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Talking today's billing, payments & customer experience landscape

August 29, 2018   |   Customer Experience

Every Minute Counts: Optimizing the Top 5 Touchpoints that Impact Customer Experience

Crafting an impactful customer experience can be a challenge in the utilities industry, where the average customer spends only 8-11 minutes per year interacting with his or her utility provider. With little time to leave a lasting impression, it is important that customers perceive value in every engagement they do have with your company.

We’re taking a closer look at the main touchpoints in a utility customer’s journey, and how, by understanding what customers today want, providers can optimize key times of engagement to build satisfaction, loyalty, and positive brand perception.

1 | Signing Up for Service

New customers want to establish utility services quickly, and 70% of the time, they actually prefer a do-it-yourself approach. Online self-help tools are valuable because they empower customers to step through the sign-up process on their own and set their communication preferences from the very start. Your company can then use those preference selection insights (such as, do they prefer to be contacted by mail, text, or both?) to optimize future interactions with each new customer.

2 | Receiving Bills & Alerts

Customers value consistency in their billing statements and want advance notice of any changes to avoid surprises. In fact, 4 out of 5 energy customers would like providers to deliver proactive alerts when they are on track to receive unusually high bills, and these communications can go a long way in mitigating customer frustration and improving satisfaction. Providers can deliver additional layers of value by personalizing statements to show how a customer’s usage patterns affected the bill and present tailored tips, based on those patterns and/or their geography, to reduce costs in the future.

3 | Paying Bills

When it comes to bill payment, utility customers have wide-ranging preferences that are often influenced their age – for example, Baby Boomers are twice more likely to pay by mail than Millennials. Providers that can securely support payments across channels – whether via mail, web, text, or IVR – will deliver value by enabling customers to easily pay in a way that makes sense for them.

4 | Calling with a Question

63% of customers rank “issue resolution on first contact” as the most important element of a good call center experience. By equipping your agents with ready access to customer data and customer service tools, you can greatly improve their ability to resolve issues in real time and even turn support calls into opportunities to add value; for example, by offering the customer advice on how to lower their bill based on insights about their current energy consumption.

5 | Experiencing Unexpected or Emergency Outages

Service outages can greatly affect a customer’s day, and proactive communication in these situations can help to mitigate surprise and ultimately reduce service calls. A swift outage response strategy requires that utility providers have the ability to rapidly draft and deploy outage communications across a variety of channels to ensure they are seen by affected customers, keeping them informed with real-time status updates so they can make plans accordingly.

How else can utility providers make the most of every minute spent engaging with customers?

Find out by downloading our latest infographic, where you can discover more about what customers want out of their utility provider relationships, why it’s important to enhance their experience at every point of engagement, and how Level One empowers utility providers to make the most
out of every minute they interact with customers.

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customer communications for millenials