, cancelations, to simply answering questions. Each process you have should be assigned to a single person (or group) so there is one party held accountable for managing that process. In our office, if we find out a process becomes broken or obsolete, we simply sit down, update the process, and retrain our staff.
Once you have a system set up to better manage billing processes, you have to take a look at the accuracy of your billing. As we mentioned earlier, there are millions of origination and termination minutes that need to be billed to customers each month. It’s easy for a company to say “we will bill you on time and accurately.” It’s a completely different ball game to actually follow through with that kind of promise. Companies who make this assumption right off the bat might as well promise that their services will work perfectly every time too."
We hope you enjoyed the first episode of Talking with Tapolci. We plan on updating Talking with Tapolci weekly, so tune in next week for the next installment.
If you have any questions or comments to send to Talking with Tapolci, leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason will personally answer your questions. Who knows, you might gain some internet fame if we decide to answer them in the next episode!