Are you aware that many enterprise businesses overspend on their telecommunication services by more than 30%?
It’s not unusual for companies to pay excessive amounts of money on these offerings without receiving the complete picture of what they are paying for. For example, Optus was forced to pay almost $800,000 back to businesses for landline capabilities they didn’t provide over a ten-year period.
If you’re browsing through your budget to implement some cost-saving initiatives, then taking a closer look at your telecom bills could be a good start. But what if you’re not an expert in analysing these documents? If you don’t know where to start, then follow these tips that can help you reduce your spending on telecommunication services.
1. Audit and Validate Your Bills
There is a good chance that your telecommunication service is completely different to another company’s offering. Terms, conditions, and pricing are negotiated and personalised to the business, which means your telecom provider has dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of variations to the products they deliver.
Due to this situation, it can be easy for mistakes to be made. Some of the most common errors can include incorrect rates, discounts not getting applied, and even the wrong products being included in bills. However, faults can occur on your side as well. You might be paying for things you don’t have or need, which results in overbilling.
Conducting a telecoms audit involves reviewing every individual line in your invoice against your current contract to ensure you’re getting charged correctly for products you utilise. It’s also worth checking what you’ve ordered and what you’re entitled to. Overordering can result in high costs, so be sure to monitor this line item closely.
2. Identify Discrepancies and Submit Claims
After completing a telecoms audit or bill validation activity, the next step is to identify any discrepancies and submit claims to your provider. It can be a time-consuming process, which is why you need as much detail as possible to substantiate your dispute.
Once you submit a claim, one of two things might happen. It may get immediately assessed and resolved, or it can get dragged out for an extended period of time as your request goes through a thorough review process. In these situations, it can mean that a settlement will get proposed that doesn’t deliver the return you are entitled to.
Utilising telecom expense management companies can often provide more promising results. These experts can identify the discrepancies and all the details required to articulate the cause of the error and how much you’re owed down to the cent.
3. Optimise Your Plan
Reviewing your invoice and contract is a good exercise to undertake. It allows you to assess the services and products you currently have and determine whether or not they should remain a part of the business. You might even discover add-ons you’re entitled to or offers that are yet to get activated.
Optimising your plan to meet your business objectives is an excellent way to identify cost savings. It can also identify efficiencies across your mobile, voice and data billing services that you’re not taking full advantage of.
Completing this process will identify credits or debits that you’re owed as well as ongoing cost reductions to future invoices. It also provides you with a better understanding of what you do and don’t need when it’s time to renegotiate your contract.
4. Benchmark Against Other Providers
If your contract is ending soon, then part of your negotiation strategy should include benchmarking your services against other carriers. You’ve got options as to how you can accomplish this activity.
You could conduct your own research by reaching out to your connections and getting an idea of what they pay for their services. You could also meet with representatives from other carriers or issue an RFP to see what interest you get and the best offer you might be able to obtain.
There are also telecom consulting providers that can take your current or proposed plan and benchmark it against all carriers available to you. The key benefit here is that it can include a trend analysis as well as future modelling to give you the certainty that what you’re paying for will benefit you long-term and provide you access to new technology when you need it.
5. Engage Telecom Expense Management Companies
Having an accountant or procurement specialist comb through your contracts and invoices is a good start when it comes to identifying cost reduction and savings. However, these specialists usually only reconcile what you’re paying versus what you’re entitled to.
Often a better solution is to engage with telecom expense management companies. Not only can they validate your contract with what you’re paying, but they can go deeper by illustrating your usage and where you risk overspending. They can also benchmark your plan against other carriers and ensure you’re getting the best deal around.
Some of the best companies also offer software offerings to allow you to monitor your usage and manage your assets. It removes any potential manual errors and identifies opportunities for further efficiencies.
How to Reduce Your Telecom Bills Even Further
Reviewing your telecom bills is an excellent cost-savings initiative. Due to the sheer complexities involved with telecommunication service plans, there is plenty of room for error. However, it requires someone to raise it in order to resolve the discrepancy.
Want expert advice and help to gain cost certainty and savings on your telecom bills? Smartbill provides a comprehensive suite of services from independent bill validation, optimisation, and benchmarking to telecom expense management and fully outsourced managed services for your telecoms needs.
We help clients gain an accurate view of their costs to provide them with levers for improvement. We save our clients’ money by verifying that they only pay for the services they have signed for and by ensuring that they are benefiting from the best deals from their current carrier or versus other carriers in the market.