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Decreasing Late Payments with Higher CSAT: Client Story

By Brian Melle

There’s a common misconception within the local municipality space that customer satisfaction (CSAT) doesn’t impact the day-to-day intricacies of billing and payments within utility service providers. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Any utility organization looking to accomplish goals like decreasing late payments, improving internal collection efficiencies, and reducing staff workloads will find it next to impossible to achieve these objectives without a focus on first improving CSAT scores. 

The good news is that the road to improving those scores is fairly straightforward for those in billing and payments: to produce more satisfied payers, municipalities must provide a simple, streamlined payment experience. If the user experience for making a payment is easy for customers, satisfaction scores should begin to raise. 

The City of Fairfield, OH, experienced this firsthand after choosing to work with Invoice Cloud. The city had been struggling with a clunky payment processing system that provided a cumbersome customer experience and, therefore, very low customer satisfaction rates. Facing these significant challenges, the City of Fairfield knew it needed a digital payment platform that could help them provide a better customer experience, while increasing business efficiencies, and improving office morale.  

Limited payment options cause customer frustration 

Most of Fairfield’s internal inefficiencies stemmed from its difficult-to-use payment processing platform, which created a lot of negativities with customers and staff. Since the city’s online payment platform was difficult to navigate, customer service call volumes began to rise as customer satisfaction scores and staff morale began to drop. 

Other major challenges for the city included: 

  • Limited payment options and self-service functionality  
  • Excessive staff time used to handle customer complaints 
  • Increased customer frustration with lack of real-time data 
  • Limited security preventing the ability to retain payment information 

The City of Fairfield team recognized their challenges with customer satisfaction and consistent collections all led back to their clunky payment processing platform, which lead the organization to search for an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) solution that could help get the city back on course. 

Simplifying online payments improves user experience 

The City of Fairfield identified Invoice Cloud as the right payment solution to help the city overcome its payment processing obstacles to more effectively achieve organizational goals. They chose Invoice Cloud as it provided everything they needed to: 

  • Simplify payments and provide a better user experience to drive more digital payments 
  • Increase self-service adoption to improve staff efficiencies and reduce customer negativity 
  • Drive higher e-adoption, AutoPay, and paperless enrollment to decrease print and mail costs 
  • Securely retain sensitive data and provide real-time data updates 

Just under two years later, the city has worked with Invoice Cloud to increase online payment adoption to nearly 50%, resulting in significant improvements to the city’s internal efficiencies.  

Decreasing late payments with enhanced CSAT 

The most notable impact on the City of Fairfield’s operational efficiencies comes in the form of a 15% decrease in shut off notices and a 13% decrease in late payments. 

Plus, with Invoice Cloud helping to improve its online payment experience, the City of Fairfield noticed immediate benefits that, over 23 months later, have only multiplied. Kate Hurst, the Utility Billing & Collections Supervisor for the City of Fairfield, noted that the switch to Invoice Cloud had a far-reaching impact on the organization as a whole. 

“Since Invoice Cloud was implemented, we now have time to focus on improvements in other areas and participate in special City projects rather than being consumed in customer service all day every day,” Hurst said. “Plus, thanks to Invoice Cloud, we have finally achieved a consistent, pleasant work environment.” 

To see the full results of the City of Fairfield’s successful implementation with Invoice Cloud, get your free copy of the case study today. 

decreasing late payments

Tags: ebpp, online payment system, customer experience, self-service, customer satisfaction, digital payments, online payments

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