Today’s customers want fast, seamless experiences when interacting with brands. The customer experience (CX) is now a vital component of any customer service strategy and is a crucial aspect of driving up customer service ratings.
It’s important to know that creating high-quality customer experiences is not just imperative for brands in highly competitive spaces. Customers now expect this from every single company they interact with - and utility providers are no different.
Utilities must design a superior customer experience by first offering a way for their customers to access and manage their account in a frictionless, self-sufficient manner. That’s where a customer portal mobile application can help.
What is a utility customer portal mobile app?
Mobile applications are an easy and effective way for your utility to improve how customers connect with you, while creating a world-class customer experience that significantly increases how satisfied customers are with your service.
Accessed directly through their cell phone or favourite handheld device, mobile applications act as a one-stop-shop for utility customers to access everything they need in regards to their account.
Utility mobile applications allow customers to access and manage important information, such as customer service requests, outage information, billing and payments, account information and utility usage analytics - in addition to receiving direct utility communication through notifications and alerts.
Yet, despite these benefits the E Source Utility Mobile Apps: 2018 Industry Scan research, found that 53 percent of utility companies do not have a mobile application at all.
Why your utility needs a mobile applications
So, with that in mind, what exactly are the benefits of integrating a customer portal mobile application into your utility’s customer experience strategy and why should you do it as soon as possible? SilverBlaze has listed the four top reasons here:
#1 - Superior Customer Experience
Mobile applications consolidate everything your utility customer needs in one centralized location, which can be easily accessed at any time of the day from your customers preferred mobile device.
By giving your customer complete control over their account through a customer portal mobile app, you are empowering customers to answer their own queries and issues through the self-servicing app. In turn, this reduces customer effort and drives up customer satisfaction.
#2 - Reduce Call Center Volume
Mobile applications are the perfect way to encourage self-service among your utility customers. By giving your customers the tools they need to answer their own queries, you will reduce strain on your customer service team.
When your utility reduces its call center volume, you will free up the time your customer service representatives need to work on more complex queries. As a result, your customer support team will be able to offer a better service and higher value to your customers.
#3 - Enable easy billing and payment transactions
Utility billing through mobile applications has never been easier. Mobile apps allow utility providers to send notifications and alerts directly to customers when their bill has been created, reminding them that their payment is due. In turn, customers simply have to click on the notification and pay the bill from wherever they are, with no effort involved in the transaction.
By making billing information readily available to customers, utility providers can improve on-time payments, increase transaction completion rates and reduce collection costs. All this improves your utility’s cash flow.
#4 - Improve Your Utility Service
Customer engagement is crucial for the utility customer experience to succeed, but it’s not a one-way dialogue. Increasing communication with your customer and receiving feedback through a mobile application can help your utility improve the service that you are offering.
Take outages, for example; in the case of an outage, your utility can use a mobile application to encourage customers to report their utility status with a few simple clicks on their cell phone. These real-time updates will help you get their utility back up-and-running faster and will improve their overall experience with your company.
Want to learn more about the importance of customer portal mobile applications for utility providers? Contact SilverBlaze today. Our team of award-winning software developers and consultants would love to help.