A more efficient billing system and reduced customer service costs have been delivered by giving utility customers a portal that allows them to manage their own account transactions online.
Customer service overheads have been reduced while accuracy and efficiency of billing systems is vastly improved.
My Account Portal Gives Major Utility Company’s Customers Self-Service
Utilities providers are under relentless pressure to deliver better shareholder returns by reducing costs and increasing efficiencies. At the same time, they need to deliver consistent, secure supply and fast, effective customer service. For this New Zealand utility company, a big part of the answer to this challenge lay in implementing a sophisticated yet simple-to-use web-based customer portal.
The Challenge: To create a secure and flexible online solution that could respond to rapidly changing business requirements
The My Account portal lets the company’s 500,000+ customers securely access and update their account details, record their own meter readings, view invoices, and pay their bills online, whenever and wherever they wish.
The My Account portal provides the utility company with an online channel for effective targeted marketing and customer research.
Customers can easily track their own usage and billing history, so they can make sure their invoices are correct. They can also track upcoming payment due dates to ensure they always get their prompt payment discount.
The My Account portal also provides a perfect channel for the company to deliver information on new products and services to targeted audiences, and to gather intelligence on customer preferences through the use of online surveys.
Integration expertise makes Optimation the logical choice
When it came to designing, building, and rolling out the My Account portal, we drew on our experience using an SOA web services-capable middleware solution to integrate a variety of disparate legacy applications. This allows the business to make much better use of existing hardware, software, and infrastructure investments.
We built the My Account portal solution on open source products that provide seamless application-to-application integration, business-to-business integration, and business process management.
The benefits delivered include:
Open source-based software development and integration extends standard functionality while supporting the company’s unique business rules and processes.
- Reduced customer service costs as inbound calls have decreased
- A more accurate and efficient billing system that uses real-time meter readings instead of estimated readings
- More productive customer service staff as they are able to focus on high priority issues such as faults rather than routine account and billing enquiries
- Reduced customer churn because customers are happier
- An online channel that is ideal for targeted marketing of products and services