Utility providers are no strangers to having low customer satisfaction and engagement levels — we’re sure you don’t need a reminder about that. However, client portals can help boost customer experience and engagement in areas where utilities have generally lagged behind other industries.
Throughout the past couple of years, customer satisfaction with utility services has declined. Customer effort score, or CES, is a metric used across industries to measure the ease with which customers can use a product or service, resolve problems or find solutions. With a maximum possible score of 1,000, the utility industry’s declining average of 732 leaves something to be desired.
For utility providers looking to improve their customer satisfaction, implementing a client portal will have a major impact.
How Client Portals Increase Customer Satisfaction
Simply put, robust client portals make it easier for customers to do business with you, which helps increase their overall experience.
Here are a few examples of what client portals enable:
- Provide transparency: Portals make it easier for customers to access their account information, track their utility usage and receive important updates about service interruptions or other integral messages.
- Make bill payments easier: Client portals enable digital payments and provide an easy and accessible way for customers to view and pay their bills online. This makes for faster billing and payment processing all around.
- They offer a personalized experience: A custom client portal allows utility companies to tailor the user experience based on individual customer needs. By integrating customized dashboards, notifications and content recommendations, the portal can enhance customer satisfaction and engagement by meeting them where they’re at and providing easy access to the information they need.
- Enhanced security: Security is of utmost importance for any organization that deals with sensitive customer information, such as credit card numbers. Custom client portals are built with protection in mind, offering security features such as 2-factor authentication (2FA) to give customers, and you, peace of mind that their information is safe.
To achieve all of this, and to offer customers the experience they deserve, it’s all about developing a custom portal with their most important needs in mind.
How Client Portals Improve Efficiency
Not only do these portals provide myriad benefits for your customers — but higher customer satisfaction, in general, also improves business on your end.
Client portals can bear the burden or completely eliminate many legacy and manual tasks to streamline processes in the utility industry and help customers access services, information and support more easily.
Here are a few examples of what a custom client portal can help you achieve:
- Save time and money: Client portals produce efficiencies across the board by helping reduce traditionally manual processes to streamline payments, communications and much more.
- Build customer trust and loyalty: Happy customers are loyal customers, and providing them with the resources they need to access your services easily helps increase trust.
- Reduce strain on your customer support teams: A large part of customer satisfaction comes down to the quality of your support. With a client portal that’s built for streamlining and optimizing the customer inquiry process — for example, by enabling self-service — you can reduce some of your team’s administrative burdens. That way, they can focus on providing higher-quality service for more urgent matters.
- Collect data analytics and insights: By aggregating customer data from the portal, utility companies can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, usage patterns and preferences. This data can be utilized to optimize operations, enhance service offerings and develop targeted marketing or demand-response programs.
- Reduce the margin of error: Automating certain processes, such as payment processing, can help reduce error margins that are typical of legacy workflows, saving you money and headaches.
These examples are just a sample of what a robust client portal can help your business achieve (including boosting your CES score). But what about the customers?
How We Approach Client Portal Dev
Studies show that implementing web portals can result in a 30% increase in customer satisfaction and a 25% improvement in operational efficiency for businesses.
Don’t let inefficient communication hinder your business success – leverage the power of web portals to achieve a significant boost in customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
That being said, this is an area that you need to get right the first time. Cookie-cutter solutions often don’t provide the level of functionality that client portals require to be successful.
At Onsharp, there is no white-label software or copy-and-pasted code in sight. We work with you to build a custom client portal from the ground up. Our comprehensive discovery process helps us understand even your most unique business needs, so we can turn your pain points into pleasing customer experiences. We’ll conduct workshops to develop a deep understanding of how your business runs and the ways in which we can best support it.
After that, it’s over to our design team, who will produce and deliver a product that we, you and your customers can be proud of.
Utility companies don’t have to be doomed to endure poor customer satisfaction and engagement levels. Contact our team of experts at Onsharp today and let us help you create a powerful, user-friendly and secure client portal that helps drive customer loyalty and business growth.