Your utility needs a website that keeps pace with the modern world. Today, companies do a ton of business online. With Amazon taking the world by storm, consumers can find almost anything they need in the depths of the internet. With such broad access to just about anything one could hope to find, it comes as no shock that consumers expect their utilities to join the ranks.
Why your utility needs a good website
Modern consumers expect to be able to manage nearly every aspect of their world through the internet. While the additional demands on your utility may seem frustrating at first, providing a better online experience has several benefits for your utility.
A good website makes it easier for your utility to
- Answer questions without spending excessive time on the phone
- Educate consumers
- Collect payments
- Notify customers of maintenance or other issues
Check out these tips for improving our utility�s website.
Tips for optimizing your utility’s website
An intuitive website makes it easier for your customers to find what they need�fast. And that�s a win-win for you. When they a e able to find what they need without personal assistance, your phone rings far less and you can spend more time attending to other demands.
Try improving your website with these tips:
- Provide resources: You know that there are many demands on your utility that often go unnoticed or misunderstood by your customers. Take the time to provide resources on your website. Providing educational materials and links to other resources can go a long way toward giving your customers the information they are seeking without spending extra time on the phone. Give them plenty of resources on your website and make it easy to find.
- Make it easy to pay: One of the primary responsibilities for utilities is processing consumer payments. Until recently, this involved mountains of checks and manual verification as banks processed paperwork. Now, payments can be made much faster and far easier. Make sure that your website is equipped with a way to make secure payments, whether through your own site or using a third-party service.
- Provide an easy-to-use menu structure: Good websites offer an easy-to-use menu structure. Make it easy to find all pages and resources from a clear, concise, organized menu.
- Make links easy to find: Don�t send your customer on a wild goose chase. You have likely already made efforts to provide resources that you hope will save time, both for you and the customer. Don�t make them difficult to find. Introduce important information on the homepage and add hyperlinks to the associated information. For example, this may include
- Conservation tips
- Scheduled maintenance
- Utility services and products
- Frequently asked questions
- Staff members
- Safety tips
- Links to government resources
- Service interruptions
- Offer updates for maintenance or other projects: Using digital channels to inform your customers of service interruptions and maintenance can save you a ton in money and paper. Try putting a notice on your website explaining the update, maintenance schedule, or service interruption. This could save you loads of time answering phone calls. As an added bonus, you could try using email to notify customers directly. If you choose this method, make sure to include a link to the page on your website that offers more information.
- Provide multiple contact options and make them easy to find: Most websites include an electronic form for general questions. Consider including a form that allows the user to enter a name and email address with their question. This is a good way for customers to contact you with non-urgent requests or questions. It also allows you some flexibility for when and how you will answer the inquiry. But remember, even with flexibility it�s a good idea to offer some answer within 24 hours of receiving the inquiry. In addition to the form, don�t forget to include a contact number where customers can reach an actual person. This is important for customers with urgent questions or concerns.
Keeping your website up to date and easy to use will only make things easier for your utility. Check out our post for more tips on improving customer service at your utility.