Did you know that US households, on average, pay about 13 bills per month?
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March 28, 2019

How to Make the Billing and Payment Experience a Positive Customer Touchpoint

Did you know that US households, on average, pay about 13 bills per month? And because e-billing is growing as a billing and payment option, consumers have more online accounts, cards, alerts, and notices to track than ever before. And when you consider the paper bills many customers still receive, you’re seeing a web of channels, choices, and options customers can choose from to make payments.

When designing a better billing and payment experience, whether it’s for residential or business customers, it’s critical to look at each interaction from the customer’s point of view.

Take this scenario, for example: During a recent department meeting, you found that an increasing number of calls are coming from customers who didn’t receive a password-reset email. Most of these customers were trying to pay their bill but couldn’t access their online account.

Problem from the utility point of view:

Graphic of 4 people around a table with laptops “Our password reset emails are taking more than 160 seconds to reach our customers.”

“We need to increase the speed and deliverability of these emails so customers can log in and pay their bills.”

Problem from the customer point of view:

Graphic of a woman sitting on the couch with a laptop “Why do I have to log in to pay my bill? Why can’t I use my bill to pay my bill? Can’t you make it easier for me to pay you?”

Solution:

Graphic of a woman sitting at a table with an idea lightbulb lit up and she's cheering “What if we made it so that customers didn’t have to log in to pay their bills?”

“Genius!”

For many customers, their only interaction with their electric or gas utility is during billing and payment; it’s critical to get those interactions right because they can define the customer experience. It takes a skilled team to engineer an intuitive bill experience, to design flexible payment options, and to move from vision to implementation.

During our April 2 web conference From Bill to Payment: Improving the Customer Experience, we’ll discuss how we helped Nashville Electric Service and Ameren Corp. identify and prioritize billing and payment solutions to meet the differing needs of their customer segments. E Source CEO Wayne Greenberg shared a glimpse into this process during the opening plenary at the 2018 E Source Forum.

Join us for the From Bill to Payment: Improving the Customer Experience web conference on April 2, 2019, to learn more about:

  • Best practices in reimagining the customer bill to be more intuitive and user-friendly
  • The effects of introducing new and more-flexible payment options on customer satisfaction
  • Technology and vendor considerations when making changes to the billing and payment experience
Register now

Additional resources to help you design the best billing and payment experience (available with certain E Source memberships):

About the author

headshot of Melanie Wemple

MELANIE WEMPLE

Managing Director

Melanie leads customer journey-mapping workshops for large and small electric and gas utilities, and she uses her deep understanding of utility operations to design and implement strategies that enhance customer interactions and improve utility operations. As part of her workshops, she convenes senior leadership to identify and prioritize the gaps between the utility’s current customer experience and what that experience should be. Melanie works closely with clients to design change management and communications plans that are rooted in the organization’s culture to ensure that the agreed-upon strategies can be deployed effectively. Among her recent projects, Melanie has helped major US and Canadian utilities transform the customer outage experience. Her topical expertise also includes electric and gas energy-efficiency and demand-response programs.

E Source Jim Rogers Innovation Award
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Let us know what you think. If you want to weigh in or chat about this topic, just email Sannie Sieper, E Source director of marketing.

Contributing Authors

Managing Director, Consulting and Advisory Services

Melanie Wemple leads customer journey-mapping workshops for large and small electric and gas utilities, and uses her deep understanding of utility...