From a business perspective, utility usage data is an important metric. Not only does it give you insights into customer behaviour, it also gives you invaluable KPIs that help you build a strategy around your long-term objectives for managing conservation and demand.
In addition, utility usage data can also ensure that utility providers build a stronger relationship with their customers and enhance customer engagement. That’s because you’re not just selling them your utility, you’re actively working as a partner to help them meet their utility consumption goals and reduce their bills.
In this blog, we take a look at why today’s customers want to see their usage data from their utilities, and how providing that information can benefit the utility.
Why Do Customers Want to See Usage Data?
First and foremost, being able to view usage data helps customers feel like they are in control. Even if they never do anything to change their consumption, they feel confident that the information is easy to obtain so they will never be surprised by an unexpected bill.
For those who are interested in utility management, whether it’s to save money, lead a more sustainable lifestyle or something else entirely, usage data allows them to reach their goals. This is especially important as more millennials open utility accounts, with energy management and environmental sustainability often becoming a top priority.
So, how does providing usage data benefit your utility?
How Providing Usage Data to Customers can Help Your Utility
The customer experience is becoming a huge focus for businesses across the world. That’s because it helps boost customer engagement, increase retention, helps reduce internal costs and allows companies to better use customer service resources.
But as more and more businesses start improving their customer experience, the same is being expected of utility providers. Luckily, with the new technologies like smart homes, smart metering and utility customer portals, it’s now much easier to provide the experience customers expect.
While there are many ways to improve your customer experience, providing usage data is one change that can have a major impact. Not just for your customers, but for your utility as well.
Here are just a few of the top benefits your utility will realize from providing utility usage data:
- You become a partner
When customers know you’re trying to work with them to help them reach their financial and sustainability goals, your customer will stop looking at you as a mere bill. When you provide usage information to them in an easy to consume way, it will help them see your business in a more favorable way. That’s because they now feel empowered and in control, simply by allowing them to be aware of the situation.
- It improves the utility-customer relationship
When you give customers the tools they need to focus on what’s important to them, it will help you build a stronger relationship with them. They will see that you value the same things they do, especially when their motivation for tracking usage is to be more sustainable. It also makes you appear more transparent and approachable.
In turn, this will build trust and loyalty, which will lead to a stronger, more proactive relationship with your customers. While retention may not be an issue for the vast majority of utility providers, with the limited number of options available to your customers, good relationships will lead to improved interactions and less stress for your team.
- It helps with demand management
Like many utilities, you likely have conservation and demand management programs in place that are fueled by increased off-peak usage and other similar procedures. By allowing your customer to see their usage data, they can be a part of the solution.
- You save time and resources
When customers can access usage data, and other valuable information through a self-service program, you can help reduce call ins for easy to solve questions. That means your customer service team will have more time to focus on dealing with more complex queries that add real value to the customer.
It also means that future capital that was targeted towards growing your customer service teams to answer the onslaught of easy, repetitive questions can be focused on other more beneficial projects.
Next Step - How to Provide Customers with Usage Data
Now that you know why you should be providing customer usage data, the question is – how do you do it?
The answer is a self-service customer portal solution.
Using a customer portal, your utility can easily send purpose-built utility usage reports that educate and mobilize utility customers to change their behavior. You can also send information your customers need to improve their energy efficiency, reduce their carbon footprint, conserve water, reduce their monthly bills and reach their own utility usage goals.
This will enhance the customer experience so that you can benefit from stronger relationships, improved resource allocation and an improved bottom line. You’ll also be in a far better position to reach your own goals related to internal efficiency, improved customer satisfaction and sustainability.
If you’re interested in learning more about customer portals and the benefits of sharing usage data, get in touch with us today. Our innovative Customer Portal for Utilities has partnered with the Adaptive Consumer Engagement (ACE) data presentment platform to offer our client’s utility customers personalized information.