Receiving and paying a bill is one of the few times that utility providers interact with their customers. In the past, this process was slow and inefficient. Paper bills would be sent out to customers via post, customers would receive the bill and then head to their local office or bank to make a payment. But, things have come a long way since then.
Utility providers are able to drive higher profitability, better customer engagement and improved internal efficiencies when they focus on digital transformation.
Today, utility providers can realize great benefits when they make the transition to online billing.
What is Online Billing?
Online billing, also known as paperless billing, eBilling or electric billing, gives utility customers the ability to pay their bills from a computer, tablet or mobile device at the click of a button.
With the right software, your customers can also combine online billing with eBilling notifications and pre-authorized payments for a seamless customer experience that dramatically increases customer satisfaction.
Why Utility Providers Should be Using Online Billing
There are a number of ways your utility company can benefit from online billing and here are the top nine reasons.
- Ensure bills are paid on time
Paper bills can get misplaced, accidentally thrown out or damaged. All of this can cause delays in getting paid. Online billing makes it easier for customers to access bills, so you can help make sure they get paid on time and in full. This is especially true if you combine online billing with billing and payment notifications.
- Save money
Not having to print out and mail your bills to every customer can help reduce the cost of billing. It also reduces the costs associated with sending reminders and past due notices, as well as cuts the number of calls to your customer service team.
- Quicker payments
Not only does online billing help make sure bills are paid on time, it also helps you get paid faster. That’s because delivery of bills is instant with online billing, there is no waiting while the bill is delivered to the customer.
Similarly, the right platform (such as the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities) will allow you customers to pay seamlessly online. This means you don’t have to wait for payments to arrive at your office, or for customers to drive over to their local utility office or bank.
- Reduce customer service queries
When customers are able to view and pay bills online, they won’t have to call into your customer service department as often for billing and payment related inquiries. This means your customer service team will have more time to focus on more complex inquiries that deliver a higher value to your customer.
- Improve customer satisfaction
Studies have shown that more than 65 percent of consumers would prefer paperless billing if the system provides them with email notifications. If you still use paper billing, your utility company has an excellent opportunity to improve the customer experience by delivering information the way your customers want to receive it through the implementation of online billing.
In addition, the right online billing software will allow your company to customize notifications including alerts for new bills, upcoming due dates and past due bills. Customers will also appreciate real-time data and information.
- Anytime access
When you use online systems, your customers have access to their billing and payment information whenever they need it. They no longer have to wait for bills to arrive or the customer service department to be open. They simply have to login to your online customer portal to manage their account.
- Help achieve your environmental goals
Many utility companies have goals related to greener processes and lowering their carbon footprint. While online billing isn’t directly related to the environmental impact of your utility, it will help your company reduce its carbon footprint. That’s because online billing reduces paper usage and the carbon footprint associated with delivering bills to customers.
- Improve your records
Traditional billing relies on paperwork, manual checks and proper communication between establishments, customers and your team. Online billing creates a system of record which eliminates confusion. This means you and your customers will be able to easily view accurate historical billing information.
- Reduce manual work
The shift from paper to online billing means your processes will be better automated. This creates better organization and results in significantly fewer errors. Especially administrative errors associated with manual processes.
Designed with the customer in mind, the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for utilities has been created with a clean and modern looking interface, that is straightforward to navigate, and intuitive to use. All while allowing your company to enjoy all the benefits online billing provides to businesses.
For more information on the power of online billing, or the SilverBlaze Customer Portal, contact us today.