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December 20, 2017   |   Mobile Strategy

Happier Customers, Faster Payments: How the Right Mobile Strategy Gets You There

Did you know the average American adult spends up to almost three hours on his or her smartphone each day? Many are already using to using their mobile devices to transact as well. Research by Visa found global mobile payments growth is expected to increase 14-fold from 2010 through 2017, and reveals that by 2020, consumers will rely primarily on mobile payments for buying goods and services, sending money, and doing business.

Your Direct Line to More Engaged Customers

For utility providers, mobile presents an exciting new avenue to engage with customers on a platform that has become a natural part of their everyday life. With consumers becoming more comfortable with the idea of mobile payments, and the numbers for smartphone usage only growing, now is the time for utilities to invest in mobile as a channel, to keep ahead of these exploding trends.

Now is the time for utilities to invest in mobile as a channel, to keep ahead of these exploding trends.

By offering user-friendly eBilling and mobile payment options, you can empower customers with the flexibility to access account information and pay bills wherever they are, increasing satisfaction through added convenience. But the benefits go well beyond that.

Mobile gives you a direct line to your customers, allowing you to consistently engage them in ways that build your brand perception and increase their loyalty. These communications, whether pushed to their phone as payment notifications, due date reminders, or service updates, help you build stronger, more personalized customer relationships and receive payments faster and with more timeliness than ever before.

Let’s take a closer look at some common scenarios involving utility customers today, and how the right mobile strategy can lead to better outcomes.

Scenario 1: Customer Appreciates Reminders

Solution: Text Notifications

Customers today are busier than ever, and it can be easy to lose sight of payment deadlines. With a mobile solution, you can allow them to opt-in to receive proactive notifications of upcoming due dates pushed right to their phone. These consistent reminders can be the simple solution that busy customers need to keep due dates top of mind, which can lead to more on-time and even early payments.

Secnario 2: Customer Wants to Avoid Late Fees or Shutoff

Solution: Mobile Account Access

Let’s say a customer realizes their payment is due by midnight, but they don’t have access to a computer and it’s too late to send it in the mail. With mobile payments, the customer won’t risk late charges or shutoff because they are empowered to pay from anywhere they are, in an instant—whether travelling, out to lunch, or in the comfort of their own home. They simply log into their account via a secure, user-friendly mobile interface and complete the payment within minutes.

Mobile account access not only offers a new level of convenience and flexibility for customers to pay on the go, but it also helps you accelerate remittance at a lower cost compared to non-electronic formats.

Scenario 3: Customer Values the Convenience of Text

Solution: Pay-by-Text

According to a study by OpenMarket, customers ages 18-34 cited texting as the most preferred communication channel for receiving notifications from businesses, with email coming in a close second and voice a distant third. To satisfy this new breed of utility consumer—and the future bulk of your customer base—utilities need to consider a pay-by-text solution. With a single, simple text confirmation, you customers can quickly authorize secure payment from the source linked to their account, cutting the entire payment process to a few seconds on their end at a reduced cost for your business compared to more traditional channels like IVR.

The Future of Mobile is Now—and Brings Rapid Benefits

Mobile payment options are quickly becoming an expectation of customers who are immersed in a mobile world, making it a channel that utility providers can no longer overlook. But beyond the need to meet changing preferences, a well-designed mobile strategy will give you a new, real-time channel to interact with your utility consumers, creating more engaged, satisfied, and loyal customers that are more likely to pay on time, every time.

To help utilities prepare for the future of payments, Level One offers Mobile solutions that integrate seamlessly and securely with your other billing and payment channels. Our responsively designed Customer Self-Service portal, eBills, and customer communication documents are all mobile-optimized to allow customers to view and pay bills via their smartphone with ease, and leverage convenient options like pay-by-text to remit payments in a timely manner.

All this drives streamlined processes and accelerated payment collection for your business, and ensures you remain on the leading edge of a rapidly growing channel.

If you’d like to learn how you can apply these mobile strategies to your business, we’d be happy to discuss in more detail. Feel free to schedule a conversation with our team today.