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“Would You Like A Video Copy Of Your Bill?” A Quick 101 On Video Billing

Anonymous hands using digital tablet to surf the net for better deals
Len Smofsky   Tue October 30, 2018

Trying to make a bill attractive for a customer is an example of the cliché statement “putting lipstick on a pig.” A bill is a bill - a necessary “evil.”

However, the way in which a customer receives their bill can make it easier for them to stomach. You can make that happen with personalized video billing.

Not to be confused with the email receipt for your Netflix account, video billing actually involves the making and delivery of a video that displays a customer’s statements.

It may seem strange to give customers their bills using video, but it does have some undeniable benefits.

What a Video Bill Looks Like

A video bill doesn’t have a typical look per se since the creator (e.g. telecommunications or utility provider, e-commerce platform, financial provider) may brand their video to look a certain way. But generally, video bills act like regular paper statements in terms of the information they display.

What a Video Bill Will Tell You

  • Customer details - This includes basic info such as the customer’s name, phone number, email address, home address and more.
  • Account usage - Depending on the service being offered, there will be different packages and account types, which of course the video will show.
  • Monthly charges (and changes) - A subscription will incur monthly charges, so a video bill will display these charges as well as other details (such as data usage for phone providers) to give customers an overview of their expenses.
  • Discounts & upgrades - Bills aren’t all that bad. In fact, some will actually remind you about discounts and upgrades you’re eligible for, and video bills can certainly incorporate these details. This can be great for upselling on existing accounts.

There are many other items that can appear in a video bill. What goes into one depends on what the service provider offers and how the customer uses that particular service.

personalized video billing ebook

The “Art” Behind a Video Bill

Whereas a regular bill is a boring list of numbers on a piece of paper, a video bill takes those same numbers and ties them together to look and feel like a story. More importantly, its scenes provide an in-depth look at the numbers behind a customer’s bill, a feature that regular paper or email statements don’t have the real estate to do.

This gives service providers the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and deliver dry financial details in a more compelling fashion. They can use animation, imagery, humor or any other tool they see fit to make a bill more digestible.

But the real the power behind video billing is the ability to personalize the content. And that means much more than just writing in the customer’s name.

For example:

  • A narrator can explain why a customer’s bill was higher than usual, and what they can do to keep their fees consistent. This is done to mitigate common bill shock.
  • Visualize the breakdown of bill costs using graphs, charts and other tools.
  • Remind customers about certain fees that they might skim over on a regular paper bill.

Essentially, a personalized billing video serves as a walkthrough that doesn’t leave customers in the dark, unlike regular paper bills.

In theory, a billing video can also be used to reward “good behaviour” as well. If a loyal customer has never missed a payment, then the video bill can feature elements that would make the customer feel appreciated.

What might that entail? Anything really - rewards, discounts, happy imagery, funny quotes or a cultural reference that might be appropriate to the customer’s age or location.

Benefits Of Video Billing

Now it’s important to discuss some of the reasons why video statements are advantageous. They’re not just trendy or new-age. They have real benefits for both customers (which we’ve discussed above) but also for companies as well.

Why Video Billing Is Worth It

  • Increased customer engagement - We discussed this above and yes, it is an advantage mainly for the customer. However, customer engagement has a trickle-down effect for you too, because an engaged customer often turns into a loyal customer, and one who will give you more share of wallet.
  • Opportunities to add value and upsell - If your customer paid more than their usual fee, you can recommend tips on how to keep their costs down or offer a product or account that would save them money. If you notice that they’re using a particular service frequently or heavily, you can promote add-ons or other offerings that relate to it.
  • Less intrusive than phone calls - Few like surprise phone calls, and no one likes surprise phone calls about a bill. With personalized billing videos, however, customers will know ahead of time to expect a video from you. This greatly reduces customer dissatisfaction that plagues many companies who call and harass their customers.
  • Reduction in paper costs, waste - Paper is costly for both you and the environment. Like email statements, video statements can greatly reduce the amount of paper waste your company produces.

With our IndiVideo platform, create a personalized video that will generate engagement, brand loyalty, and upsell opportunities across every bill or statement touchpoint. See how in this telecommunications example: 

A New Frontier - Personalized Video Billing

Yes, a bill hasn’t historically been an entertaining medium. Nevertheless, you can find entertaining ways to present a bill. If you can engage your customers with your billing, you can open a well of opportunities to “nurture” them towards moving down the sales funnel or even re-entering it for additional purchases.

Remember, the simple act of skimming through one’s bill can produce many emotions (calm, worry, frustration). With video billing, you can interact with a customer by addressing their bill directly, and then provide a solution for their problem or a reward for their loyalty in ways a paper bill can’t. And when a customer feels cared for, it’ll be hard for them to leave you.


About the author: Len Smofsky

Len has over 25 years of experience in visual communications and strategy. Over the last decade his focus has been primarily in the digital area. 

Specializing in corporate communications, Len founded one of Canada's most successful production companies. His company created leading edge video production, TV commercials, digital strategy and media. 

In 2006, Len and Larry formed a partnership to create a new BlueRush with the intent of creating personalized customer experiences using a unique blend of digital media and deep technology capabilities. BlueRush works with clients in the financial services, healthcare and packaged goods industries leveraging current digital technologies and services, creating great user experiences at all points in the customer journey.

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