Whether your utility operates in the electricity, water and sewer, natural gas, telecom or multi-service utility sector, the most important aspect of your company is the ability to use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to constantly improve the way you operate and enhance customer engagement.
KPIs provide a clear and measurable way for utility to track progress towards company goals, identify areas of improvement and monitor performance across different departments and operations.
This includes measuring areas such as customer service, production costs and utilization, environmental impact, grid reliability, distribution system maintenance and so much more.
Analyzing this data allows utilities to improve their customer service strategy, deliver a better experience for their customers, improve customer satisfaction, build a higher-quality approach to conservation and demand management, and make use of new technologies to reduce customer effort.
But what metrics should you be using? Here are seven key metrics you should be analyzing and how you can use an innovative customer portal solution to improve their results.
1 – Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
CSAT is a metric used to predict customer satisfaction. It is useful in measuring how happy or satisfied a customer is with your company, the utility services you offer or the customer service you provide.
By asking either one question or a series of questions, your utility’s CSAT score will be determined by the experiences your utility customers have had with your business.
For example, you may ask the question “how would you describe your overall satisfaction with [your company name],” with the potential answers including:
- Very satisfied.
- Somewhat satisfied.
- Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
- Somewhat dissatisfied.
- Somewhat satisfied.
Those answers are then quantified and expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100 percent – the higher the percentage the higher your customer satisfaction.
2 – Percentage of Meters Read
This metric is used to measure the percentage of bills produced that use actual meter reads as opposed to estimated reads, during a specific timeframe. This total number includes reprinted and rebilled bills.
This metric can be vastly improved through smart metering. By using smart meters to provide quick, accurate and real-time measurements of a customer’s usage, your utility will be able to move away from manually reading meters.
This will result in more accurate bills, meaning customers will only pay for what they actually use. Your utility will save money on the expensive process of collecting energy usage readings and you’ll also have accurate conservation and demand data. This will aid customers and your utility to cut down on energy usage to help protect the environment.
3 – First-contact Resolution
First contact resolution (FCR), also known as first call resolution, is an important metric used by call centers, but it’s also highly valuable for your utility’s customer service strategy. The metric looks at your customer service team and their ability to address your customer’s needs in a single contact.
Successful FCR will eliminate the need for the customer to follow up on their query, because it would have been resolved with the very first contact that they had with your utility. FCR helps your utility save both energy and money, while allowing more time to your customer service department to deliver higher value for your customers.
4 – Energy Usage
This KPI measures the amount of energy used by customers. It is an important indicator of the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs and can also be used to identify potential cost savings. Most importantly, this data can be used to better educate customers on how they can achieve their own personal energy and budget goals.
By providing customers with detailed analysis of their energy consumption, with comparisons to past data and to other usage within the neighborhood, utility companies can help customers cut down their carbon footprint and save money.
5 – Billing Accuracy
Are you struggling to get customer bills in on time? It’s likely you are using the billing accuracy metric to calculate this. This simply looks at the average amount of bills that do not need to be rebilled or printed.
By dividing the number of printed bills (excluding rebilled and reprinted bills) by the total number of printed bills produced– which includes rebilled and reprinted bills during a given time period– your utility will be able to measure how successful its billing accuracy is.
Reasons for inaccurate billing could include inaccurate meter readings, bill revisions, late or unreceived payments, adjusting a bill after receiving an actual meter reading and many more. The accuracy of your billing department can be significantly improved by e-billing.
6 – Service Interruptions
Service interruption KPI measures the number and duration of service interruptions. It is important for identifying and addressing issues that may be causing service disruptions and ensuring that customers are not negatively impacted by these disruptions.
By analyzing service interruptions you can also improve how you engage with your customers by guaranteeing you have a robust outage notification plan in place.
Check out our blog, The Importance of Customer Communication During Power Outages, to learn just how important customer engagement is during service interruptions.
7 – Workforce KPIs
In addition, it’s also important to track workforce-related KPIs like employee retention, turnover and absenteeism. These insights give utilities visibility into how well they’re managing their human resources and addressing the needs of their employees.
High turnover, for example, may indicate a problem with the work environment or the way in which employees are being managed. This is important to address because utilities with higher levels of employee satisfaction also tend to deliver a better customer experience, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Looking for a Way to Improve These Metrics?
These are just a few examples of the key performance indicators that utility companies can use to measure their success in engaging with customers. By tracking these KPIs and using the insights they provide, utility companies can make data-driven decisions to improve their customer engagement and overall business performance.
If you are currently calculating these metrics but not getting the scores that you want, it’s likely your utility will be looking at ways you can improve these metrics and deliver a higher-quality experience for your customers.
Did you know that you can significantly increase customer satisfaction and deliver more value to your utility customers, be it water and sewerage, electricity, gas, and/or telecom, with the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities?
Our innovative customer portal will help increase your engagement with customers, reduce customer effort, improve your customer service strategy, reduce strain on your customer support team, help you save money and much more.
For more information about how our customer portal can revolutionize your utility business, book a demo of the SilverBlaze platform today.