Upgrading the Customer Experience
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Real-time customer usage information
Elimination of estimated reads
Instant usage history
Meter history down to 15-minute increments
Reduced customer confusion
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