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The SilverBlaze Blog

We understand that no two utility companies are the same, each has unique systems, processes and software. SilverBlaze has worked with utility companies across North America and the Caribbean, integrating the SilverBlaze Customer Portal with many different systems and platforms.

Danville Utilities is one of our SilverBlaze Customer Portal clients. They provide a range of services including electric, natural gas, and water to over 48,000 residences and businesses in a 500-square mile service area. Its 145 employees also manage and provide broadband fiber services and waste collection for the City of Danville.

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Changes in customer online behaviour have made the customer experience (CX) a crucial element to many consumer brands. This is no different for utility companies, which now must become CX-centric or risk falling behind.

Matthew Guarini wrote in Creating The CX-Centric Utility: “The utilities of today ... want to change the engagement model to reduce costs, provide new solutions to counter non-regulated solutions, alter consumption behaviour to drive energy efficiency, position for smart home services, and use customer advocacy as a lever for favourable treatment by regulators.”

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SilverBlaze is ready for future success with the rebranding of its award-winning Customer Portal and Smart Forms and Workflow software, as well as the launch of its brand new website.

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Ebilling has been growing every year since it was first implemented, and with a wealth of benefits to both the consumer and the company, why wouldn’t it?

With benefits ranging from lower customer service costs, increased customer engagement and satisfaction, and even environmental impact, it’s clear why companies are making this shift a priority.

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Technology has been driving the way we do business in all industries for decades, but in the last few years, it seems to be accelerating dramatically, with innovations and changes happening almost overnight.

Think about some of the technology we use today that really wasn’t around or popular 5-10 years ago. The internet has grown from an information portal to a connector of data, devices, and people.

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Have you heard of a customer satisfaction metric called Customer Effort Score (CES)? It attempts to measure customer experience in terms of how easy the transaction was for the customer. A CES survey for example, asks "Overall, how easy was it to solve your problem today?", or "How much effort did you personally have to put forth to resolve your issue?" Studies have shown that CES correlates stronger to customer loyalty than other metrics.

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Technology has been a catalyst in altering customer expectations and in creating disruptions in many industries. Web apps and websites have opened customers’ eyes to the possibilities of a more convenient and connected digital age, from Uber, to Amazon, to Netflix, to AirBnB; the way companies interact with their customers is constantly evolving. New on-demand services, less than a decade old, are now firmly established in our lifestyles.

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Commodity or differentiated service? Despite utility products often being viewed as commodities, this concept is changing and it is now considered important for the utility industry to develop their customer relationships and become a trusted service or energy provider, rather than just numbers on a piece of paper.

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In the program guide to CS Week 2018, Rob Litke, CEO CS Week, frames technology versus human interaction as a theme, for what will be an exceptional event and conference for the utility industry.

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Customer Experience Management is at the top of a C-Suite executive’s list. Today, strategic objectives frequently include initiatives to exceed customer expectations, loyalty, satisfaction and advocacy.

“By 2018, more than 50% of organizations will implement significant business model changes in their efforts to improve customer experience.” Ameyo.

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