How Cable Operators should get connected to their customers through Bill

As the Digitization of Cable TV services is almost completing in India, cable TV operators, television broadcasters, and consumers will have to gear up for a new era of Television services in new Digital India. This requires new methods of doing business, changes in legislation unavoidably bring changes in business practice and it is likely that many small cable operators will move under the umbrella of much larger organizations like Den or Hathway etc.. As this market is going through a change, some consolidation is inevitable. However, in order to meet the requirements of this business, new systems and software will be needed.

CRUCIAL ROLE FOR BILLING / COLLECTION SYSTEMS

The new TRAI rules state that cable operators shall periodically submit a report to the Central Government which contain the information regarding the number of total subscribers, the subscription rates and the number of subscribers receiving programs etc.

TRAI is trying to get transparency in the figures of viewership and in revenue collection by the cable operators. In the coming days, TRAI will also ensure that the subscribers pay only for those channels, which he chooses to view. This is where billing systems can play a crucial role.

The billing system should support every aspect of the customer management and billing operation, such as:

  • Single view of the customer
  • Billing
  • Monthly Collections by Agents
  • Inventory management(tracking Set top box)
  • Online payments
  • Single bill for multiple services
  • Part payments
  • Financial reporting
  • Complaints management/ Service requests
  • Reminders for bill payment

Billing/Collection solutions chosen by operators need to be flexible to accommodate differences in billing operations like pre-paid and post-paid, and local business practices as this varies in every district in India. CableGuy Application, supplied by MobiCollector, is used in more than 50 cities in India and providing collection services to more than 150000 customers.

By utilizing the latest technology like Cloud/ Mobility with a systematic billing and collection, all type of leakages can be stopped and revenues can be increased by 30%. Customers will be more serious in making payments and the whole system will become transparent.

SUSTAINANING THE FUTURE

As the services offered by cable operators are increasing, a solid billing engine is essential. This will allow differing tariffs to be applied for individual services. As most of the MSOs working towards package system, the operator may choose to charge differently for these services and it is essential that a billing system has the technology inherent in it to cope with this development. A sophisticated billing system will not only be able to provide these sets of figures but will also provide a basis for the development of new services as and when operators choose to introduce them.

There are many potential new services and new directions for operators to take, but it is the ability to bill the customer as a primary point of regular contact that opens up a way for customer management and customer care options. Use of a flexible billing and collection application will provide the way forward for innovative cable operators and it will certainly improve their business efficiency.