Customers from the water utility industry expect the best. With technology at everybody’s fingertips, the importance of access to insights and possible savings opportunities cannot be overlooked. With utilities being used by just about everybody, a billing software could really be a game changer. If you are looking to evaluate a water utility billing software, we have some advice for you. Read on to know what you should be looking at when it comes to a holistic water utility billing software!
A single source of truth to keep every stakeholder happy
This helps everybody – your customers, supervisors, field staff, customer reps. A single view of data covering important information like usage, trends, bills, complaints, resolution, service requests, usage alerts etc. can be of great help to users since they can monitor their usage and look for specific anomalies to plan better. It also helps provide opportunities for savings. A 360-degree view of data also enables field staff and customer reps to answer relevant questions in an efficient manner. Historical data pertaining to rates applied in the past, offers made, meter changes, consumption patterns and work orders processed can be looked at to provide insights and helpful suggestions in a more proactive manner.
24*7 availability to ensure round-the-clock, updated insights and service
A water utility billing software which is available 24*7 is what is guaranteed to provide ultimate customer delight. When requests are raised, the last thing that a customer would like to do is to call up the customer service agents a hundred times to know the status. A real-time map-view of the field staff and their whereabouts can be the ultimate saviour in such situations. Such a system can also make it easier for customers to give feedback and keep coming back for more. Live dashboards and custom reports can make it easier to dive deeper into specific requirements.
An amalgamation of billing and payment features topped up with smart business rules
Using different vendors for myriad services is sure to lead to more information silos and fragmented systems. When such systems are brought together, collating data from multiple points can be a major nightmare. A smarter way would be to look at a solution that can combine all the important factors like billing, payments, reports, customer service, etc. together. Here, billing processes, rate changes, service agreement terms etc. can all be managed through one platform. In fact, a good utility software should also help set up business rules as per requirements, while also generating compliance-ready transactions for finance to execute and pay the amounts on time. Auto-pay and relevant notices for outstanding or disconnection events are also good considerations if one wants to provide top-notch services to their customers.
A mobile-friendly user interface to provide details on the go
With mobile usage seeing a drastic increase (A whopping 97% of Americans use a smartphone according to a 2021 Pew Research study while 6.4 Billion people use a smartphone globally as on 2021), having a water utility billing software which can be accessed via mobile phones is a given. In fact, with people on the move, a utility software app which can provide quick updates and snapshots related to usage, queries, service requests etc. can really come in handy. When we talk about the field staff too, having details at the fingertips can help them respond to issues more efficiently. Again, the most important factor- getting and receiving feedback for specific service requests or work orders – becomes a cakewalk since it won’t take too much time. Providing relevant training material to staff also becomes easier if they are able to access material as per their convenience.
A system infused with smart meters
Advanced meter devices covering the entire spectrum of water, energy, gas etc. helps companies manage business operations smoothly. Having a two-way communication between operators and customers is also an important feature. Such a system helps provide accurate billing, manage power outages, and detect energy thefts detection. Faster service restoration and relevant alerts for usage increase and anomalies can also enhance customer trust. When a customer places a service request, dispatching staff also becomes more efficient and prompt.
Artificial intelligence and data insights are the keys to happy customers and happier staff. The same is true for utilities too. A water utility billing software which can leverage the power of AI can help companies gain greater transparency, efficiencies and operational effectiveness. Customers can get relevant insights about their usage so they can look for savings opportunities. The field staff can plan their work and delight the customers in the entire process.
The above pointers can act as guide for you to evaluate water utility billing solutions available in the market. Opting for a solution which will be beneficial to all your stakeholders is the best tip that we can provide. If this is something that you are keen to achieve, contact us today!