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
Read more about Doxim’s innovative Customer Communication Management solution, built just for utilities.
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.