3 Benefits of a Seamless Omnichannel Bill-to-Payment Experience for Utilities

by | Mar 2, 2023

How to Tighten Up Your Revenue Cycle While Keeping Your Customers Engaged and Informed

Digital billing

Across the globe, the cost-of-living crisis is putting the pinch on consumers, and we all have to pay for basic utilities, right?. Now more than ever, utilities must step up to help their customers understand their bills, their payment options, and their financial obligations.

The challenge is that most utility providers have traditionally kept their billing, payments, and customer communications (CCM) solutions separate. This has created data silos that hinder their ability to “know their customer” in full and make it simpler for them to act in desired ways that will also improve their financial well-being.

In the current turbulent environment, technology that unites these functions to provide a seamless omnichannel bill-to-payment experience can be worth its weight in gold, as it increases customer satisfaction, decreases operational costs, and reduces Days Sales Outstanding.

Here’s how such an investment can tighten up your revenue cycle while keeping your customers engaged and informed.

Meeting Customers’ Mobile-First, Digital, Self-Serve Expectations

Today’s customers have very different patterns of interaction with companies than those even a decade ago. For example,

67% of consumers prefer self-service over speaking to a CSR.

  • 67% 67%

42% of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a top expectation.

  • 42% 42%
52% of all internet traffic now comes from mobile. Desktop usage continues to decline.
  • 52% 52%
82% of Americans now use digital payments.
  • 82% 82%
If your utility wants to focus on providing an optimal customer experience, which encourages positive behaviors like timely payment, you’ll need to find a way to meet your customers’ needs online, where they work and live.

At the same time, you can’t forget about customers who prefer traditional billing and payment through the mail, or through in-person interaction. An omnichannel billing and payment platform will allow you to meet these diverse needs and provide the best customer experience possible, through all the channels your customers prefer.

Improving Customer Comprehension and Motivating Action

Customer accessing bill through mobile

To achieve all possible benefits from a seamless omnichannel bill-to-payment solution, your utility company will need to first ensure that your bill is designed with customer experience in mind. Is your bill easy to read? Can customers understand their financial obligations and review due dates at a glance? Are your bills accessible to all customers, including persons with disabilities?

Today’s Customer Communication Management technology supports these goals with tools like personalized video, which can provide 1:1 coaching on how to read the bill at the click of a button. Combine this next-generation technology with expert bill design from your CCM vendor partner, and you’ll improve clarity and motivate action, right from the first step in the billing process.

Engage Customers with Data Driven Personalization and Targeted Messaging. Learn how Doxim can help you leverage data to ensure personalized customer engagement

Making the Bill-To-Payment Process as Simple as Possible

Customer making payment through mobile

Points of friction and uncertainty during the payment process may prevent your customers from making timely payments or deter them from moving to one of your preferred payment methods. For this reason, evaluating the payment journey across all your channels is a worthwhile endeavor. For customers using physical channels, this can be as simple as reviewing how convenient your payment locations are, and whether their operating hours meet the needs of your customer base.

Barriers to digital payment also need to be reviewed and addressed. Some common issues include limited online channels for payment, a sub-optimal payment user experience, or even concerns about the security of financial data. These can be addressed by increasing payment channels to include choices like mobile payment, reducing the steps required to pay through behind-the-scenes verification, and creating a sense of security around digital payment by sharing all the ways you keep sensitive payment data private and secure.

Give your customers the optimal bill-to-payment experience through our secure, intuitive, and omnichannel billing and payments solution.

A Shorter, More Consistent Revenue Cycle Starts with Customer Experience

Digital payment experience

Recent research indicates that utility consumers often wait until the end of their billing cycle to pay their bill, taking an average of 37 days to pay. Add the recent trend towards postal delays, and you have a perfect recipe for revenue interruption.

To shorten your Days Sales Outstanding and ensure a steady and predictable stream of revenue, your utility must remove every obstacle from the customer payment journey. To make this happen, your utility should consider investing in an integrated, omnichannel billing and payment solution, supported by a CCM vendor with experience in the utility industry.

This technology stack will make it possible to get bills in front of customers sooner, through the channels of their choice. It will also support your customers as they review their bills and pay them quickly and easily. With such a solution in place, you can focus on your next steps, like implementing, marketing, and incentivizing automated payment programs to reduce late payments and ensure a constant revenue stream.

Implementing an integrated billing and payment platform can help you meet a variety of organization-wide goals around cost reduction, CX, and revenue maximization. It can add transparency and insight to your customer’s experience, introduce new ways to increase your paperless adoption and customer satisfaction, and simplify the payment experience with customer-friendly interfaces and choices. At a time when utilities are working hard to optimize their customer experience and motivate quick bill payment, it’s worth reviewing your options in this regard.

Industry experts from J.P Morgan recently joined Doxim to present an informative webinar on the topic, “The State of Payments for Utilities.”

How Doxim Payment Can Help Utilities Realize Revenue

Digital payment channels

Doxim Payments provides consumers with control over their payment experience and the ability to personalize various aspects according to their preferences. Consumers have access to a range of payment options (omnichannel) and the ability to seamlessly switch between methods as their preferences evolve. And consumers can set up notifications and reminders that improve the management of their bills, increasing convenience and reducing the likelihood of missing a payment.

For utilities, the Doxim Payment solution brings many benefits, including a consistent branded, yet personalized user experience across all payment channels. The Doxim CCM platform provides configurable options to simplify implementation, maintenance, messaging, and ongoing support. In addition, Doxim’s pricing for payments is flexible and configurable, allowing for customized fee models that suit the biller and the consumer.

In addition to a world-class payment platform, Doxim’s experienced team provides advice and best practices regarding the ideal selection of billing and payment channels to satisfy utility customer requirements.

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Olga Zakharenkava
Vice President, Former CCM Product Management & Product Marketing at Doxim.
Olga focuses on delivering business value to Doxim’s clients through world-class SaaS CCM solutions. She has a strong background in CCM technology for the regulated industries, product management and project management.
Olga joined Doxim in 2017 as the head of Product Marketing, Demand Generation, and Communications, and prior to Doxim, held product, marketing and strategy leadership positions at companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500, including Telmetrics, OpenText, and JVL.
Olga holds an MBA from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, an Honors Master's degree in Finance, and an Honors Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Management. Olga is a regular contributor to industry media, covering topics in marketing, financial services, productivity, and work management.

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