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Why Utility Providers Must Help Customers Understand Their Usage Data

Posted on Aug 10, 2018 10:56:00 AM

An increasing number of utility providers are learning that going digital is a must when it comes to meeting the expectations of their customers’, and giving customers easy access and a way to understand their usage data is now an absolutely essential component of the modern customer experience.

This is all part of a wider growth in on-demand consumer services, which have exploded throughout every industry over the last decade. From Netflix’s on-demand movies to Uber’s almost instant taxis and even Amazon’s one-day delivery times, consumers now expect immediate access to services. 

Combine this with an increased flow of information across the internet and a drive from companies to engage with their customer on a more frequent basis, consumers are more knowledgeable than they have ever been before.

Utility customers are no different. They want to control the service they are purchasing through increased self-service opportunities such as ebilling, and they are demanding frequent engagement with their provider through new technologies such as push notifications and alerts.

Most of all, these knowledgeable customers want to understand, manage and alter their energy usage - whether it be to save money or to reduce their carbon footprint.

According to a study from Accenture, more than half (58%) of consumers want their utility to provide them with recommendations and ideas for energy savings, and nearly all (92%) want to receive personalized digital notifications about their usage.

Customers are in frequent communication with other companies they do business with through their mobiles, tablets and other devices, so they expect to hear from their utility provider in the same way.

How can utilities provide usage data to customers?

Having a digital solution that enables your utility customer to both manage and track their usage is now essential for any utility provider. Consumers will see your business as more trustworthy, approachable, transparent and customer focused.

Whether consumption readings are taken from traditional or smart meters, utility providers can provide customers with easy access to detailed data, and patterns or insights into how much water, electricity, gas or other utility they are using.

Once collected by a utility provider, this data can be:

  • Displayed via interactive consumption charts, enabling customers to see their exact utility usage and compare it to previous months.
  • Charted and downloaded for a customer’s personal records.
  • Allow customers to make informed decisions to modify usage, whether to reduce their carbon footprint or save money.

A conservation and demand management tool will give your end-consumer all of the data necessary to adjust their usage, especially during peak hours. It’s simple too, customers can simply access this data on their preferred device at the click of a button or swipe on an app, and take actionable steps immediately to save money.

These tools and the detailed information they provide will enable your customers to feel empowered, in control, and happy with the service you provide.

How can SilverBlaze help?

To help utility providers reach and engage with their customers, we have developed the SilverBlaze Customer Portal, a self-service web solution that gives utility providers a way to provide their customers with both smart metering and regular metering information.

Through the Smart Metering module, customers can sign up for predicted billing which helps regulate their monthly billing amount.

Meanwhile, SilverBlaze’s usage management is supported with push notifications based on a customer’s individual usage goals, whether daily, weekly, or monthly. This puts data into the hands of the consumer, and allows them to make smarter decisions.

The SilverBlaze Customer Portal has been designed to be user-friendly and is easy to implement, and can greatly improve the customer experience while reducing customer effort.

Want more information on how SilverBlaze can boost your customer experience? Contact us today.

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Topics: Customer Service