Brown’s Bytes – The Feedback Loop

Welcome to Brown’s Bytes! Your weekly insight from Mobliciti’s CTO Andy Brown. Follow #brownsbytes

5th October 2018

I was in a meeting this week with one of our customers where we were discussing the challenges being faced in managing their Mobile bill from their carrier.

In the meeting, our carrier and airtime specialist made a really good point that I thought was worth fleshing out here for wider consumption.

Most companies at present have a challenge with their carrier bill when it comes to “owning the problem”. As described previously, it’s normal for a company to negotiate a deal with their carrier that covers all the connections in a single lump and even further to now put all the user’s data allowances together into a BIG data bucket.

Nothing particularly wrong with this at the time you do the deal, the problem comes later in life…

It’s how the bill gets presented and paid. Simply put, you’ve bundled all your lines together and now you get them billed together. A single invoice with a breakdown of your consumption over the month.

This gets (hopefully checked) and then paid. Now, depending on the organisations internal accounting, that could either be it, or potentially there is then an exercise to break down the bill a bit and allocate out to various areas of the business or cost centres.

The bill then gets paid and everyone moves on to the next month…

But, notice who isn’t involved with this process?? Yup, it’s the users who are actually generating the usage!

Consider for a minute how users behave with a work phone vs their own phone. If it’s their own phone, then they tend to be quite careful to think about what they do before they do it – for example:

  • If they’re going on holiday, they will check that roaming is covered. If it isn’t they may well be seeking out Wi-Fi when they get there
  • If they fire up a hotspot, it will be to perform a specific task and then turn it off again

They do this because there is a direct feedback loop (the bill) and this drives behaviour. Generally, if it’s your own money you learn quickly from any bill shock!

This feedback loop is the thing that is often completely missing in a company. At best there is sometimes someone looking at the top 10 users who racked up the biggest bills, but for the vast majority of users, there is zero feedback (good or bad).

That drives behaviour.

Obviously, users do not look to create massive bills. Most are just trying to get a job done.

So, if they go on holiday and they are checking their emails, then they will just do it. If they need to tether to work from home for the day, then they will. Unless they generate a bill big enough to get in trouble (i.e. a really massive bill) then they will just carry on doing this.

The absence of any feedback means that the behaviour is now reinforced so therefore, it must be OK!!

And this is the vast majority of the user base! All those little bits of extra spend that they are each generating really start to add up to be a big chunk of spend.

To break this cycle, you need to create a feedback loop back to the users. Simple, clear and concise updates to EVERY user telling them if they have been good or bad with their phone based on what they actually did with it.

And we can do that for you! Our experts can put in place a set of simple clear updates to all your users on a monthly basis and even deliver it in a portal to allow each user to see what the cost of their actions actually was. This service will dramatically improve engagement with the bill and drive down the cost as users see how they compare with what’s expected.

It doesn’t matter which carrier you have or what tariffs you have already agreed, we can set this up quickly and easily for you.

Get in touch, because this really can optimise your existing mobile deal and ultimately save you a considerable amount of money.