Succeed in the Evolving Utility Landscape with Customer Communication Management for Utilities

by | Jul 29, 2021

6 Top Business Challenges That Could Be Holding Your Utility Back and How to Overcome Them

The utilities landscape is changing fast. The needs and preferences of modern customers are driving rapid change across every facet of the industry. Utilities that recognize these changes and adapt to them are being rewarded with increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, while those that move slower, risk being left behind.

As a trusted partner to hundreds of utilities, Doxim has a unique opportunity to identify, and help clients respond to, trends that are shaping the industry.

Here are six key challenges that our utility clients are overcoming in 2021, plus a little bit about how Doxim Customer Communication Management for utilities can help you succeed in the evolving utility landscape.

1. Lack of seamless communication across channels:

Customers today are accustomed to personalized, relevant communications through the channels they prefer. Without the right technology, consistent and seamless communication across print and digital channels is difficult, which can lead to a disjointed and confusing customer experience.

2. Complex and confusing bills:

From time-of-use billing to usage profile data to costs from multiple retail suppliers, today’s utility bills present more complex information than ever before. Proper bill design is a must, or these documents can cause customer confusion and erode loyalty. The more confusing the bill, the more likely it is to be disputed, which increases customer service costs and the likelihood that it won’t be paid in a timely fashion.

3. Lack of convenient payment options:

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated an already-existing trend towards digital payments across all demographics. Today, many customers prefer to pay their bills online, through their mobile devices, banks, or secure payment portals. Utilities recognize that customers want easier payment options, but many cannot support the omni-channel, 24/7 payment channels that their customers desire.

4. Disparate data:

Utilities have access to a goldmine of customer data, but it is often siloed and inaccessible, making timely and personalized customer communication a challenge. In fact, one study by IBM suggests that 80% of data collected by companies is unstructured and untapped. The reward for overcoming this challenge is substantial. With even a rudimentary data analysis and personalization strategy, IBM suggests, organizations can expect to see a 33% increase in customer loyalty and engagement.

5. Legacy systems:

Outdated, inflexible technology complicates the life of business users, making processes like bill auditing slow and manual, and prevents the utility from responding nimbly to changes in regulations or customer behavior. This situation frustrates employees and customers alike, as it slows response time for customer inquiries and forces staff members to develop workarounds for routine procedures.

6. Managing multiple vendors:

Many utilities struggle with managing multiple vendors and piecing together a complete solution so that it has a proper workflow. The process of vendor management can be very time-consuming, and includes selecting vendors, negotiating contracts, controlling costs, reducing vendor-related risks, ensuring SLAs are met, troubleshooting problems, and determining the ROI from each vendor relationship.

Consolidating services with a single, trusted vendor partner can help alleviate this load and give a single point of contact should an issue arise. Using a comprehensive platform from a single vendor can also help your utility avoid the problems that arise when connecting point solutions from multiple suppliers.

Overcome your business challenges and delight your customers with Doxim Customer Communication Management for Utilities

In the digital age, customers will be looking for more from their utilities – and utilities that can provide immediate, relevant, personalized engagement will gain market share by creating loyal and trusting relationships with them. Utilities that cannot transform to meet the new realities of their industry, meanwhile, will struggle to engage customers and satisfy their changing needs. Unengaged customers are unlikely to agree to go paperless, conserve the natural resource or sign on to the utility’s special initiatives.

To help utilities like yours overcome their top business challenges, Doxim Customer Communication Management for Utilities provides a comprehensive, one-stop-shop with a single interface for managing every aspect of print and digital communications.

The platform includes everything you need to make omnichannel, personalized interactions with your customers possible:

1. Expert Document Composition and Bill Design

2. Customer Engagement and Hosted Portals

3. Omnichannel Communications

4. State-of-the-Art, Full Color Print Production

5. End-to-End Payments and Collections

3. Expansion of digital products

As banking customer behavior shifts, banks must move with the times, or risk getting left behind. Many banks today are exploring the power and potential of open banking, which can allow them to offer more innovative products and services to their customers, as well as to better compete with fintech companies and other non-traditional financial service providers.

As you shift your banking business model to reach new segments or provide an enhanced array of services, communication becomes even more pivotal to your success. After all, if your customers don’t know which new services they qualify for, or how those services will help them meet their goals, then they are unlikely to explore them further. CCM technology can be leveraged here to provide personalized on-statement messaging that directs customers to the right products and services, as well as 1:1 personalized “explainer” videos to help them get started.

Adjusting your bank’s priorities to thrive in 2023

In an era of constant change, the key to successfully transforming your bank’s business model will be to stay attuned to the changing needs and preferences of customers, and to be open to exploring new opportunities and technologies that can help your FI stay competitive and relevant. But these new opportunities are doomed to fail if you do not clearly communicate their benefits and make it simple for customers to access them.

That is why transforming your customer communication strategy is the best first step to broader digital transformation. By updating your approach to communications to meet omnichannel customer needs, you also position your bank to communicate the benefits of changes in your broader organization, like new or enhanced products and services. The pace of change in banking has never been brisker – but with the right strategic approach to these changes, the future is bright.

Investing in a modern customer communication management and engagement platform is an essential part modernizing your banking strategy, as it can provide the personalized digital experiences that will keep your bank or credit union ahead of the competition. It helps provide a great customer experience, and builds rich relationships, which in turn results in customers for life and a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving financial marketplace.

How Doxim can address the banking customer communications trends identified and help future-proof your digital banking strategy

banking customer communications trends

Doxim’s experienced consultants and omnichannel platform can help transform your customer experience in many ways, including:

  • Gathering and utilizing customer data to continually improve the personalization of communications.
  • Building trust with customers via communication (via print, PDF, HTML, email, text, and online interactive experiences).
  • Leveraging interactive video to drive personalized digital customer experiences, such as interactive statements, bills, or reports, that offer visual engagement and real-time interactivity
  • Putting customer data, including customer statements, at the fingertips of your service representatives for immediate and personal service.
  • Making a meaningful connection with value-added content, like information about philanthropic activities, on customer statements.

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