The way customers interact with their utility provider is changing, and your utility billing software has to be able to meet the demands of those changes.
The easiest, most efficient and most cost-effective way to do this is by choosing utility billing software that is not only equipped to thrive today, but also designed with tomorrow in mind. By understanding the unique expectations of today's utility customer, you can ensure your eBilling and payment solution is providing a world-class customer experience (CX) to your customers.
This is an important step towards ensuring the needs of your customer is a top priority.
What today's utility customers are demanding from your billing software
Customers want convenient, functional ways to interact with their utility provider. This means they want to be able to pay their bills, make adjustments to their accounts, and receive important updates when and where it is convenient for them.
In order to determine if your utility billing software is able to meet these standards, SilverBlaze has created three important questions that your utility company should ask itself:
1 - Does your utility billing software offer a user-friendly, front-facing portal?
Not only is a user-facing portal almost mandatory for today’s utility customer, it has to be intuitive and easy to navigate - as well as accessible from mobile devices. Customers are interested in accessing their accounts through their mobile browser or from apps on their smartphones, and once they're logged in, they should be able to find the information they are looking for as directly as possible.
2 - Is your utility billing software fully featured?
Beyond being convenient, your utility billing software has to provide your customers with the features they demand, both today and in the future. Your customers expect to be able to pay their bills, adjust their account information, and track their usage when and where it's convenient for them. Intuitively designed utility billing software, with a full feature set, encourages customer engagement and improves their overall satisfaction with your services.
3 - Does your utility billing software keep your customers informed?
Smart utility billing software can be used to immediately provide your customers with critical information at any time of day. In doing so, they are able to stay informed of any upcoming changes to their services, while reducing call volumes (and subsequent strain) to your customer service department.
The next wave of utility billing software features
A recent survey we conducted highlighted many interesting statistics about a growing number of utility customers, such as:
- 68.8 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18-24 prefer to communicate with their utility provider exclusively through a mix of online forms, SMS messaging, and email.
- 30.4 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 - 34 were interested in the ability to provide a trusted friend or family member with limited access to their utility account while they’re away.
- 74.2 percent of all survey respondents said the ability to track usage events would be “useful” or “very useful.”
Moving forward, customers will expect even more from their utility providers - particularly when it comes to eBilling.
Bring your utility billing software into the future with SilverBlaze
If you're concerned that your utility billing software isn't built to deal with future customer demands, the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities is here to help.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal is a full-featured, cost-effective customer service portal for utilities that can integrate with your existing billing technology. It is customizable, scalable based on need, and provides your customers with the ability to:
- Pay their bills online, when and where it is convenient for them.
- Send and receive service issue notifications instantly.
- Modify their account information to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date.
- Provide friends or family with temporary access to their account in case of emergency or extended absences from the home (e.g. vacations).
- Receive text messages, push notifications, and emails containing important information and updates
- Use online forms to connect directly with their utility.
- And much more!
Perhaps best of all, the SilverBlaze Customer Portal is regularly updated with new capabilities, meaning you'll always have access to the latest features as they become available. It’s not enough to merely satisfy customer demands with your utility billing software—you have to be ready to consistently exceed them.
Want to learn more about how SilverBlaze can help prepare your utility for the future? Contact our team of experts today. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.