SMS for Utility Companies: Reminders, Notifications, and More
SMS services have revolutionized the way companies communicate with their customers. Texting is the preferred method of communication for mobile phone users due to its ease of use.
Businesses from all industries have realized the potential that texting offers, such as increased revenues, faster response times, data collection, and enhanced customer experiences.
SMS for utility companies offers all of these benefits and more. Just like a restaurant can utilize texting to inform patrons their table is ready, utility companies can use it to notify customers of potential outages, restore times, and billing notices.
Why SMS services are important for utility companies
If your utility company has not instituted SMS texting, there has never been a better time to start. TextSanity’s web-based platform offers your company a wide array of tools and options to connect with your customers like never before.
Some of the benefits of SMS texting unique to utility companies include but are not limited to:
- Improves customer service
- Incredible response rate
- High ROI
- Reduces overdue payments
Improves customer service
The customer experience is significantly enhanced with SMS marketing and texting. As mentioned earlier, customers prefer using text for communication. They are short and to the point, do not require them to be on the phone, and can interact with you despite being in a meeting or waiting room.
Providing customers with a text option to report outages or restorations enhances their experience and improves your productivity and logistics. For instance, if a fallen tree causes an outage and your crews repair it, sending a restoration request can quickly notify your field teams if other issues are still present.
Communication is essential in all relationships, including business/customer relationships. When both parties communicate effectively, the relationship grows stronger. Without adequate communication, the relationship will suffer and collapse
Power outages can affect cellular data networks and land-based communication lines, preventing your customers from being able to make contact with you. SMS messages have been around for a while and are often not affected by data outages. Therefore, your customers can easily communicate.
With SMS texting, you remain in contact with your customers during emergencies. You can make public service announcements, weather warnings, or introduce new cost-saving programs.
Mass texting and SMS communications are incredibly effective for sending real-time emergency alerts. Since they prefer SMS alerts over phone calls from providers, giving them this option is one of the steps you can take to create an atmosphere of effective communication.
Communication between your teams is vital, especially during emergencies and service outages. SMS texting will allow you to create streamlined communication channels between your linemen or groundskeepers, managers, and coordinators out in the field and your planners and executives at your headquarters.
Incredible response rate
Most people prefer texting over traditional forms of communication and tend to respond more often and quickly. Research indicates that over 90 out of 100 people will open a text message within three minutes of receiving it, and nearly half will engage with it.
This response rate can significantly improve your logistical and strategic planning during emergencies. Numerous responses from impacted outage areas can guide your answer in a way not achievable without boots-on-the-ground reporting.
SMS texting will create an entirely new efficiency that you simply have not been able to experience before.
The cost to produce and maintain electric generation and grids, construct gas and water pipelines, or install service connections is what some may call “A pretty penny.” To keep costs down for your customers, achieving the greatest services with the best ROI or return on investment is paramount.
The need to hire additional customer service personnel is eliminated with SMS services. The time it would take multiple customer service representatives to call and speak directly with 100s or even 1000s of impacted customers can be reduced to just a few seconds with SMS texting by one person.
The cost to maximize your subscription with TextSanity would not come close to the price of just one customer service representative.
Reduces overdue payments
Lastly, your services require payments from your customers, and billing can be a significant expense for your company. The costs to notify customers of late payments, upcoming bills, cancellation notices, sending a technician to turn the service on or off, and postage can mount quickly.
SMS texting can significantly reduce these operating costs by allowing you to send billing notices, overdue notices, and cancellation notices without printing or using postage.
By sending payment and bill due reminders, you will mitigate the number of customers who let their service lapse, reducing the cost of sending technicians to disconnect and reconnect service.
How to use SMS for utility companies
Now that you have seen ways SMS texting can benefit your utility service company let’s discuss how to use it using our easy-to-use online platform.
We all need reminders, whether we want to admit it or not. Go to your app store on your phone and search for reminder apps, and you will see just how big of a market it is. SMS texting allows you to schedule payment reminders for your customers to help reduce missed payments and alert them of upcoming renewal charges.
From billing notices to service connection appointments, sending reminders to customers can reduce no-shows and lapsed services.
Using TextSanity, you can
- Manage your customers
- Schedule reminders using our calendar function
- Create keyword and drip campaigns to keep the customer engaged
Although your customer may know their utility company, do they know you? What we mean is, are they connected with you? Is their experience with you strictly limited to billing and outage issues, or do you occasionally drop in to say “Hi”?
TextSanity can schedule notifications to inform your customers of various things. For instance, you could notify them of a potential service interruption, the time before restoration will be completed, or simply inform them that an improvement was just made in their grid. Keeping your customers engaged with you will keep their satisfaction high.
Additionally, you could send them other non-service-related messages to enhance their experience. For instance, if you start a new program that reduces their costs for energy if they install a home charger for an Electric Vehicle (EV), you could send a mass message to all of your customers informing them of a way to reduce their costs.
Perhaps you have started a rebate program for installing energy-efficient appliances or energy-efficient home upgrades, such as windows and HVAC systems. Letting your customers know about these programs via text is simple and efficient.
Another great way to remain engaged with your customers and build the strength of your communication is to offer energy-saving tips. Sending scheduled notifications via drip campaigns on ways to save money will make your customers happy.
Your marketing team has full hands, especially if you are a large utility company. Our SMS templates offer you an easy way to get your SMS texting services up and running and remove some of the guesswork on how to begin.
Our templates help save time, and once refined to meet your needs, they can be saved for use in the future. Trust us; your marketing team will thank you for keeping this straightforward for them.
Paying bills over the phone
Our smartphones are essentially just small yet powerful computers in our pockets. Most of us use our phones as our primary computers. Another great resource with SMS texting is sending links to your customers so they can quickly pay their bills from their phones.
You may offer bill pay services on your website, but your customers may not know how to find that option, may not have created an online account, or simply don’t like how the website looks on their phones.
Sending a unique link that allows them to pay their bills from their phone quickly can increase on-time payments and reduce missed payments. Having this option, as mentioned before, increases your ROI and reduces your expenses and operating costs.
What to do next
Our team is excited to speak with you about how we can help your utility company reduce expenses, increase your field efficiency, and enhance your customer’s experience with your company.
Call, text, or chat with us to learn more about our services, subscription options, and experience with SMS marketing and texting.