The 5 Superpowers of a Modern, End-To-End Utility Billing and Payments Platform

by | Jul 15, 2021

Reimagining Billing And Payment For Metered Services

As the industry emerges from a tough time, utilities need to grab any opportunity they can, firstly to recover and then to thrive. The long list of urgent and important requirements, upgrades, enhancements, etc. all add pressure to already scarce budgets and resources, leaving utilities with a prioritization challenge.

A top priority is investing in customer experience (CX), but utilities are restricted when the only regular communication they have with customers is the monthly bill. It’s tough to create a great CX if there is little to no interaction with customers.

If the monthly bill represents the only opportunity to create a positive impression, how could a utility make that single customer interaction, the best experience it can be?

Utilities can achieve this by leveraging the power of a utility billing and payments platform to not only enhance CX across the bill-to-payment journey, but also to drive significant internal and business benefits. These benefits serve to mitigate some of the challenges that utilities are dealing with and set the organization up for future success.

Introducing the 5 Superpowers of a Modern, End-to-End Utility Billing and Payment Platform

1. Improved Customer Experience

Providing a great CX is proven to increase customer satisfaction, promote engagement and build loyalty. One of the elements of a great CX is offering customers the ability to choose how they want to receive their bill and the payment method.

A billing and payments platform that offers an omnichannel experience makes for happy customers, as they can select to receive their bill by mail or via a selection of digital formats and channels. They can also select to pay via a range of methods, including digital wallets, credit/debit cards, autopay and more. Customers can even switch channels due to a shift in preferences or a temporary change in circumstances.

Utilizing a single platform to provide omnichannel billing and payments helps to ensure a seamless, consistent brand experience across the bill-to-payment journey. It also provides real-time feedback to customers by way of notifications and alerts, which helps them manage their account more efficiently.

Enhancing CX in the bill-to-payment journey is a proven way to build better customer relationships, which in turn produces more loyal and engaged customers.

2. Reduced costs

Consolidating end-to-end billing and payment processing onto a single platform reduces costs through operational efficiencies and optimizes the number of resources involved in managing the platform.

The single platform approach limits the number of integrations and partnerships to be managed and allows for streamlined support services. When issues are raised, the utility does not have to coordinate multiple vendors to resolve them and there is no handoff of responsibility to upstream or downstream providers. A single platform means dealing with one responsible vendor.

An end-to-end billing and payment platform can also lower production costs across channels through economies of scale and manage production costs (materials, print, inserting, mailing) as well as improve performance in services such as communications to undeliverable addresses.

3. Efficient processing

A single platform offers built-in automation of processes, so the utility doesn’t have to coordinate different vendors in order to fully automate parts of the billing and payments journey.

Dealing with a single payment vendor allows for integrated payment methods and streamlined collections. The improved customer experience results in less missed or late payments, and those that do slip through are managed through the streamlined collections process.

4. Easier payment reconciliation

A modern payment solution can consolidate payments from multiple channels and methods into a single source for reporting and funding. In addition, real-time posting to the utility’s CIS and ‘to the penny’ reconciliation are significant benefits to be derived from a platform (no more manual reconciliations).

Advanced reporting on the full payment lifecycle provides management information at the fingertips, including consolidated transaction reports, settlement reports, autopay management reports, amongst others.

5. Less pressure on internal IT and Operations teams

A SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform reduces the pressure on internal IT and operations teams significantly. Having a secure billing and payments platform in the Cloud places many of the security obligations that can take up so much time for internal teams into the hands of dedicated experts who are focused on uptime, security and performance. This frees up internal teams to focus on the core business of running the utility.

Automation also helps to reduce staff pressure – fewer manual processes mean less management resources.

The efficiencies to be gained from a single billing and payments platform will streamline processes for customers as well, due to a reduction in inbound call volumes and lobby traffic related to customer queries about a bill or payment. Furthermore, when a customer does make contact, the customer service representative will have all the information they need to provide a fantastic service.

 

Doxim’s utility billing and payment platform gives utility clients these 5 superpowers and more

Doxim provides a single platform for utilities to manage their billing and payment requirements from start to finish. In addition to the benefits of reducing costs, improving customer experience and increasing efficiencies, Doxim’s billing and payment solution for utilities provides features and benefits that are unique to the Doxim platform, such as:

  • The platform has been developed together with utility clients to address industry-specific pain points.
  • Doxim’s utility clients play an active role in defining the platform roadmap, which ensures that future features and functionality continue to meet the needs of the utility industry.

Doxim also offers a flexible and configurable service fee structure with a pricing strategy that is driven by reducing operational costs. Our goal is to give utility customers maximum choice and convenience while driving down the utility’s costs.

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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