30 Apr Utility Organizations who don’t pay attention to the needs of their staff and customers will suffer the consequences.
Technology is changing quickly and the habits of your customers with it. Gone are the days
when they expect to have to line up to pay their bills or send a check in an envelope – They love the convenience of paying online and increasingly, paying on their mobile device!
Just look at the statistics:
59% of bills are now paid electronically, compared with just 19% in 2003. By 2014, 41% of Americans were paying their bills on a mobile device with numbers expected to increase exponentially each year. But many utility organizations are lagging behind in the dark ages – a staggering 75% of them do not even offer online bill pay functionality!
As you can imagine, this leads to frustration from customers, with an incredible 74% saying that a lack of online bill pay leads to higher dissatisfaction levels with their utility provider. Of course they call and complain – Experts estimate that 60% of calls to utility companies are from unhappy customers calling about billing challenges!!
Think about this for a minute: The majority of complaints that are tying up staff and frustrating them are related to a lack of online bill pay functionality! Studies also show that it can costs a utility organization an additional $100,000 every year to continue using a paper based billing system.
Handling complaints has a big impact on staff morale. It leads to staff becoming disengaged and has a marked effect on productivity. Added to the stress of using outdated, manual systems with little or no support and you have a work environment that few people really want to be a part of.
When 86% of utilities say that an aging workforce is a critical challenge, with nearly 1/3 of all critical employees retiring from some organizations within just five years, having an attractive work environment is a necessity.
This lethal combination of dissatisfied customers, low staff morale, outdated manual systems and an aging workforce will ultimately plunge some organizations into chaos. New employees will be hard to attract and keep, the added pressure on remaining employees will lead to greater retention problems, a decrease in productivity causing an increase in customer complaints and you have a downward spiral.