Crystal-clear Transparency: Top Three Features of Interactive Billing

Wave goodbye to the hassle of traditional billing methods, and hello to convenience and control with interactive billing.

Sarah Beirouti

Sarah is a dog mom, but that’s not her only full time job. As the main blog author and editor, Sarah explores digital trends and integrates consumer behavior research into high quality and value-driven content.

5 minute read

Imagine how frustrating it is as a customer to wait for your paper bill to arrive every month and rush to make payments before the due date, without knowing the full details of your bill. But paying bills doesn’t always have to be so stressful. The easiest way to provide a more seamless billing experience is to grant them on-demand access to their billing information and payment options through a portal that features interactive billing services. This technology is often offered by utility and telecommunications companies, as well as other businesses that provide recurring billing services, but not everyone is familiar with all its benefits.

Through an immersive interactive billing experience, customers can rest easy knowing they have full control over the process rather than it being imposed on them. This learning experience increases their level of engagement throughout the system and offers them more freedom and flexibility as they explore their usage habits. Based on this interactivity, customers are able to make decisions that are more friendly on the pocket and planet. Here are three more impressive features of an interactive billing experience within the utility industry.

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1. Usage overview: Increased control and on-demand visibility

One utility classified 25-35% percent of its inbound calls were billing related, but customers can now wave goodbye to the hassle and stress of traditional billing methods, and hello to convenience and control. Usage history for different time frames can be reviewed within a single dashboard. They can also view an overview of their average usage and cost per day, and set in-depth comparisons depending on the filters applied. Quick stats on how their usage fluctuated between different timeframes and a 6-month average is visible for users. This can be especially helpful in identifying usage patterns and predicting future consumption. To enhance transparency even further, users have access to a full breakdown of their bill charges and the calculation of each charge. In case of bill errors, customers can dispute the charges and track resolution. Overall, these features allow customers to make informed decisions to proactively manage costs, worry-free.

An illustration of customer visibility and bill transparency that comes with interactive billing

2. Recommendations and goals: Reduces consumption and costs 

An advanced interactive billing system not only provides real-time visibility, but also guides customers towards reducing their overall usage. But implementing cost-efficient strategies, it is important to ensure the accuracy of data. In an effort to streamline records and keep their dashboard up to date, customers are encouraged to analyze their appliance list to determine which of them are consuming the most, with the option to remove old and add new ones. 

To limit overconsumption, useful tips to reduce usage are provided per appliance. For instance, switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs is one way to lower it. The system can also help customers set realistic consumption thresholds and goals, and send notifications when home owners are close to reaching their set limit. More cost-saving options include budget billing enrollment to pay a fixed amount every month for those who prefer predictions over surprises, and demand response. This program offers volunteers to reduce their usage in times of extreme demand in exchange for financial rewards. These features provide greater control and visibility into billing and usage, and enables customers to make informed decisions to proactively manage costs and be environmentally conscious. 

An illustration that showcases how recommendations, such as reviewing home appliances can reduce utility consumption and costs

3. Notifications and alerts: customizable communication preferences

Forgetful or not, customers have the power of choice when it comes to how they want to receive their notifications and alerts. Threshold and goal notifications can be sent via email and/or SMS. To stay in the loop with any external circumstances, customers can also set up alerts so that weather pattern changes and outages, sudden rate changes, and abnormal usage behavior are instantly reported to the customer for review. 

Interactive billing offers a seamless experience for customers to access and manage their billing information and payment options online anytime, eliminating the need for paper bills or on-site visits to settle expenses. This results in cost-saving and minimizes the risk of errors and inaccuracies in traditional billing methods. Customers can quickly access billing information and resolve any issues or concerns efficiently. In the pursuit of sustainability, Avertra supports customers in their own journey by providing a platform to engage in their usage data and insights, as well as helpful recommendations to become more environmentally conscious. As a result of on-demand visibility, call centers deflect customer calls around billing errors and inquiries, thanks to interactive billing.

An illustration of bills and a phone screen with notifications and alerts to show customizable communication