3 Important Questions to Optimize Bill Accuracy and Vastly Improve the Utility Customer Experience 

by | Jun 7, 2024

Put the Spotlight on Utility Bill Accuracy: Important Steps to Eliminate Errors and Boost Customer Satisfaction

Confusing, inaccurate utility bills only frustrate customers, who:
  • Find the bill information confusing, call customer support, and/or delay their payment.
  • Don’t receive their bill due to a wrong address, or
  • Are sent incorrect information due to a lack of checks and balances within utility billing and customer systems.
What if we told you, it’s simple to reduce days-to-pay and calls to customer support teams while boosting customer satisfaction? When utilities focus on improving the accuracy of their bills, improving customer experience is easy. But making progress starts by asking yourself three crucial questions:

1. Do We Need a Bill Redesign?

One of the key issues customers have with their utility bills is that they’re often difficult to read and understand. A wordy, cluttered utility bill can confuse customers, who may not know what you’re charging them, when the bill is due, or how to pay. Consider that it might be time for a bill redesign! Modern utility bill designs break every item down, line by line, with the total amount clearly defined. A clear bill design helps utilities significantly improve days-to-pay because it makes it simple for customers to understand how and where to pay. Utility bills also present a remarkable opportunity to engage customers. It’s possible to add account messages, marketing material or other information, for example, around the holiday season, you can include a personalized greeting.
If you’re keen on utility success stories that teach practical steps to deliver a modern and satisfying customer experience via a successful bill redesign, check out this panel discussion recording with Doxim, Fayetteville PWC, and Greenville Utilities.

2. How Do We Manage and Address Accuracy?

It’s always a challenge to keep mailing addresses up to date. Utilities can spend significant resources, and use up a large budget, only to continue receiving a significant amount of return mail. And if bills aren’t getting into customers’ hands, your utility isn’t getting paid.  

Think about adopting a solution that gives you the power to detect or identify undeliverable mail, such as a closed PO box, foreign move, or no forwarding address. Consider validating the accuracy of your mailing addresses with the NCOA database to improve deliverability. After all, if undeliverable mail doesn’t go out, you’ll save on postage, reduce the workload on your staff, and keep payment streams flowing.  

3. What Checks and Balances Do We Have in Place for Billing Data?

Putting checks and balances in place to improve the accuracy of your billing data is also important. With accurate billing data, you can avoid the cost of reprints and reduce calls to customer support, because your staff doesn’t need to spend valuable time correcting and re-issuing bills.  

For example, implementing an exception handling process, where systems pull accounts for review based on defined thresholds or criteria, let’s you validate billing data before it ever reaches the customer. In addition, previewing and approving production sample sets ensures all your data will display correctly and output as intended.  

These measures validate and correct bill data before it goes out, ultimately saving you money, improving customer satisfaction and reducing days sales outstanding (DSO). 

Why Asking These Questions Gets Results 

To understand why asking these three questions is so crucial for utilities, consider this client example.  

Fayetteville PWC partnered with Doxim to improve their bills and customer engagement. The successful project saw a 15% decrease in customer support calls with a fresh bill design that incorporated new graphical elements and charts to simplify account information and emphasize actions needed. They also modernized their customer portal and introduced new IVR capabilities. On top of this, PWC implemented tracking tools to monitor the billing cycle status, capture and correct billing exceptions, and handle returned mail to save time, resources, and money.  

Improving the Utility Customer Experience 

Inaccurate bills are the source of many headaches for utilities. They drive up your costs, delay payments, damage your brand, and put unnecessary pressure on your customer support teams. Most significantly, inaccurate bills drive customer dissatisfaction. 

So, to optimize your billing and improve your customer experience, examine your current bill design and examine the checks and balances you have in place to prevent errors. Asking these questions can have a real payoff, so take the time to investigate and consider your options. 

For more information about how Doxim can help optimize your billing and improve customer experience, contact us today!

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Jason Pothen
Senior Vice President, Sales
Jason has 22+ years of experience serving a diverse array of industries, across a wide range of print and digital communication technologies. Prior to joining Doxim in July 2020, he was a Senior Client Services Manager at Taylor Communications. In his current position as Senior Vice President, Sales, Jason is focused on developing long-term client relationships to facilitate account growth and expedient conflict resolution. He possesses deep knowledge in communication management for regulated industries, with a particular focus on the Utilities, Healthcare, and Consumer Finance sectors.

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