How utilities can meet their emission goals while retaining, or improving customer experience
In the utility sector, the conversation around “going green” and reducing emissions is getting more urgent. Utilities recognize the need to respond to public pressure, and shifts in energy economics, by exploring ways to decrease or eliminate their carbon emissions.
Adding to this pressure, utilities in many locations in the United States now face mandates to move to 100 percent renewable energy or cut carbon to zero by 2050. More states are likely to impose similar mandates going forward.
Chances are very good that carbon-emission reduction is now a top policy priority for your utility company as well. So, what are some pragmatic ways to meet your emission goals while retaining, or improving your customer experience? The answer could be as close as your customers’ mailboxes – consider digitizing your utility communications.
Is your utility company ready to deliver a consistently positive customer experience across all channels while also easing the shift to paperless and moving towards your net-zero emission goals? CONTACT A DOXIM CCM EXPERT
HOW TO INCREASE EBILLING AND EDOCUMENT UPTAKE
Sustainability is top of mind for many customers today, making it increasingly likely that they will consider eBills and eDocuments. By making it easy to “turn off the paper” and showcasing how digital communications both help the environment and improve the customer experience, you can achieve paperless adoption rates that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
Here are a few proven strategies to increase eDocument uptake at your utility:
- Ask your customers for their email addresses at every touchpoint
- Make ’email address’ a mandatory field on all application forms
- Send out an eWelcome Pack – useful numbers, office locations etc. via email to every new email address/customer you have; include lifecycle messaging in your online strategy
- Make eStatements the default for all new accounts and use transactional messaging to further reduce paper communications
Remember, your customers increasingly want to hear and be part of your corporate sustainability story. It feels good to be part of a change that helps the planet. Moving to digital communications is a simple way for customers to contribute to your sustainability initiatives, so don’t be shy about asking them to consider it.
DIGITIZING YOUR UTILITY COMMUNICATIONS ALSO MEANS TAKING PAYMENTS ONLINE
If your customers are still paying their bills through a check in the mail, you are likely experiencing a number of downsides, as well as an increased environmental cost. Checks are slower to arrive at your organization, so they make your revenue cycle longer than it needs to be. Mailing them is also inconvenient for many customers, which means that some customers will put off paying their bills. Plus, they increase the workload for your employees once they arrive.
By using an integrated end-to-end EBPP (Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment) solution that allows your customers to choose from a variety of billing and payment channels, you can take more of your payments online, reducing your carbon footprint and making life easier for customers and staff alike. There will still be a place for more traditional forms of payment at your utility, but much of the operational burden of processing payments can be lifted with the right technology and processes.
HOW TO REDUCE THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF YOUR PRINTED COMMUNICATIONS
Utility companies understand that while many customers will embrace digital communications, there will always be customers who prefer paper communications, or communications that must, by law, be provided in print. The good news is that there are still ways to reduce your carbon emissions while generating these communications.
Operating an in-house print shop can often lead to inefficiencies and increased costs, both in terms of dollars and in terms of environmental impact. One way to avoid these pitfalls is by working with an environmentally responsible Customer Communications Management (CCM) vendor. This way, you can increase the efficiency of your print communications by leveraging modern equipment, resilient processes, and deep expertise for quality. This, in turn, can offer a lower carbon footprint than running older equipment in house, or having to reprint bills and other documents that don’t meet quality standards.
Ecologically conscious utilities are also advised to find a vendor which will print on environmentally friendly paper stock and offer householding (delivering multiple combined documents, related to different members of the same household, in a single package) to further reduce environmental impact.
HOW DOXIM HELPS UTILITIES MEET THEIR NET-ZERO EMISSION GOALS
At Doxim, we are proud of the ways in which we help our clients work towards their net-zero emission goals. For example, by enabling clients to deliver eStatements to their customers, in 2020 Doxim CCM (Customer Communications Management) helped drive positive impact for our environment and communities:
- Saved 145,800 trees
- Eliminated 6,075 tons of paper waste – an equivalent of paper waste produced by 17,860 people in the US annually
- 130MM gallons of water conserved – an equivalent of annual water consumption of over 400 Americans or running 93,700 laundry cycles
- 45MM kWh of electricity saved – enough to power 4130 homes for a year
- 109MM pounds of CO2 – the amount produced by 9,910 cars in a year
All utility customers have a common thread-they expect a positive and seamless communication experience, regardless of their position on the paperless adoption curve. By working with Doxim, your utility can ensure these needs are met while reducing the carbon footprint of both your digital and paper-based communications.