Water utilities are vital components of any community. The valuable resource they provide has a significant impact on the environmental, social, and economic health of the individuals, families, businesses, and industries they serve.
There are currently around 168,000 public water systems operating across the U.S., and a majority are publicly owned and managed by a nearby government agency or water district board. Safe, clean water is crucial to municipalities, but the daily operations of a public water system can be complex.
More than 75 percent of the U.S. population receives drinking water from large utilities. This means the water systems that treat and deliver water to customers must meet average daily water consumption rates, ranging from 100-250 gallons per person each day in densely populated areas.
Utilities must effectively oversee the daily operations and maintenance of waterworks systems, including:
- Regular part replacements and system upgrades to ensure that water is consumable.
- Adherence to state, federal, and local laws.
- Financial and administrative duties.
- Safeguards for the infrastructure that treats and transports clean water, including sources, treatment plants, and distribution systems.
Benefits of the Right Municipal Water Billing Software
Efficient municipal water billing software must be future-proof and adaptable. A user-friendly customer information system can benefit water utilities and the customers they serve. The system should have the following features:
1. A self-service portal
An easy-to-use self-service portal that offers customers faster service will reduce workload for customer support specialists, allowing them to spend more time solving complex tasks. This feature can help customers solve their problems quickly, leading to higher satisfaction and fewer incoming calls to water utility call centers.
A self-service portal must give customers the ability to:
- Access and update account data, such as name, address, phone number, and more.
- Make service requests or report disruptions and outages.
- Start, stop, or pause service at residential and business locations.
- Reset or change passwords.
- Access an easy-to-navigate knowledge center that includes FAQs, articles, videos, guides, and more.
- View real-time insights into current and previous utility usage.
- Communicate with utility customer support specialists through text messaging or online chat features.
2. Personalized customer experiences
Municipal water billing software should provide customized experiences for every account holder. That means when customers contact your call center, representatives can quickly access their data to gain insights into any current outages or prior issues.
This leads to less frustration for customers, preventing the need to repeat themselves or verify their information multiple times, saving time for both themselves and the specialists. This also allows support representatives to make recommendations to the customer based on their current income, location, financial hardships, and more.
3. Advanced metering
As an integral aspect of municipal water billing software, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) gives utilities the ability to remotely measure consumer usage, stop or start service, detect illegal tampering, identify and isolate outages, and more. This offers numerous advantages, including:
- More accurate usage measurements, resulting in fewer billing issues.
- Reduced labor costs.
- Higher revenue.
- Quicker dispatch of repair crews during outages, disruptions, or service problems.
- Faster service restoration when outages occur.
- Automated alerts and status updates for the utility, field technicians, and customers to keep everyone informed.
Better Serve Your Community
Learn how the right municipal water billing software can help you earn greater ROI and boost customer satisfaction. Download this guide now to gain access to self-assessments and worksheets that can help build your roadmap to success.