Communication Solutions for Utility Providers

Provide better customer service, and collect more payments with highly effective communication journeys.

The current climate in the utility sector is challenging for providers to say the least. The pressure is on to make customers happier, while at the same time providing services in a more cost-effective way.

With this in mind, utility providers have to carefully consider their communication strategies for both their own and their customer’s benefit.

Whether the issue is providing better customer service tools, intuitive billing platforms, or more effective means of collecting missed payments, careful consideration has to be given to how to best engage with all types of utility customers.

How can digital communication tools help utility providers?

Our communication channels are designed to help utility providers provide the self-serve tools required for great customer service, and also helping to reduce cost to serve.

Mobile Web-Apps

Mobile web-apps (or Mobile Journeys as we call them), are a great way to get customers from A to B in any automated digital process.

The way they work is easy. An SMS is sent to the customer containing a link to a series of mobile optimised web pages. The pages provide an app-like experience, removing the distractions of conventional web-pages which in turn, increases the likelihood of a process conversion.

Mobile web-apps are also completely customisable, meaning your company branding and images can be easily reflected.

Use cases:

  • Provide meter readings
  • Supply bills and payment platforms
  • Payment reminders
  • Arrange engineer appointments
  • Collect data / conduct surveys

SMS Chat

Utility providers can offer their customers a non-intrusive, and convenient way to have real-time conversations with agents by using SMS Chat.

Customers can start an interaction at any time or place, and then pick up the conversation again at a time that suits them. SMS Chat also means that multiple conversations can be handled by a single agent simultaneously.

Use cases:

  • Account enquiries
  • Complaint handling
  • Provide meter readings
  • Payment reminders
  • Payment processing (via Mobile Journeys link)

Voice

Inbound and Outbound voice systems are sophisticated telephony systems which allow customers to use their telephone keypads to make selections and progress an interaction.

They provide utility providers with the means to supply completely automated interactions which are convenient for customers, and also free up in-house agents time to focus on other tasks.

Use cases:

  • Satisfaction surveys
  • Payment reminders
  • Automated payment processing
  • Arrange engineer appointments
  • FAQs
  • Call routing

RCS/SMS Landing Pages

RCS represents the next evolution of customer communications in the utility sector. It provides the power to send rich, visually engaging content to customers, while at the same time offering an array of new functionalities like predictive responses, rich cards and payment tools. Landing pages provide the power to send equally rich content to any mobile devices which don’t support RCS.

Both platforms provide significant cost-saving, and tracability benefits when compared with traditional paper-based communications.

Use cases:

  • Collect meter readings
  • Provide tariff selection facilities
  • Chat style customer service
  • Bill payments
  • Frequently asked questions.

Intelligent Multichannel

Utility providers can capitalise on using a combination of Esendex’s communication channels to create convenient, self-serve interactions for customers. This improves customer satisfaction by giving customers the power to drive interactions in the channel they are most comfortable with, which in turn improves the chances of a conversion.

By combining utility providers big data, with Esendex’s communication channels our Professional Services team will design a workflow which uses automatic decision engines to decide the most appropriate routes to contacting customers based on the details available.

Boosting collection rates for utility provider npower

Here’s how npower worked with Esendex to develop a workflow which automatically reminded customers about outstanding payments, and increased payment rates from 4% to 19%.

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