Atlanta, GA, June 2, 2008 — More utilities are enticing customers to self-service transactions on the Internet by broadening their online services, Chartwell found in its latest report, “Web-based Customer Service in the Utility Industry 2008.”
Utilities have expanded their Web-based menus to customers the past year. Six services — bill payment, bill presentment, eBill signup, view payment history, view energy usage and bank drafting signup — are available on Web sites at least 70 percent of organizations across North America.
Additionally, several services have seen tremendous growth in the past few years. Viewing payment history and energy usage have almost doubled in the past three years, while managing account information almost tripled. Chartwell found the next set of online services utilities are looking to incorporate into their Web sites include outage checking and reporting. The report also looked at new and emerging online services.
“Utilities are catering to customers’ demands and are satisfying their own wishes of lowering costs with additional online services,” said Doris Yon, Chartwell’s customer care series research analyst. “While utilities have made great strides in improving their online services, few organizations reap the benefits of fully automated processes. Most utilities still require back-end processing on many of their services.”
“Web-based Customer Service in the Utility Industry 2008” is based on surveys from 46 North American utilities. It is a recurring report in Chartwell’s customer care series, and the 124-page publication includes responses from all participating utilities and features analysis detailing issues such as:
* Current deployment stage of common Web-based services;
* Figures on customer adoption of certain services;
* Top services being offered, planned and considered;
* Automation and management strategies for various services;
* Electronic communication with customers; and more.
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