A utility customer portal is a place where customers can manage their entire account and interact with their utility provider in one centralized location.
Accessed through either a web page or mobile application, a utility customer portal provides customers with a way to log in and manage their account. This includes everything from updating their account information, making payments online, monitoring transactions, viewing past bills, receiving alerts and notifications or managing their consumption usage.
The result? A customer portal helps utility providers to improve the dialogue they have with their customers, enhance the utility customer experience, gain internal efficiencies, improve customer service performance and save money.
To ramp up these benefits even further, the top utility customer portals offer utility providers with the opportunity to add even more key integrations. We take a look at five of the most effective integrations here:#1 - Customer Account and Billing Information
Customer relationship management is at the very heart of a utility customer portal. The entire premise of a customer portal for utilities is to store customer information in a way that gives them seamless access to the information they need, when they need it.
That’s why the first integration on our list has to be customer account and billing information. By integrating your existing customer account and billing information into a utility customer portal solution, your utility is giving its customers complete access to their accounts, the ability to change information when needed, and the ease of paying their bills online - all from their preferred device.#2 - Smart Metering
Next up, we have smart metering. Smart metering or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) can integrate with your utility customer portal giving your business the ability to connect your customers with accurately logged, real-time consumption data.
By delivering consumption and utility usage data to your customers through a customer portal, your utility is taking a proactive stance at helping your customers better manage their utility usage and be more engaged with your business.
These insights allow customers to visually chart how much they consume and adjust their usage according to their environmental or cost-savings goals. Become an energy partner, not just a utility provider.#3 - Smart Forms and Workflow Software
Do you ever wonder how you can enhance your utility’s customer service results through self-service and the automation of customer queries? - if you’re not then you should. The short answer is to integrate Smart Forms and workflow software into your utility customer portal.
Smart Forms allow customers with an easier way to submit customer queries without phoning your call center, and provide your utility with a seamless and automated way to collect, process and respond to customer inquiries. Meanwhile, workflow software ensures queries are directed to the appropriate customer service representative.
Through the combination of Smart Forms and workflow integrated into your customer portal - which can be used for a range of queries from billing issues, transfer of service, updated information and so much more - your utility can enhance the customer experience, reduce customer service strain, and decrease customer wait times.#4 - Outage Integration
There are two layers for outage integration in your utility customer portal that are beneficial to the utility users. Firstly, you can set up notifications and alerts that keep customers informed about outages with consistent, up-to-date information. Secondly, you can integrate outage maps into the customer portal that shows customers in real-time exactly where outages are being experienced.
Through open and transparent outage reporting and information, utility providers are able to significantly drive up customer satisfaction by positioning themselves as a utility partner and offering self-servicing tools.#5 - Commercial and Industrial Demand
Utility providers don’t just have their residential customers to think about, they also need to think about their commercial customers and how they can help them to better manage and monitor their consumption.
With the addition of a commercial and industrial module to your customer portal, utility providers are able to provide energy demand management and data monitoring to help commercial, industrial and other large consumers of utilities to control costs and increase savings.
See it For Yourself!
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of a customer portal for utilities, and the most effective integrations and add-ons? Get in touch with the SilverBlaze team. Our award-winning utility customer portal makes it significantly easier for utility providers to serve their customers.