Customers found NES’s bill design difficult to understand. After billing cycles, customers regularly called the NES contact center to get help with unclear charges, inconsistent energy usage graphs, confusing alerts, and a lack of detailed billing information.
To ease the customer service team’s workload and improve the experience of its growing customer base, NES set out to update its residential and business customer bill design. But the utility needed help creating the ideal design, mapping the bill data, planning effective deployment, and choosing print and e-bill vendors.
In response to these challenges, NES partnered with E Source. Together, NES and E Source made it their mission to tackle billing pain points and introduce a new, customer-focused design.
Throughout the project, E Source used its industry experience and connections to:
- Identify existing issues. E Source led prototyping workshops with internal stakeholders and facilitated customer focus groups to better understand billing issues and opportunities.
- Conduct research. E Source developed research-backed solutions by interviewing stakeholders, leading customer focus groups, and benchmarking best-in-class bills from utilities across the US and Canada.
- Update bill designs. E Source made the feedback work for NES and created new residential and business bill designs to address employee and customer concerns.
- Identify source data. E Source mapped NES’s source data to make sure that the new bill design referenced existing data or showed where data enhancements were needed.
- Choose vendors. E Source developed technology requirements for NES’s RFP to choose e-bill and print-bill vendors.
With the support of NES, E Source turned voice-of-the-customer and voice-of-the-employee feedback into actionable bill design components that use on-brand colors, clearly highlight payment information, and provide a specific area for important messages (figure 1).
Since the launch of the new bill design and e-bill technology, NES has seen a steady decrease in bill-related calls to the contact center. Customers have also embraced the new e-billing system, and NES has seen improvement in customer and employee experience.
Along with providing clear information, the new bill design helps guide customers on their energy usage. The energy usage graph on the redesign is cleaner and easier for customers to understand. And the accompanying energy consumption summary provides customers with personalized high-level and month-to-month usage trends.
Paula Geruntino, customer relations manager at NES, stated:
We’ve seen real savings with the new bill design. We’ve noticed fewer high bill complaints. And when customers call, we can resolve the issue faster, shaving significant time off each interaction. The redesigned bill made our disconnect notices and other billing messages clearer and reduced calls and confusion about the amount to be paid and the due date.