If it’s not already, the customer experience (CX) should be top-of-mind for any organization in today’s world, especially considering the impact of the pandemic. Because of the changing landscape, companies have had to rethink their approach to establishing a strong customer relationship. Strategic objectives commonly include initiatives that aim to exceed customer expectations, boost customer loyalty, improve satisfaction and promote advocacy.
While the vast majority of utility providers may not have intense direct competition, these objectives are still a priority in a world where customers are increasingly demanding more from the service providers they do business with. In fact, “the rise of personalized consumer experiences across industries has also set a new standard of consumer engagement for utility companies,” states a Deloitte report.
The report states that there are four predominant ways for utility providers to move from a basic customer experience to an elevated human experience; billing, new services, outages and prosumers (proactively helping the customer to achieve their emerging goals/expectations).
A great customer experience is built on the principles of quick query resolution, incentives and rewards, brand accessibility, seamless customer service interactions, personalization and valuing the customer time. To cater to these growing expectations of today’s customers, utility providers must implement leading technology that will enhance the overall utility customer experience and lead to improved billing, services, outage notifications and ‘prosumer’ information such as real-time customer utility usage.
That’s where a self-service customer portal for utilities will help significantly.
The Importance of a Utility Customer Portal
A self-service utility customer portal provides flexibility in which it is able to integrate with current systems, in addition to offering utility customers quick access to customer information across all platforms. Not only is this a seamless way for utility customers to access the information they need when they need it, it’s also a cost-effective way for your utility to provide customers with a world-class customer experience.
This is far more effective than the traditional methods that many utility providers still use to interact with their customers today. Sending a paper bill once a month is no way to interact with your utility customers, plus it is costly. Having your customers call-in or pay in-person aren’t cost-effective approaches either because it requires time from the CSR; which is time/opportunity that is taken away from the utility rep to service what is most likely a common question that a customer portal could ultimately solve.
Whether you’re an electric, gas or water utility, the customer service landscape is changing, and it’s now imperative that you are able to provide a complete customer experience journey across multiple channels.By doing so, you’ll also be able to fix those long customer wait times, provide power outage notifications (particularly important in the world of remote work), and give your customers immediate access to their utility account and billing information.
Customers can access all this and more, simply through a web browser or mobile application on their favourite device. The result? Convenience, immediacy and high-value features all in the palms of your customers’ hands.
The goal is to give your customers true convenience, allowing them to pay bills quickly and avoid late penalty fees, among other things. Helpful features include ‘push’ notifications for due payments, service outages, energy usage, usage threshold alerts, and much more.
How the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities Will Help
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal was specifically designed for utility companies who want to create an engaging, feature-rich customer experience.
Through eBilling, notifications & alerts, smart metering, customer usage & analytics, utility account information and outage integration, the SilverBlaze Customer Portal improves customer engagement, offers a convenient solution for your utility customers, and delivers endless efficiency benefits to your utility.
Want to learn more? Schedule a software demo today and one of our customer portal experts will provide you with a live walkthrough of our award-winning solution.
During your demo, you will see first-hand how our customer portal enhances the utility customer experience with features such as:
- a customized dashboard interface to suit your brand
- fully responsive screens for desktop and mobile devices
- intuitive and attractive design
- an integration of functionality that provides high value information
- and much more!