Posted on: Thursday 28th of June 2012
Today billmonitor launches Bill Check-up an extension of their independent comparison service that enables mobile phone users to work out if they are on the best value phone contract. What’s really interesting about it is the way this service turns decision-support around so that it’s not just about switching but can be used as a loyalty builder as well.
In our recent work on decision-making services – services that empower consumers by helping them to make better decisions and change their own behaviours – we highlighted how such services are creating value through empowering people to make better and more informed choices, changing people’s expectations and generally disrupting and changing the way markets work.
We talked to Stelios Koundouros, billmonitor’s Founder, about Bill Check-up, his vision and the potential impact of billmonitor on the telecoms industry.
What are you announcing?
We’re announcing a new service by billmonitor called Bill Check-up. It helps you save money and ensures you get the most from your existing mobile contract. It lets you know whether you’re under-using or over-using your mobile phone contract for minutes, data, and any other usage. It also advises you on what action to take to make the most of your allowances and optimise your current tariff so that you can save money. And when you are allowed to switch, billmonitor advises you on exactly the right new contract.
Basically we are enabling people to manage their mobile phone contract by showing users exactly where the ‘waste’ in their contract is occurring and remedy that with a match to the right contract. This is similar to what Mint does for people wanting to manage their personal finances, but billmonitor also focuses on providing advice, not only information.
We are not charging for the new service – we’re investing in it because it is fulfilling our vision and ambition to give people the information they need, and which they currently don’t have from their network providers, to make improved decisions.
So what is your business model?
We think that once people have a successful relationship with us – and we have already helped thousands of customers – we will have a strong, trusted bond with them. They will come back to us to help them find the right mobile contract, and for information on their current one, because they know we offer independent, transparent, bespoke advice and feedback based on their personal information and circumstances. Our business model is based on trusted, impartial information sharing.
What’s the feedback so far?
We’ve had excellent feedback on Bill Check-up. From our research with 1000 users, 80% found it ‘very useful’. Our research also tells us that saving money isn’t the only benefit people value. They value the ‘insights’ into their bills equally, and for those who are already on the right contract, they value a sense of relief – knowing they have made a good decision. In this sense we are addressing the emotional benefits of better decisions as much as the rational or practical ones.
What’s the potential impact on the telecoms industry?
We’ve had quite a lot of interest, especially from those players who are more customer-centric. The current industry pressure points are around how to increase customer retention and move people on to long-term contracts. We are leading the way in how to engender customer loyalty through helping people make better decisions based on their personal information. Some organisations are waking up to the opportunities, especially those involved in the Government’s midata programme. We hope we’ll have a positive and transformative influence on the industry.