How Digital Customer Bill Access Can Give Energy Providers a Competitive Advantage
After last month’s winter storm, all eyes were on Texas as snow and freezing temperatures left millions of people without power. While the power outages were disastrous, resulting in substantial damage and loss of life, one city escaped the debacle unscathed: El Paso, TX. The city’s ongoing investments into weather protection paid off, leaving the city with a more resilient grid and better protected customers. How can the rest of the distributed energy market emulate El Paso’s success?
Contributing to a resilient grid is clearly essential to climate adaptation, but it requires energy providers to diversify their power sources, especially regarding renewables. In order to make this diversification profitable, distributed energy providers will need to equip themselves with digital tools that can support and accelerate the expansion of their products and services. Let’s explore the top three reasons to invest in digital customer tools.
In this highly competitive industry, many providers are not only growing in revenue and territory but also directly acquiring other providers. However, without digital tools, customer invoice management and services that work well in one state won’t easily translate to another, slowing the growth of retail energy providers.
Digital customer bill access helps retailers easily analyze customer rates, recommend the right rate structures, and prove the savings driven for customers.
For example, because Texas’ energy market is deregulated and deliberately encourages competition, energy customers are empowered by their ability to see and compare rates, contract terms, and services across providers. Digital customer bill access also benefits providers, by enabling them to analyze customer rates, recommend the right rate structures, and prove the savings driven for customers – ultimately improving customer satisfaction and retention.
Providers operating in states outside of Texas can likewise reap the benefits of digital customer bill access. If retail energy providers can find nationwide access to customer invoices, they can rapidly expand operations across borders and continue driving new revenue opportunities.
A digital customer experience
Across industries, the demand for a better online customer experience has grown since the start of the pandemic – and the distributed energy market shouldn’t fall behind. Customers desire a fully digital experience, from any location and on any device. For energy providers, the digital transformation can do more than improve the efficiency of internal processes. It can empower providers to build a customer-centric approach and gain a competitive advantage.
Today’s energy customers demand a fully digital experience, from any location and on any device.
Customers want a seamless experience that allows them to access and pay their bills online or through a mobile app. This can be accelerated with digital customer bill access. By consolidating all of a customer’s energy invoices into a single payment interface, retailers can better control the user experience, become a more convenient option for customers, and boost retention and satisfaction.
Expanding new products and services
Offering new products and services to existing customers enables retail energy providers to grow their revenue and improve their environmental impact. As consumers continue to expect a more personalized approach from companies, digital tools will play a vital role in helping these new products succeed.
For example, Dutch-based energy company Eneco took an innovative approach to sell its new Toon smart-energy product. Toon not only provides customers with tips on how to save energy but analyzes monthly energy consumption and costs to demonstrate cost savings driven by energy efficiency habits. By incorporating customer data and digital tools, Eneco increased its revenue, reduced churn rates, and improved the usability and reliability of its products.
Arcadia’s easy-to-use interface has empowered companies like Goldman Sachs to sign up all of their employees at once for clean energy access.
Eneco isn’t the only company tapping into its existing customer base; utility disruptor Arcadia has also managed to gain a competitive advantage and rapid market growth. Within a single interface, Arcadia customers can view their energy bills, offset consumption with renewable sources, and sign up for community solar opportunities. This easy-to-use interface has empowered companies such as Goldman Sachs to sign up all of their employees at once for clean energy access.
Digital tools are vital to the successful expansion of new product and service offerings. With digital customer bill access across several providers, retailers can create personalized service and product offerings based on customer behavior, demonstrate cost savings driven, and effortlessly influence the customer’s relationship with their power sources, resulting in maximum upsell opportunities.
Create new opportunities with digital customer bill access
Leveraging the right tools is key to gaining a competitive advantage in distributed energy. Digital customer bill access can help you streamline the customer experience while maximizing customer retention and upsell opportunities.
Urjanet provides direct and automated access to customer invoices from thousands of providers across the globe. To learn how to gain permissioned customer bill access, read more about our services or get in touch with our utility data experts today.
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About Ma-Keba Frye
Ma-Keba Frye is a Content Marketing Associate at Urjanet, assisting with content development and execution. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and volunteering.