The concept of on-demand consumer services has grown exponentially in the last few decades. On-demand TV and movies are entrenched in the home entertainment industry, and online shopping gives consumers the opportunity to purchase whenever, and wherever they are.
As consumers, today we expect to access most services through the internet. This also includes interacting with the companies that deliver essential services to our homes such as our utility providers.
Amidst growing online customer activity, utilities should be aiming to satisfy increasing customer expectations through enhanced customer engagement and the communication of truly valuable information.
Today’s utility customers demand visibility into their transactions, self-service opportunities, and tools that help them to control the service they are purchasing. Most of all, they want to understand, manage and alter their utility usage.
Utilities that are able to offer this in an easy-to-access format, will be able to enhance customer engagement, improve the customer experience, access internal efficiency and save money.
Here are the top four ways utility providers will benefit from supplying their customers with on-demand data that helps them manage their usage:
1 – Enhance your conservation and demand management program
Conservation and demand management is an important part of utility operations. Strategies and policies need to be put in place to help customers adjust their usage and even encourage off-peak usage. These types of programs benefit from giving consumers access to their data online.
2 – Improve the customer experience
One of the most important ways to improve the customer experience is to provide utility customers with insights into their utility. Developing a strategy that focuses on customer utility usage insights and delivering those in personalized reports to the customer, is a seamless way to improve the customer experience and meet customer expectations head on.
3 – Increase customer engagement
Customer engagement gives your utility the data and information needed to continue enhancing your processes and improving customer satisfaction. Providing your customers with consumption advice will allow your utility to create a back-and-forth dialogue with its customers about how to change and adapt their usage patterns – this sets your utility apart as a utility partner, not just a provider.
4 – Lower cost to serve
When you provide your customers with an easy way to view and manage their utility usage, you’ll be significantly reducing the need for customers to contact your customer service team. You can encourage customers to rely on self-service, while proactively sending them information through notifications and alerts. This will lead to significantly reduced call volumes to your customer service department, lower your cost-to-serve and free up your agents to work on high-value tasks.
How to provide your customers with on-demand usage data
Having a digital solution for your utility customer service, can help both manage demand and allow customers to track their usage. Customers feel empowered, in control, and aware of how much utility they are consuming each month. This in turn builds trust, and your utility will be seen as more approachable, transparent and customer focused.
To help utilities reach and engage their customers, SilverBlaze has developed the award-winning Customer Portal for Utilities with both smart metering and regular meter information. Our smart metering module provides data to consumers who want a complete up-to-date picture of their utility consumption.
Usage management is supported with push notifications to the customer based on their own usage goals (daily, weekly, or monthly). Putting data into the hands of the consumer allows people to make smarter decisions.
Interested in learning more about how your utility can benefit from the implementation of the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities? Get a demo today and learn first hand how we can help you cut costs, improve customer engagement and enhance the customer experience.