For the last eight years, Fiserv, a global company in the financial services industry, publishes an Annual Billing Household Survey. This survey reports trends in how consumers receive and pay their bills.
Customers want choices
This graphic, from page 20 of the report, highlights how offering different billing and payment options impact customer satisfaction (clicking on any of the graphics will open a larger image in a new window):
Multiple payment options
Almost as if it were written for the audience of this blog, consider this quote from the graphic on page 21 of the report:
“The expectation of multiple payment options does not vary depending on the type of biller. In fact, consumers expect a local utility to provide the same options as a national wireless carrier or cable provider.”
As the graphic shows, 79% of customers expect your utility to provide the same options as much larger national companies:
Preferred payment options
According to the survey respondents, as shown in the graphic below from page 8 of the report, the majority of online households prefer to pay their bill at your website, ahead of paying by check:
“Between the Seventh and Eighth Annual Billing Household Surveys, there was a 72 percent increase in consumers making payments at both biller and financial institution websites. Paying bills at a financial institution’s site also grew significantly by 55 percent.”
Clearly, the trend is toward paying bills online, whether that is your website or the customer’s financial institution’s website. The next Utility Information Pipeline issue will deal with automating payments made by your customers using their bank’s online bill pay.
The final statistic I want to highlight is how important paperless billing is becoming to customers. The graphic pictured below, from page 14 of the report, shows that 79% of households receive some of their bills electronically, and 25% receive all bills paperlessly.
Are you offering your customers the choices they want?
Are you offering your customers all the payment options they desire? Are you offering paperless billing? If the answer to either question is “no”, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how a business review could help you learn how your office could better meet your customer’s needs.
© 2016 Gary Sanders