The Ratepayer Is Asking: What’s in It for Me?

People hate surprises, at least on their utility bills. And some customers want to know if all of their conservation efforts are paying off, in real time.

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Your customers are busy. The ‘Value of Water’ message gets drowned out by the other 5,000 messages people are now bombarded by every day across multiple channels. There’s still something that will get their attention though: WIIFM (What’s in it for me?).

“By this point, water utilities know the benefits of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI),” said Ian MacLeod, vice president of marketing for Master Meter, during a recent panel at Texas Water. “It’s time to shift the focus towards how these systems benefit the customer.”

So what do your customers value? In today’s world, customers can control most aspects of their lives. In one sentence to Alexa, they can check the weather, set the thermostat, order groceries, schedule alarms, and hear a joke. People get what they ask for when they want it.

Traditional meter systems get people information 30 days behind, at least. So that means that seemingly innocent toilet that’s been running for the past 30 days will equate to some severe sticker shock during the next billing cycle. For some people, this unexpected price spike might mean an annoying inconvenience and a call to utility billing; for others, it could blow their monthly budget.

AMI, meter data management software, and customer portals are the water industry’s raised hand in the customer’s value proposition.

People hate surprises, at least on their utility bills. And some customers want to know if all of their conservation efforts are paying off. They’ve invested a lot of time and money into retro­fitting old fixtures and appliances and shifting to more native plants in their landscape. Sure, they do it because it’s the right thing to do, but there’s a small piece of them that wants to see how they compare to their neighbors.

As the 21st century adage goes, there’s an app for that. AMI, meter data management (MDM) software, and customer portals are the water industry’s raised hand in the customer’s value proposition. On the utility side, enterprise software such as the Harmony™ MDM, allows utilities to manage their water meter assets and analyze water system consumption demand.

We understand that utilities want to keep things as simple as their customers do so we’ve designed Harmony to be compatible with nearly every AMI network on the market today and it can complement other software systems you may currently be using.

It also interfaces with every billing system on the market and is designed to provide analytics and add value to most customer information system (CIS), asset management, and geographic information system (GIS) software used by today’s water utilities.

The true pièce de résistance? Enterprise software such as Harmony, combined with a customer portal, like My Water Advisor™, empowers your customers with data to make more informed decisions. These systems provide customers with the ability to take control of their budgets through leak alerts and budget notifications. Now customers can know about that running toilet in real-time. They can also take pride in the effectiveness of their conversation efforts.

Software and technology put control in the hands of customers — and an empowered customer is a happy customer. WW

Master Meter is exhibiting at ACE19, booth 2115. Visit www.mastermeter.com to learn more.

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