Refine and automate your utility bill verification process to improve customer experience and boost your CSAT scores
Today’s utility customers have come to expect the kind of personalized service and on-demand availability that they get from service providers in other sectors. While the accuracy of information was always a requirement, utility customers now want the information wrapped in an enjoyable customer experience.
Taking into account that for some utilities, the monthly utility bill is the only regular communication customers get, so creating a frictionless process for billing and payment is imperative.
Using utility bill verification to spot errors matters more now than ever
Sending bad bills causes problems for customers and utilities alike, but getting to the bottom of billing exceptions requires specialist skills and not every utility has the expertise, tools, and time necessary to really minimize errors.
Most utilities have auditing processes in place to catch common exceptions. But, due to a lack of data analysis expertise, they are not able to catch the next level of errors without clocking up hours on utility bill verification.
Identify accounts that need verification before the customer is impacted
Some common flags to identify accounts that should be held back for verification include:
- Current Charges – Bills that are greater than or less than a standard amount for all rate classes.
- Credits – Bills that have a credit amount greater than a standard amount for all rate classes.
- Meter Reading Check to Usage – Bills wherein the current reading minus the previous reading with the multiplier do not equal the usage being billed.
- Usage Thresholds – Bills that have usage greater than or less than a standard amount per rate class.
- Individual Customers Usage Threshold – Bills that have current month usage more than double or less than half the usage from the same month last year.
- Unbalanced Bill Details – Bills that do not add up to the total amount due.
- Sensitive Statements – Bills that need a final review before mailing. i.e. corrected bills, city accounts, budget plan settlement month, and final bills.
Of course, the more fine-tuned the identification process, the fewer potentially incorrect bills have to undergo a review.
Consider a web-based management tool for bill verification
Using a web-based management tool to refine and automate your bill verification process can really pay off. Addressing bad bills during the billing process removes friction from the customer experience, reduces service costs, and can avoid payment delays.
Appointing an experienced billing partner will also assist in defining your bill exception criteria to identify exceptions that will have the most impact. Once you have a queue of bills for review, your bill auditing tool can streamline the review process, and proceed to deliver or reject bills with a single click. This reduces the operational load for the utility and removes friction from the customer billing experience.
The simplest way to boost your CSAT scores
Billing errors are a leading driver of calls to customer service representatives and a source of considerable customer frustration. Catching billing errors before delivery is the simplest way to boost NPS scores and improve call center efficiency. It will also build your reputation as a customer-centric and trustworthy utility.
The bill verification process can be automated, thus reducing operational load and freeing up resources to handle other tasks.
The question is: why tolerate a partial solution to bad bills?
Book an expert consultation to discuss your bill verification process.
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.