3 Key principles that underlie a successful omnichannel communications strategy
Historically, utility organizations haven’t focused much on building a relationship with their customers. The monthly utility bill was the only regular communication customers received from their utility provider and making a payment was the only regular interaction. But the recent, unavoidable shift to digital has also shifted the mindset of the utility industry, where the focus now is on seeking ways to improve customer experience in utilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many utility organizations’ digital transformations. Although the decision to advance digitally may have been accelerated by outside forces, digital advancement promises many advantages in terms of customer engagement.
The question that utility organizations find themselves asking now is not whether digital is a requirement, but how to use transformation as a springboard to improve customer experience. And considering that the modern utility has many more digital tools at its disposal than legacy utility organizations did a decade ago, it is well positioned to improve the customer experience, particularly in the realm of digital communications.
The goal is to advance digitally while creating a seamless customer experience across all channels and to optimize customer relationships and brand loyalty with every touchpoint.
Enhance customer experience in utilities with seamless, omnichannel digital communications!
Better Customer Communications = Better Customer Experience in Utilities Overall
When adopting a digital-first strategy in utilities, one key area to address is utility communications. Omnichannel communications, deeply personalized and delivered through customers’ preferred channels, can be used to strengthen customer relationships. This helps to assure customers that they are both valued and understood.
There are three key principles that underlie a successful omnichannel communications strategy in utilities. Consider these when devising your own approach to customer outreach:
1. Take a customer-centric approach: To become more customer centric, utility organizations need to re-visit their customer communications. For example, too often, utility bills are hard to understand, not personalized, or delivered through channels the customer doesn’t enjoy using. Meaning they do little to improve customer engagement.
Your bill design can have a significant impact on your customer's ability to understand and pay their bill. An investment in better communication design and delivery will show customers that you are able to meet their growing and ever-changing expectations, which will in turn increase the likelihood of payment.
2. Allow your customers to select their preferred communication channel/s: Just like your customers have unique needs and circumstances, they also have different expectations when it comes to communications.
Today's customers want options on how they receive, view, and pay bills. More importantly, they want the ability to seamlessly switch between channels and methods as their needs and preferences change.
Younger and more tech savvy individuals may prefer the convenience of receiving bills and statements through digital communication channels. This massively online demographic also values interactivity.
Conversely, older and more traditional customers may still prefer paper statements. They will benefit from statement design that leverages data effectively to make their key information easy to understand. Additionally, some older customers may have age-related limited vision, and benefit from a statement that uses larger font and high contrast.
Meeting the needs of all customers will require an omnichannel communications strategy.
3. Integrate messaging across channels. By constantly communicating valuable information to your customers, you can build stronger relationships. But to build trusting relationships, you need to keep communications integrated across channels.
To provide integrated omnichannel communications, you need a communications portal that gives your business users the ability to view, manage, edit, and report on all communication channels, a single view of the customer. That way, every interaction with the customer is part of a seamless communication journey that presents a unified and engaging front to them.
How Doxim Delivers Seamless Digital Customer Communications for Utilities
Doxim offers the solutions and expertise your utility organization needs to succeed with integrated communications, so every customer has a consistently excellent experience, regardless of channel.
Our expert team and leading-edge technology can assist you at every stage of the communication process, including:
- Consultation: Let Doxim experts help you assess and enhance your customer journeys with print/digital communication journey mapping
- Design: Our experienced utility-centric design experts help you implement consistent messaging and branding to all customers, on any channel or device
- Digital Adoption Strategy: Doxim can help you no matter where you are in terms of digital maturity and adoption, to enhance and streamline digital engagement
- Single Source Communication Management: A 24/7 cloud-based communications management portal gives you the ability to view, manage, edit, and report on all communication channels for truly integrated communications and an optimal cost outcome
Let’s discuss your utility organization’s unique customer communication requirements
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.