The other day I was talking with a customer over the phone on a pretty standard (at least for Lighthouse Conferencing) customer service follow up call. I was calling to make sure the new customer was 100% satisfied with our services which is a standard practice at Lighthouse. I never know what kind of responses I may get during one of these calls. Everything from “you guys are the best company I deal with” – true quote, to “my car won’t start and somehow it’s your fault” – just about a true quote. So on this particular call I thought that there was no way I could get caught off guard. After going through the normal small talk pleasantries and inquiring about the service I moved to close the conversation with my usual “is there anything else about your experience with Lighthouse Conferencing I should know about?” I’m always very upfront with our customers, that Lighthouse is a customer-centric company and the way we conduct and adapt our business is directly related to the feedback we get from our customers.
The customer said, “Actually there is something. I am so happy that your invoices are easy to read and accurate…and timely too.” I responded with a nervous chuckle, as I though the customer was pulling my leg at first. This comment really caught me off guard and I momentarily didn’t know how to respond. Of course our invoices are easy to read and accurate I thought to myself…is this customer giving me a hard time?
Then I remembered that timely, easy to read, and accurate invoices unfortunately are not the standard practice in the conferencing industry. Most of our competitors have confusing invoices with one charge for the long distance, one charge for the audio bridging, all sorts of different surcharges, and confusing taxes. Combine that with hidden conference minimum fees, minimum minute rounding, and other hidden charges — this is called “revenue uplift” by the way, but at Lighthouse we call it taking advantage of customers — and you have an invoice that is difficult to read and almost impossible to determine if it’s accurate. This is what the competition is counting on. If you can’t read it, you can’t dispute it, and you’ll probably just end up paying it out of frustration.
At Lighthouse Conferencing we believe that timely, easy to read, and accurate invoicing is simply the way things should be. You’ll never see hidden fees, conference minimums, or taxes on our invoices. If you can’t easily interpret or read your conferencing invoice then it isn’t a Lighthouse invoice. In addition in keeping with our green philosophies we deliver all invoices electronically and provide online bill pay access for your convenience. These aren’t features or something we charge extra for. It’s just one more way how we prove we’re a different kind of conferencing company.
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