Consumer expectations in today’s market are high. Even though the traditional utility provider - whether in the water, sewerage, electricity, gas or telecom industry - has little to no competition, their customers still demand high levels of customer service.
Additional competition from renewable energy options and the superior customer experience (CX) offered by today’s leading businesses, means your utility needs to do more now to satisfy customers than it has ever done in the past.
This means reducing customer effort, offering self-service platforms, enhancing the user experience through technology and, most of all, offering exceptional customer service that removes any potential pain points that may damage your organization’s relationship with its customers.
There are numerous ways that your utility can improve its processes, operations and implement technology for higher quality customer service, and one of the most effective is the introduction of smart forms that are designed specifically for utility providers.
What are smart forms?
Smart forms are a way of automating, and going far beyond the capabilities of your utility’s paper forms. They make use of electronic completion, dynamic sections, database calls and electronic submission to ensure your utility customers are able to send and receive the information they need quickly and conveniently - with just a few clicks of a button.
Combined with workflow software, the use of smart forms means utility customers no longer have to deal with time-consuming, inefficient manual processes. Instead, public, private, and municipal utilities can use workflow solutions to conveniently collect data and information from their customers.
These forms can meet all of your customers needs from pre-authorized debit applications, to street light outage notifications, to the reporting of any issues that they are experiencing. It’s an easy way for your customers to connect with your utility, and it's an easy way for your utility to automate and improve the entire customer service experience.
How can smart forms be used in customer service?
Smart forms provide your utility customer service department with the tools you need to not only automate your entire customer service strategy, but to also offer 24/7 help to your customers for easy issue resolution.
Smart forms will automatically route requests and customer information to the right people within your organization, meaning utility customers get quick responses and are left satisfied with the service you are offering.
Not only that, but these automated processes will increase staff productivity, reduce strain on your customer service department, allow representatives to work on higher value tasks rather than fixing manual errors, and save your company money on wasted time - all while providing your customers with a superior service and experience.
Here are some key ways in which smart forms can be used in your utility customer service:
- New customer agreements – Utility customers can sign up for services easily and automatically, which saves your utility by reducing the need for dedicated phone staff.
- Pre-authorized payments – By allowing utility customers to quickly and conveniently sign up for automatic pre-authorized payments, your utility can eliminate late payments and improve its revenue cycle.
- Service requests – If there is an issue with their utility service, customers are able to report it to their utility provider, detail their problem, and book service to provide a resolution.
- Change of address – Customers can quickly change their new address with your utility, ensuring your service is carried over when they arrive at their new home.
- Account changes – Customers can change, add or remove people from their account through smart form contact with your utility, allowing you to make instant changes at the click of a button.
- Street light outage – What if a customer finds an issue with your service, say a street light is out near their home? Don’t worry, they can quickly submit a notification straight to you. Learn more about how smart forms can benefit your engineering team on our recently published blog - ‘Why Smart Forms are Important for the Success of Your Utility’s Engineering and Operations Team’.
- Move-out request – If a customer is moving and needs their service disconnected or transferred, this form allows them to easily inform your utility of their needs.
Want to learn more? SilverBlaze can help
The innovative SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities allows for the seamless integration of smart forms and workflow software that will revolutionize your utility’s customer service strategy and deliver a positive return on investment (ROI).
Want more information about how our unique solutions can benefit your organization’s approach to customer service? Contact us today, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you have.