The Top 4 Web Self-Service Trends That Utilities Need To Know

Diagram of Apollo notification system
Now more than ever, consumers demand the ability to interact with all types of service providers on their own terms. With the rise in mobile technology, web self-service options that can be accessed from anywhere are quickly becoming a necessity for utility providers hoping to improve their customers’ experiences. At the same time, utility providers face pressure to do more with less in an effort to save money and improve margins. If you provide customers with water, gas, and/or electric services and are concerned about keeping up with customers’ web self-service demands while improving operational efficiency, there are 4 important trends you need to know.

1 . Customers’ Demand for Web Self-Service is Increasing

According to research conducted by Forrester, customer preference for web self-service options increased in 2014 from 67% to 76%[1]. With web self-service options, utilities can quickly enhance the user experience by allowing customers to access their accounts, pay their bills, and receive important updates online at any time of day, from any location. Your customers will be more engaged and satisfied with your utility when they can access their information when and how they want, from wherever they are. 

2. Web Self-Service is Poised to Take Advantage of Mobile Device Use

According to Pew Research conducted in 2015, 68% of American adults now use smartphones, and 45% of American adults use tablets[2]. The numbers are clear: self-service portals that are compatible with mobile devices—either via downloadable app or responsively designed websites—are a must. 

The value of getting important messages to customers (where you know they’ll be paying attention!) can’t be overstated. With the right web self-service portal, utility providers can instantly alert customers to:

  • Upcoming payment due dates
  • Service outages
  • Overdue bills
  • Usage alert
  • And more!

Best of all, this information can be sent directly to mobile devices via push notifications. This means that no matter where your customers are, they’ll be able to receive the important information and updates they need instantly. Your employees will spend less time and money sending physical documents to customers, which leads us to our next trend.

3. Utility Providers Need Ways to Do More With Less 

As the marketplace for utilities continues to shift and expand, providers are increasingly driven to maximize their resources, while minimizing their costs and labor needs. Likewise, consumers are looking for ways to get more done during a day, while actually spending less time completing their tasks. Because of this, utility providers have begun to rethink how they are best able to meet the needs of their customers.

With web self-service tools, customers can quickly access the information they traditionally needed to contact their utility provider to receive. With this level of convenience and engagement, call volumes received by your customer service department will be greatly reduced. More importantly, customers who are engaged and aware of what is happening with their services are less likely to contact your customer service department, reducing call volumes and increasing employee satisfaction. Furthermore, web self-service portals allow your customer service representatives to better allocate their resources, meaning they’ll be better able to engage with and assist customers who do need to contact your utility. 

4. Consumers & Executives Feel Utilities Are Overspending

Utility providers are always striving to reduce spending while continuing to provide positive customer service experiences—however recent opinion polling suggests that 60% of utility executives feel as though they are wasting billions of dollars annually. These numbers are echoed by 70% of consumers[3]. 

By introducing web self-service portal and other paperless initiatives, you can immediately reduce costs associated with:

  • Purchasing paper
  • Printing bills and other notifications
  • Postage

Web self-service portals allow utilities to increase customer satisfaction and engagement, while reducing costs and offering a clear path to ROI.

Use Trends to Your Advantage with Capricorn

In order to stay ahead of trends and move toward future-proofing themselves, utility providers must adapt now to meet the needs of their customers and employees. In doing so, they can improve customer engagement, save money, and maximize their resources.

The best way to capitalize on these trends is to adopt an all-in-one solution designed specifically with your needs in mind. Built specifically for utilities, the Capricorn web self-service portal is completely customizable and can be easily integrated with your existing systems. 

With Capricorn, your customers have the ability to better manage their accounts. They can instantly make changes from any location, retrieve and pay their bills online, and receive important updates sent directly to their mobile devices. The end result is improved customer satisfaction; reduced spending on paper, postage, and redundant tasks; and increasing employee productivity.

To learn more about how you can integrate Capricorn into your existing systems, begin responding to growing trends within the industry, and save your utility money, download our FREE Utilities Guide to Customer Satisfaction & ROI with Smart Technology today!   

[1] Forrester. (2014, March). Forrester. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/strategy/10-strikingstatistics-self-servi…

[2] Anderson, M. (2015, October 29). Technology Device Ownership: 2015. Retrieved from  http://www.pewinternet.org/:http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/

[3] Greentech Media. (2014, April 30). Utility Technology Executives Agree Technology Is Key to Transformation. Retrieved from http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/utility-executives-agreetechnol…

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