Digital Trends: Your Utility Customer Might Not Want to Call

Posted on Nov 3, 2022 11:49:00 AM

An emerging trend in today’s digital world is that customers don’t want to talk to businesses. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to interact with you. Instead, they want you to make it easy for them to find the information and tools they need without ever speaking with your support team. Every time a new format is introduced companies have to adapt so that they can meet customers where they want to have a conversation, whether that be on a website, via email, online chat or even text messaging.  

Does that sound difficult? It doesn’t have to be. 

This do-it-yourself attitude has led to the rapid growth of customer self-service portals. It allows customers to review, update and customize accounts on their schedule, while also finding important support and information resources. 

In the utility industry, self-service portals provide:

  • Billing notifications 
  • eBilling 
  • Utility usage reports 
  • Outage alerts 
  • Service requests 
  • Direct communication 
  • FAQ 
  • Helpful resources 

But, it’s not just customers that benefit from self-service portals. Here are just three of the many benefits your utility company could realize.

  1. Your customer service team will have more time

With an increasing number of customers wanting to find answers to their own questions, you can help reduce calls to your customer service department by implementing a self-service portal featuring common questions and queries along with simple solutions. 

Having a robust self-service solution means your customer service team can perform more high-value tasks, such as time-sensitive and complex inquiries. 

Self service portals are also incredibly beneficial during outages. If your portal offers personalized outage updates, you can reduce the number of calls to agents, and consumers will be better informed.

  1. Your customers will be more engaged

It may sound counterintuitive to say customers who have no interest in talking to you will be more engaged - but it’s true. By implementing a customer portal that offers self-service transactions and key information along every step of the customer journey, you will add further value to your service. This can result in increased customer loyalty and a better brand experience. 

In addition, if your customer service portal offers consumption data, you will also encourage customers to manage their own utility usage which supports demand management programs.

  1. Your finance department will thank you

When your self-service solution integrates CIS, billing, and other legacy systems, everyone wins. Your customers will be able to access and pay bills quickly and easily. This means you can get paid faster, with far less work. 

Interested in learning more about how you can improve your utility’s self-service strategy to realize these benefits? Contact our team of utility customer experience experts today.

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Topics: Utilities Trends