The Way Customers Interact With Your Utility Is Undergoing Profound Change
In the past, interactions took place in person and over the phone, or through the most common customer touchpoint – the paper bill. Utilities knew how to take advantage of these predictable interactions to build strong customer relationships.
Today, as more and more interactions go online, providing great customer experiences (CX) means a shift in thinking. Strong customer relationships are more important than ever, but achieving these relationships is less straightforward.
Roadblocks to improving CX
The rise of personalized customer experiences across other industries has set a new standard for utilities as well. Customers now expect immediate service, through their channel of choice, and fast resolution of their concerns. And, to complicate this situation, there has been a proliferation of new channels, and customers expect the utility to communicate with them across these channels, while maintaining the highest levels of security and confidentiality.
At the same time, new and increasing operational challenges are cropping up for utilities, and these too can impact customer experience. These include pandemic related changes, like stay-at-home orders making employees remote workers, and changing market conditions for utilities (e.g. solar power, electric vehicles). Utilities also need to communicate service interruptions (for reasons including unexpected weather events).
In such a challenging and rapidly evolving situation, it would be simple for CX to slip to the bottom of the priority list. But allowing your CX to falter would be an error. Happier, more satisfied customers are more likely to trust and support your utility as it evolves, so an investment in their experience is an investment in your future success.
To learn more on how to prioritize your digital CX improvement projects, download the playbook:
The Ultimate Guide to Transforming the Utility Customer Experience
Addressing new challenges through digital transformation
Forward-thinking utilities recognize that the nature of customer interaction has changed and will continue to do so. But just deciding to raise the bar for customer engagement isn’t enough. Utility companies, often working with limited CX budgets, need to carefully select which facet of their customer experience to improve first.
Drawing on our experience working with hundreds of utilities of various sizes, we advise addressing the following areas for improvement:
These interactions represent your most common customer touchpoints and thus offer the best return on your transformational investment.
- Enhance the billing experience with better looking, easy to understand bills, personalized for each consumer and delivered through their preferred channel.
- Upgrade the payment process with mobile enabled, multi-channel payment options and flexible payment plans, while maintaining the highest levels of security.
- Empower customers with self-serve options like a robust online portal that offers rates, consumption and deadline details, a bill archive, and other value-added personalized communications like tips on reducing usage.
- Support staff to drive better outcomes by putting all customer data at their fingertips so they can resolve issues faster, whether they are working from the office or from home.
Improved CX adds value for both customers and their utility
By nurturing the relationship between your utility and its customers, you can expect a host of tangible benefits from loyalty to earlier payment, to adoption of services like auto pay, to increased patience and trust in the event of an unplanned outage.
A customer experience strategy focused on the four key areas outlined above will help you address some of the most common points of customer experience failure and turn them into moments that build stronger relationships. For utilities facing a higher bar for customer engagement, these areas of focus represent opportunities to advance and take advantage of new digital ways to communicate and interact. Why not get started today?
How Doxim can support utility CX transformation
As a single, trusted partner offering a holistic CCM solution that will meet all your CXM needs, Doxim can help you operationalize your customer experience strategy and make every interaction count.
Doxim’s omnichannel CCM platform can empower your business users to generate the frequent, ongoing, and personal interactions your customers crave, and distribute these communications through multiple channels (via print, PDF, HTML, email, text, and online interactive experiences).
The omnichannel capabilities of the platform are such that when a customer calls in to speak to a service representative or engages with a chatbot, both human and machine can provide immediate assistance by calling up the communication or document that the customer received. This keeps every customer communication connected, making multi-step, omnichannel customer interactions a reality.
Behind the scenes, Doxim’s seasoned customer experience experts can also help you encourage customer engagement and consult on creative communication design that delivers a great user experience.
And of course, Doxim’s customer communications management technology offers you all the security and compliance features you require to keep your customers’ sensitive data secure, plus the scalability and flexible pricing you would expect from a modern SaaS-based solution.
Let’s discuss ways to enhance your utility company’s customer communications to effectively boost customer experience management
Vice President, Utilities Vertical Lead at Doxim
With over 15 years of experience in providing information technology and services to the utility sector, Erin's expertise extends across project and operations management, as well as sales and account management.
Erin was Director of Customer Solutions at Utilitec, (acquired by Doxim in 2019) having been with the company for 15 years. Prior to that, she worked as a Project Manager at MSX International.