Con Edison E-bill Study: Measuring the Impact of E-bill on Critical Customer Success Factors
For consumers, receiving and paying monthly household bills is a part of life. But as the source of the recurring bill, billers have a significant opportunity to enhance their brand by meeting consumers’ desire for clear and easy bill management and payment. Over the past decade, more and more billers have satisfied the needs of many customers by enabling them to receive and pay bills online at their point of preference and consumers have embraced online bill payment as a way to pay bills quickly and painlessly. While billers have been able to convince many customers to pay their bills online, they have been challenged to convert a high percentage of customers from paper to electronic bills, or e-bills. In order to justify additional investment in promoting e-billing and reaching customers who fall outside of the early adopter category, billers are taking a deeper look into the value of e-bills beyond pure cost savings.
While the majority of billing managers believe strategic customer benefits such as increased satisfaction, higher retention and faster payments can come from anticipating and meeting customers’ billing needs, they may struggle to bolster internal support due to a general lack of awareness of and hard data to support the greater benefits e-billing offers. To build a strong business case, billers are taking a more strategic view of the billing and payments function in order to better understand and quantify the impact these services have on critical customer success factors such as customer satisfaction, customer service related expenses, improved cash flows, retention and profitability. In this paper, we present the results of one biller’s investigation into its e-billing program along with valuable data from other research studies that reinforce the holistic and strategic value of e-billing. We also present segmentation analysis that suggests different consumer sets receive and pay bills in different ways. This fact should remind billers that it is not only important to stay in tune with customers’ needs but also to understand how their needs vary by customer segment, not exclusively by channel. What billers learn from these studies will enable them to justify the renewed focus and additional investment in optimizing their billing and payment offerings to help them meet the needs of all customers. Con Edison: A Leader in E-bill Marketing Metropolitan New York, the “melting pot of the world, is ” home to millions of people who represent all ages, races and income levels. For more than 180 years, Con Edison of New York (Con Edison) has been serving this dynamic and demanding marketplace. As a regulated utility, Con Edison is in the fortunate position where customer retention is not as big a concern as it is for most billers, but how it is perceived in the marketplace and by its shareholders is still extremely important. And like any business, it is challenged with keeping costs down while satisfying its customers.
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About Con Edison Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $36 billion in assets. The regulated utility provides electric service to approximately 3.3 million customers and gas service to approximately 1.1 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. The company also provides steam service in parts of Manhattan. Con Edison was recently ranked 17th among Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “Best 100 Corporate Citizens” and second among all the utilities.
customers as possible to paperless billing, Con Edison promotes its ongoing green campaign with a variety of innovative multi-media tactics such as: • An