Prepay Energy as a Gateway for Customer Engagement
Prepay energy services have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional utility services
The concept of customer prepay, even in the utility space, is not new. Utilities, cooperatives and municipalities have experimented with pre-paid energy service over the years, with varying degrees of success. Though a sound concept, prepay has historically been viewed as very utility-centric by nature; it focused primarily on resolving problematic or negative situations, and customer benefits were somewhat limited. It was challenging for customers to keep track of their balances and easily make payments to recharge their accounts. So even though upfront benefits, such as reducing deposit requirements for new service and providing resolution for customers behind on their bill, were present, the risk of failure remained high once customers were on the program. The result is that prepay was seen as complex, cumbersome and perhaps even punitive.
So what has changed?
Numerous factors both inside and outside of the utility space have converged. It’s not enough for technology to simply evolve and mature, for advancement means little unless it aligns with customer needs and expectations. What was once a service focused on addressing the needs of the utility has shifted over time to offer a balanced set of benefits that address the needs of both the utility and the customer.
This is due largely to key enablers such as:
- Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Networks
- Smartphone Adoption
- Growth in Mobile-Optimized Payment Solutions
- Change in Customer Needs and Expectations
The convergence of these factors has created a market that is primed for a prepay offering that delivers on the utility’s value proposition while addressing a broad range of customer needs. Learn more; download the white paper below.
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