BillMaster WebShare offers significant cost savings to your utility – for statement printing and postage and customer service time – and many advantages to your customers. It is a clear Win / Win circumstance… but only if your customers sign up! So how can you increase customer use of web payments?
First, focus on the message. What’s in it for the customer?
• Convenience. View your balance… or your consumption… or your statement at any time. Pay your bill or manage your account – updating address or phone – on your own schedule.
• Less Information to Track. Don’t worry about losing a paper bill: You don’t need it any more. And if you don’t want to remember one more password, make that last minute payment quickly and easily using the Guest Payment capability.
• Security. Make it harder for identity thieves who look through trash bins – no more paper bills for them to find!
• Never Miss Paying a Bill. By setting up recurring payments, you can relax knowing that your bill will be paid automatically. Or simply get an email reminder when your statement is ready. And don’t worry about your payment arriving late due to post office reductions in service.
• Save Money and Resources. Help lower your utility bill by reducing statement printing and mailing expenses. Save your own postage costs by not mailing in your payments. And last but not least, all those trees that don’t get cut down will love you.
How can you get the message out? Put it on your statement messages, or your web site, or in a separate mailing. Record it for your voice mail greeting. And most of all, make sure your employees mention it to customers. Word of mouth at the counter is a powerful tool!
You can also initiate some procedures to encourage participation and grow those benefits. Some BillMaster clients have done the following:
• Incentives. Some of our clients have set up promotions to encourage sign-ups for paperless billing. These included gift cards, free music downloads, and donations to funds that aid customers in paying their energy bills.
• Change Fee Structure. Keep convenience fees low, or eliminate them. Charge a handling fee for payments made through a live person.
• Outreach. Consider demographics. For example, do you have a substantial Spanish speaking population? If so, you might consider creating some materials in Spanish. Or reach out to ALL your customers. Send proactive notifications via email or text that bills are due, and specify that these can be paid online.
• Opt Out. Set up customers who register on the Webshare portal to get electronic statements, unless they specifically opt out. This is the default way that WebShare is delivered; however you may change if your policies are otherwise.