Why Utilities Must Simplify Utility Bill Payment

by | May 13, 2021

Utilities Need A Partner That Shows Innovative Thinking When It Comes To Offering Payment Options That Meet Consumers’ Needs

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the need for many service providers, such as banks, insurers and of course, utilities to provide their members/customers with alternative ways to interact with them. Many physical service locations were closed temporarily, and lockdown prevented customers from going to stores or service centers to conduct their personal business.

Having been forced to adopt digital alternatives, customers now expect and rely on businesses to offer convenient ways to interact without meeting face-to-face.

While the pandemic forced many customer services online, it also heightened the need for efficient, simple processes that enable potentially anxious customers to go about their business, stress-free. For example, customers expect convenient methods of payment, both virtual (online, pay by text, IVR, etc.) and physical (service centers, retail stores, etc.) And so, it’s essential that utilities simplify utility bill payment.

Let your customer choose how they want to pay their utility bill

Physical
  • Mail in a check
  • Visit the service center
  • Pay in person through a kiosk
  • Pay at participating retail stores
Digital
  • Secure online portal
  • IVR
  • Mobile application
  • Pay by text/email

Bill payment is not a task customers look forward to each month

One way to ease customer frustration and avoid adding to the stress of paying monthly bills, is to simplify utility bill payment. Providing the customer with a choice of physical and digital ways to pay is key – let the customer decide which method is most convenient at the given moment.

With digital payment methods, the key is to offer something for everyone – whether it’s a mobile application, a secure portal, a credit card payment facility – each customer needs to be able to select the payment method most suited to them.

While virtual payment options meet the needs of many customers, especially in the utility realm, there are those who prefer cash payments, along with a tangible experience and a physical receipt.

When it comes to physical methods, it is all about enabling customers to pay their utility bills quickly and efficiently. Some will choose to write a check and mail it in. Others will prefer to pay their bill at the same time as completing other tasks – such as at a retail store while doing their shopping.

So, how can utilities meet these customer needs amid facility closures and limited staffing on-site?

Look for a partner that shows innovative thinking when it comes to payment options that meet consumers’ needs.

Doxim’s utility clients are reducing operational burden and infrastructure costs by outsourcing their billing and payment to us.

Doxim has partnered with Fiserv to offer Checkfreepay, a solution that enables billers to offer in-person payment at over 30,000 retail locations nationwide. Consumers can enjoy the convenience of being able to pay their bill at any of the participating retail stores. SPEAK TO DOXIM ABOUT OUR EXTENSIVE RANGE OF UTILITY BILL PAYMENT OPTIONS

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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