Big data has been a huge talking point in the business world for a few years now. It involves organizations generating an inconceivable amount of data and then analyzing that information in an effort to improve customer satisfaction while building more efficient processes.
In fact, according to this infographic from FinancesOnline, businesses that leverage big data can drive profitability by as much as 8 to 10 percent. There’s no surprise that’s the case when 66 percent of customers now expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
Now, it’s time for utility providers to leverage big data.
That’s why utility companies are spending billions of dollars to replace analogue meters with utility smart metering infrastructure over the coming years (if they haven’t done so already).
Are you planning on bringing smart metering into your utility’s operations, or simply want to improve how you leverage it? In this blog, we’re going to dive into a summary of what utility smart metering actually is, how it’s beneficial to utilities and their customers and why using a customer portal for utilities solution can help you successfully use that data to build a world-class customer experience.
What are Utility Smart Metering Solutions?
Smart metering is a way to more efficiently leverage utility data by moving away from conventional, manual analogue meter readings. With smart metering technology, utility providers are able to retrieve, analyze and communicate utility consumption data far more effectively.
Smart meters work by providing quick and accurate measurements of a customer’s utility usage in real-time. This automated approach to consumption data can then be viewed by both utility customers and utility providers.
Smart meters, which are typically used for gas, electricity and water utility companies, allow for more accurate meter readings, better utility pricing, as well as enhancing the two-way dialogue and data sharing between utility providers and their customers.
The Benefits of a Utility Metering Solution
Smart metering benefits both your utility and your customers. We have listed four of the top benefits that both your business and your customers will realize as a result of the implementation of a successful utility smart metering solution.
1 - Improved customer satisfaction
One of the greatest benefits of a utility metering solution is the ability to position your utility company as an energy partner, not just a service provider. By providing your customers with real-time utility consumption data in easy-to-read formats, you will be able to help your customers alter their usage habits to align with their environmental and cost-savings goals - greatly improving how satisfied customers are with your utility service.
2 - Increase energy efficiency and improve your utility’s conservation and demand program
Your utility’s conservation and demand management program is a crucial component of how you will manage energy demand over the long term. You can create a proactive strategy that focuses on improving the energy efficiency of your customers by using smart metering to ensure your customers are on track to meet their energy targets and to monitor patterns of consumption usage across your network
3 - Improve how you deal with power outages
Smart metering provides you with real-time information on energy usage across your entire customer portfolio. That means in the event of power outages you have accurate data that shows exactly what locations have lost power - you can use this data to update your customers with timely information on what’s happening - what’s causing the outage, location of the outage - and when their utility is expected to be back in action.
4 - Seamless and accurate tracking of utility consumption data
Smart metering allows your utility to completely eliminate manual analogue meter reading processes. That means no more human error, mistakes or time-consuming meter readings. Instead, you’ll have real-time and automated meter readings that will provide both your utility and your customer with completely accurate consumption data.
How to use a Utility Customer Portal to Leverage Smart Metering Data and Build Stronger Customer Relationships
As we’ve discussed, smart metering is highly beneficial for both utility providers and their customers. However, to achieve this success it’s crucial that you integrate it with the right custom-centric technologies.
That’s where SilverBlaze can help.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities features a Smart Meter module that helps utility providers to deliver a superior customer experience, realize new efficiencies and even achieve new revenue gains.
The smart meter module allows utility providers to provide customers with highly accurate meter readings, giving them complete control over their utility bills. They can use this information to make more informed decisions about their utility consumption habits and how best to use their utilities overall.
Utility providers can even send push notifications and alerts to customers when there is unusual or high amounts of utility usage, therefore empowering customers with the real-time information they need to adjust their energy usage and habits.
Smart metering provided through an easy-to-use customer portal solution creates a two-way dialogue between utility providers and their customers that is ultimately needed to develop a more satisfied and engaged customer base.
Want to learn more about how smart metering and a customer portal solution can help your utility deliver superior customer experiences? Get in touch with SilverBlaze today. We would love to discuss the benefits of our award-winning platform.