Case Study: CO water utility improves customer service with new bill payment solution
CO's Castle Rock Water recently began a search for a new billing services provider that could further expand the quality of its customer service. As such, it implemented a new online bill presentment technology, which formed the core of the utility department's new service.
HAMILTON, NJ, July 10, 2014 -- In 2013, Castle Rock Water, located in the town of Castle Rock, Colo., began a search for a new billing services provider that could further expand the quality of its customer service. It wanted a partner with not only one-stop, end-to-end billing options, but also a commitment to exceptional support. In particular, Castle Rock Water wanted to implement a more robust electronic bill presentment and payment program (EBPP).
The town, comprising roughly 55,000 residents and located 35 miles south of Denver, conducted research that showed most residents were ready for more electronic payment options. "This is a tech-savvy town," said Anne Glassman, business solutions manager for Castle Rock Water. "We have a lot of business travelers, a lot of commuters. People are on the go, and they rely on technology tools. We're very aware of the fact that customers want convenience and reliability from their water provider."
As a viable solution, Castle Rock Water implemented Billtrust's e-Bill Connect, an online bill presentment technology, which formed the core of the utility department's new service. The system allows water and wastewater utilities to present their customers with a secure, easy-to-use online site for viewing, managing and paying their bills. With e-Bill Connect, residents have access to important billing information they need, whether it's a new copy of their bill or previous payment totals, resulting in fewer calls into the office, for example.
Castle Rock Water has augmented this offering with eBank Connect, enabling customers to pay bills electronically through their bank; Mobile Connect, Billtrust's mobile-based product for viewing and paying bills; and QuickPay Connect, which leverages an Automated Clearing House (ACH) network to allow quick, one-time electronic payment without enrolling in full online account access. To make payments even easier, customers are able to enroll in automatic payments using their bank or credit card account.
With e-Bill Connect, the new water bill statement is simpler and easier to understand for the customer. It also focuses on ease of connecting to the account. To accomplish this goal, the town added different conveniences. A QR code is printed on the statement that Billtrust mails. When scanned using a smartphone or tablet, the customer is brought directly to their account access page where they can enter their account number and make payments and manage their account via mobile applications.
To announce its new electronic payment options, Castle Rock Water and Community Relations worked with Billtrust to implement a multi-faceted e-Adoption campaign. Messages on printed statements; bill inserts; Facebook posts and staggered note messaging; social media tweets; postcards; press releases; editorial about benefits of H20 Access in the town's Outlook magazine; Town Hall LED signage; and continual promotion by the utility department's customer service representatives helped get the word out.
Castle Rock Water is also realizing other benefits, including lower payment processing costs through Billtrust's Merchant Services program, as well as utilizing other service additions like Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which allows customer to check account balances and make payments over the phone 24/7. Accordingly, in the first four months after the program's January 2014 debut, 22 percent of its water customers had gone paperless, and 59 percent of customers who created an online account now pay electronically on a regular basis.
Billtrust is a provider of outsourced billing solutions. Its products and services help companies' billing practices become "Customer-Centric," a concept that emphasizes flexible accommodation of customer needs. Billtrust's billing channels span paper, fax, e-mail, online billing, AP systems, eBanking and IVR. In addition, the company provides expert bill design, in-bill marketing services and CustomerCare, an integrated online customer service portal. Billtrust's comprehensive tools automate the billing process so businesses can save money, increase productivity, improve cash flow, and seamlessly migrate to electronic delivery. For more information, visit www.billtrust.com.