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 Hermes Phone Success Story

This case study reveals how a prepaid calling services provider became a leader in its field due to the ability to implement the proper customer segmentation for its niche strategy and provide the type of service that fits at best the needs of its customers

Overview

Hermes Phone
Established in 2001, Hermes Phone is a leading provider of prepaid phone-to-phone and PC-to-phone services. The company s target customers are Central and Eastern Europe nationals, located in USA, UK or Canada.

Since the launch of its prepaid call services Hermes Phone has become the leading telecom provider to those destinations due to the successful deployment of its low-cost, high-quality service strategy.

Market Conditions
There were two market specifics that lead Hermes Phone founders to believe that there will be a significant demand for a low-cost calling service for the destination of Central and Eastern Europe:

  • The severe economical and social crisis that started in the early 1990 s became the reason for an emigrant wave to the West
  • Since 1998, the Work & Travel programs for students from the region became very popular and an increasing number of young people started spending their summer vacations in USA and UK

Both of these consumer groups had the need for frequent long-distance calls to their homes and at the same time were especially price sensitive.

That appeared to be a lucrative customer niche that could be successfully filled out by the low-cost IP telephony. However, being a niche player in the VoIP business, introduced the challenge of providing a highly customized service to the end-customer and reducing costs as much as possible.

Challenges

From a business perspective The main business challenges faced by Hermes Phone were:
To be a low-price provider means to be a low-cost operator and to be able to decrease costs For Hermes Phone that condition translated into:

  • Offering high-quality service in order to maintain the loyalty of their clients. In that way high and stable volumes of service would allow the maintenance of low price margins and lower advertising costs.
  • Exerting centralized control over different geographical markets (USA and UK)
  • Differentiating customers incorporate different pricing schemes and currencies for each geographical location
  • Reducing labor cost

In fact, Hermes Phone s focus on service quality was reflected in their mission to build loyal and satisfied client base . Therefore it was of primary importance to choose a high-end solution not only for the billing of customers but also for the general service quality control and customer service usage monitoring. The achievement of that goal had to be accompanied by cost reductions.

Solution

The solution for the business challenge of Hermes Phone was the Standard Edition of EyeBill Billing Platform. Service quality
The high service quality was achieved through:

  • Advanced report functions from the Report module of the billing software. The latter allowed:
    • Call completion ratio reports, which revealed the connectivity status by destinations
    • Average call duration per client for the identification of key accounts
    • Identification of most popular destinations
    • Identification of cyclicalities terms of service demand
    • Identification of patterns in the customers general service preferences
    • Tracking of the sales and marketing promotions effect on demand
  • Platform stability
  • EyeBill presales engineers additionally secured the Standard Edition of the Platform with a non-redundancy server, whose function was to ensure against down-times in server availability. Thus the management of Hermes was guaranteed not only quality of service, but also insurance against losses that are imminent in cases of down-times.
  • Automatic notifications
  • The built-in Notifications function gave Hermes Phone the opportunity to create own rules for notifying customers about events, promotions or approaching minimum threshold of their account balance. In that way human labor was saved, which contributed both to the low-cost, high-quality strategy of the company.
  • Automatic number identification
  • This function introduced greater convenience in the service usage and hence, increased its quality.
  • Automatic calling card recharges
  • EyeBill Client Monitor was included in the billing package of Hermes Phone. The Client Monitor allowed the company s customers to enter the system with a unique password and view all details concerning their usage of the services: call history by time increment and by destination, cost per call, account balance, payments history etc. Thanks to that option, Hermes introduced additional values for the customers and positioned themselves as a quality VoIP service provider.

Differentiation
Client differentiation was ensured through the flexible tariffs module of the VoIP billing tariffs could be assigned to customers groups, grouped by any criteria and even to each individual customer.

Centralized control
EyeBill s web-based interface allowed Hermes to authenticate and bill customers, located in different regions of the world with single software platform installed. It saved costs not only in terms of direct investment in software but also reduced the costs of labor since a single management body accessed service performance data from all geographic regions of operation to control Hermes s calling card business.

Data management
EyeBill VoIP billing platform allowed for data from different sources to be imported into the system for the purposes of centralized management and reporting. The billing supported different currencies. That was especially important for a company with customers in USA, UK

Results

In less than a week billing users employees got used to the intuitive design of the interface. Hermes Phone managed to:

  • Offer the most competitive calling rates
  • Offer pro-active customer support
  • Keep open and transparent information and billing policy
  • Constantly develop value-added services
  • Stay flexible by addressing both on-line and off-line client needs

High-quality service at a low cost was no longer a challenge

 
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