utility customer experience

The city of Danville in Virginia state launched a web portal to enhance consumer experience for its electricity utility customers.The launched web-portal allows consumers to access their energy usage data and to make payments online using mobile devices.

The portal will also be used to access the utility’s power outage map and for customers to report power outages.

Jason Grey, director of utilities at Danville city, said: “The power outage map is mobile-friendly and allows customers to zoom in to see power outages by street or neighbourhood.

“When we started working on this portal, we knew that we wanted to add robust features to aid our customers.

“We believe this portal meets that goal. We encourage customers to visit the new site, sign up, bookmark and begin navigating through the portal.”

The online platform was developed and will be hosted by Atlanta-based MTI and falls under a series of initiatives by Danville city to enhance its utility customer experience and services.

Earlier on, the city introduced the use of a hosted bilingual Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service to eliminate busy signals when customers report power outages by telephone.

Danville Utilities provides natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications services in Danville and distributes electricity to approximately 42,000 customer locations.

Utility customer experience

Meanwhile, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) announced that it will install Vertex’s customer experience solutions. These include the firm's VertexOne Cloud Customer Information System, Web & Mobile Self-Service and Mobile Work Management.

The technologies will be integrated with the utility’s system over the next 12 months to enhance the company’s engagement with its government, residential and commercial water consumers.

In a press statement, Vertex claims that its Software-as-a-Service applications will help customers of DC Water to better manage their accounts and serve themselves online using mobile devices.

The decision to implement the technology is due to efforts by the Washington-based utility company to adopt a solution that would allow it to operate a number of applications using a single application.

Tom Kuczynski, CIO of DC Water, said "... not only do we get a solution that can provide the agility to handle the complexities the future will bring, but we also have a partner that will support us for the long term."

In addition to the customer experience solutions, DC Water will modernise its water infrastructure and services by deploying smart meters to improve its billing accuracy and ensure real-time management of distribution network. [ComEd awarded for customer engagement programme].