This special interest group covers mobile technologies and approaches that are helping utilities do business today. 

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Texting’s Potential Business Benefits

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Utilities have a productivity tool at their disposal that in many cases is underutilized. Few energy companies integrate texting into their enterprise applications. Yet, making that change enables them to connect faster and more effectively with employees and customers

This channel is very responsive. Many people keep their cell phones on and within reach 24/7. As a result, more than 90% of mobile users read a text within four minutes of receiving it., making SMS a good choice for quickly contacting them.

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Texting improves productivity in a few ways. In the past, managers walked to a cubicle in order to have a brief conversation with an employee. Now, many workers are homebound, and managers are far, far away. Texting enables executives to send cohorts a quick message.

Utility maintenance crews operate in the field and can have trouble providing the main office with updated repair information. Increasingly, workforce management tools added texting support to their systems. As a result, data entry is simplified, and information is relayed faster.  

Keep Your Distance

Texting has been helpful in meeting new social distancing requirements. Employees visit customer sites to check on problem equipment, recommend upgrades, or install equipment. Many clients are nervous about such interactions during these precarious times. Texting provides utility employees with a means to communicate with customers and still maintain a safe distance.  

Texting is also a simple and productive way to service consumers One area where it has been helpful is notifying them of service interruptions. In this case, utilities inform customers of outages and send them updates as the system status changes.

A Customer Service Tool

Customer service is another area that is ripe with possibilities. Increasingly, consumers feel comfortable and in many cases prefer that companies deliver promotions via text messages rather than other channels.

Texting streamlines communications. A SMS platform can automatically inform delinquent clients that their service is about to be turned off.

Mobile payments have become quite popular among consumers because of their convenience. Texting provides customers with a link to a payment page, so they pay their bills online. The medium can also inform customers when their contracts are up for renewal.

Let’s Chat  

Texting has become a popular customer service option. Increasingly, utilities rely on chat to provide consumers with answers to queries. Millennials especially feel comfortable with this communications channel.  

The technology may also help energy efficiency programs. With it, utilities deliver personalized tips that help customers reduce their energy bills. Such interactions increase customer satisfaction and retention rates.

Along with the growth of mobile devices has come an increase in the use of texting as a communications medium. To date many utilities have been slow to incorporate the technology into their daily operations, however, it has the potential to improve employee communication, workgroup support, and customer service.

Paul Korzeniowski's picture
Thank Paul for the Post!
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