New Meters, New Bills: Upgrading the Customer Experience

Upgrading the Customer Experience


Background


WHG’s client runs a small utility providing water and sewer services to approximately 1,500 customers. During a transition from an outsourced billing service to in-house billing, the township underwent a meter replacement program as well. This presented an opportunity to improve the billing process, reduce costs, and improve the services provided to their customers.


Pain Point


With the existing metering system, meter reads were infrequent, and the system was often unreliable. Estimated bills, costly manual reads, confusing bills, and unhappy customers called regularly, resulting in additional staff time to resolve.


The Opportunity


The client wanted to educate customers about the new meter system and advertise the launch of the cloud-based customer application. Additionally, the client wanted to improve the utility bill to provide a cleaner format.


The WoodHill Group Solution


New Meters

With the new system, the client can access all meters from a dashboard that provides real-time detailed usage on every connected meter. Additionally, customers can download a smartphone application and access their own account.


By adding information, screenshots, and links to register for the program to the back of the bill, initial registrations were strong.


New Bill

The Woodhill Group created a customized utility bill template specific to the client’s needs. This new format provides clear usage information, usage history, billed charges, payments, penalties, interest, and amount due. The back of the bill can be customized, providing additional information to the customer.


The back of the utility bill includes information on customer access to their own usage history, payment options, contact phone numbers, and other information as the need arises.


The report template can be used for both standard billing cycles and on-demand printing of prior bills and can be emailed directly from the billing program.


Resulting Benefits


Launching the new meter education and the new bill format at the same time provided an instant “lift” to the utility operations, by eliminating most billing issues, as well as providing more information to the customer.


While no one likes to pay their water bill, having a bill that provides clear and useful information to the customer can provide real benefits to the township and its customers. By reducing questions, the client receives fewer calls questioning charges.


Key benefits:

  • Real-time customer usage information

  • Elimination of estimated reads

  • Instant usage history

  • Meter history down to 15-minute increments

  • Reduced customer confusion

Before: After:


*click for full-size images


Printable Version of Study

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