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Utility providers are in a constant battle to improve their customer experience (CX), enhance customer satisfaction, all while reducing costs, limiting wasted time and improving operational efficiencies. Thankfully, smart metering can help.

But what actually is smart metering, what are the benefits and how can your utility successfully implement a smart utility metering solution. SilverBlaze answers all those questions here.

What is smart metering?

Unlike traditional meter reading which is done through estimates and the occasional check-up, smart metering is a method used to measure and communicate a customer's utility usage through meter reading software.

Through smart metering, a customer’s utility usage can be accurately logged and reported back to their utility provider in real-time. This means customers are only ever charged for what they actually use during their billing period, utility providers can see detailed data on customer consumption and customers can make a more informed decision about how they use their energy.

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SilverBlaze Solutions, the award-winning software development and consulting firm for the utility sector, is pleased to announce the opening of its brand-new offices in celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary.

The larger and more innovative office will set SilverBlaze up for further expansion, allowing the company to continue improving and enhancing its world-class Customer Portal for Utilities offering.

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The customer experience (CX) is becoming increasingly important in all industries, and utility providers now have a range of reasons for wanting to better engage their customers and offer superior customer service. That's why utility customer engagement software is so essential.

In fact, a recent study from Deloitte predicts that utility providers will increasingly invest in new technologies over the next three, five and ten years: “We expect digitalization to increasingly enter the spotlight, as electric power companies map out new ways to deploy rapidly advancing technologies to address challenges and harness opportunities.” 

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The traditional utility provider has a lack of competition in the industry they operate in, whether they are in the electricity, water and sewer, natural gas, telecom or multi-service utility sector. However, that doesn’t mean that customer expectations haven’t evolved.

In fact, customers are demanding more from the businesses that they engage with - and just because they can’t turn to a utility competitor doesn’t mean they are happy to be treated worse than they would by any other company.

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Water is an essential utility for customers across North America, but that doesn't mean customers aren't looking for a world-class customer experience (CX) from their utility providers. In fact, customers expect water utility software to be easily accessible and reduce customer effort. 

The right water utility billing software can ensure your customers have access to several features that will improve customer engagement, as well as their overall satisfaction levell. SilverBlaze has listed four key features that your water utility customers wish you had.

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With the Atlantic hurricane season currently underway and California’s wildfire season rapidly approaching, it would be fair to say that the majority of utility providers across North America are currently working hard to ensure they have successful storm response and management programs implemented.

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Paperless billing, often known as ebilling, is the process of sending your customer's utility bills to them online, whether it be via a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. In turn, this gives consumers the ability to receive, pay, manage and track their bills all at the simple click of a button.

By giving customers the ability to view their utility bills on any device, as opposed to the traditional method of sending a paper bill each month and then waiting for payment, your utility can empower its customers to pay their bills from the place and time that is most convenient for them.

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Utility providers - whether in the electricity, water and sewer, natural gas, telecom or multi-service utility sector - have traditionally been slow to embrace disruptive technologies and new customer service strategies due to a lack of competition within their sectors.

This competition still hasn’t changed, but the way customers perceive the companies they engage with has shifted massively - and utility providers are no different.

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Now, more than ever before, customers are expecting more from their utility providers. In order to meet their expectations, the future of utilities must be focused on providing a superior customer experience as well as opportunities for customers to engage with their provider on their terms.

If you’re looking for information on how your utility can prepare to meet - and exceed - the needs of your next generation of customers, SilverBlaze is here to help. 

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Whether your utility operates in the electricity, water and sewer, natural gas, telecom or multi-service utility sector, the most important aspect of your company is the ability to use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to constantly improve the way you operate.

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