The vast majority of utility providers across North America have little-to-no competition. Traditionally this has stopped utilities from spending on technological innovations and other developments that improve the customer experience (CX).
Yet today’s business world is customer-centric, and utilities companies are no exception. In fact, according to Forbes, 89 percent of businesses compete primarily on the basis of customer experience alone.
While this competition may not be the case for utility providers, their customers still demand world-class customer experience. Not only will improving customer experience benefit customer satisfaction; it will also improve efficiency, reduce costs and better allocate resources.
Customers today expect their utility providers to be effortless and easily accessible. That’s where billing and payment comes in. With the right utility billing software, utility providers can ensure their customers have access to features that improve customer engagement, enhance customer satisfaction and dramatically reduce customer effort.
With that in mind, here are five key features of billing software that will significantly improve the customer experience.
1 – Usage Reports
Your customers want to know the details about their utility usage, and they want to be in control of how they use them. By tracking their usage over a period of time, they are able to better understand when and how they’re using their utilities.
Providing detailed data of customer utility usage empowers your customers to make smart decisions that both save money and lead to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Become a utility partner for your customer, not just a provider.
2 – Usage Events
Similarly to usage reports, your utility billing software should make it possible for your customers to easily track usage events.
For example, if a residential customer decides to install a new low flush or high-efficiency toilet, your water utility billing software should let them track their water usage before and after installation. Not only does this option allow customers to feel more engaged with their utility, it also increases their satisfaction – especially when their next bill arrives.
3 – 24/7 Access
Not every customer is available during the traditional 9-5 timeframe, which is why it’s crucial that your water utility billing software allow for 24/7 access and customer service.
24/7 access ensures that your customers will be able to log in to their accounts when and where it is most convenient for them. In addition, round-the-clock account access also reduces call volumes to your customer service centre, reducing staring on your customer service representatives. This will allow them to focus on addressing higher value tasks that enable your utility to deliver real value to your customers.
4 – Information Accessible in One Location
In addition to 24/7 access to their accounts, customers want all of their crucial information available in one location. That means after signing into a web page or smartphone application, customers want to be able to quickly access their bills, account information, usage data, and more from one central hub.
By incorporating utility billing software and a customer portal for utilities, your utility will improve the overall customer experience that you offer.
5 – Notifications and Alerts
Customers simply don’t have the time to think about when their utility payment is due. The right utility billing software makes this easy for them with notifications and alerts. This provides customers with important information around when their paperless bill is available, how much is due and where they can pay the bill online. This makes the entire process of paying a utility bill seamless and easy for the customer.
Does your Utility Billing Software Offer Features that Customers Demand?
Customers crave convenience. They also want to have the ability to take control of their utility usage. Implementing features – such as the ones mentioned here – is an important step toward increasing customer satisfaction across the board.
Do you have the technology to achieve a world-class customer experience? If not, reach out to the SilverBlaze team of experts today and learn how you can integrate your utility billing software with a utility customer portal that dramatically improves the customer experience.