No one likes paying bills. But it's a necessary evil to keep the lights on. Many major utilities and telecommunications firms already use subscription billing to ease the burden of sending out paper notices. Plus, the pact allows a business to simply deduct the money owed from the client's account each month. However, when it comes to missed payments or those customers not signed up for automatic pay, what do you do? Telecommunications companies hope they can get the same success using big data and predictive modeling tools that utilities did. 

"Analytics helps companies provide better billing and service to their customers."

A better solution for everyone
EnergyCentral noted Southern Company, an electric utility firm based in Atlanta, uses analytics to study its customers' preferred billing  as well as when and how often they use power. Doing this gives the company a better handle on how much service it can provide and allows it to forecast any future problems. It also keeps the utility firm running efficiently to ensure its services aren't wasted and that Southern Company becomes more customer centric in its thinking. 

"In this era of big data, energy companies are expected to understand their customers better and use resources more wisely," Tao Hong, associate of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, told EnergyCentral. "Achieving this goal can require advanced analytics, including forecasting and optimization, as well as integrated data management."

An easier billing process
Telecommunications like phone, Internet and cable service providers can get ahead by being customer centric as well, especially when it comes to client billing. This might be easier said than done though, but predictive analytics can make the transition smoother.

Unpaid or late bills can lead to service cut-offs and restarts that cost both the company and the customers time and money. However, by using analytics, the business can spot which of its patrons could be late with their payments, according to IBM's Big Data and Analytics Hub. With this in mind, the enterprise's customer service desk can send out email, text or voicemail reminders to customers letting them know when the bill is due and how they can make a late payment if necessary.

Reminding patrons and giving them more options to compensate you before service is shut off or compromised can ensure you receive their payments, save time and possibly save their credit scores from suffering.

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