Improve Customer Experience Through Automated Utility Bill Verification

by | Feb 15, 2021

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. GET IN TOUCH

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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