Display Transactional and Customer Communications in One Document
There are two areas of design for your bills—the transactional part and the communication part. Transactionally speaking, you want it to be easy to confirm:
- Amount currently due
- Due date
- Statement period
In considering design for this aspect, you want the relevant information to be bold and readable. Ensure it’s at the top of the statement. You can use boxes to highlight certain things.
The rest of your bill is open as a blank canvas for communicating notices and marketing messages. Because customers connotate trust with a utility bill, they are more likely to read it in full. Additionally, many people hang on to these for reference for tax purposes, so they have a way of sticking around.
Simply slipping in inserts won’t have the same effect, and they’ll likely end up in the recycling bin.
How Can You Enhance Utility Bill Design to Include Marketing Communications?
There are several options when thinking about updating utility bill design to drive marketing messaging. Consider these ideas.
Keep Branding Consistent
As a utility company, you have logos and colors. It’s a good idea to maintain those throughout the bill. If you divert from this, customers may see the content as less trustworthy and consider it to be ad space.
Use Color to Highlight Specific Information
Here’s the chance to use those brand colors to highlight critical information. You may already be using it in the transaction part, but it can work in this section, too. Headlines are the best for color, as they are the most important.
You may also want to use specific colors for different types of messages. For example, you might choose one color for notices about rate changes. Then use another color for special programs customers can sign up for, like those related to energy efficiency.
Create a Layout That’s Easy to Read
The document layout is critical to engagement. If it’s haphazard, people won’t know where to look. Boxing can work in the marketing aspects, and it’s a good idea to keep sections the same size.
Consider how a customer goes through their bill and try to mimic that experience in the layout.
Include Charts for Data Visualization
When you add charts to the statement, it helps people better visualize the information. Providing graphs on usage through the months might be helpful to customers so that they can budget accordingly.
They’ll have a complete understanding of their consumption of water or energy, so they know when they are using the most.
Insert Personalized Messages
With dynamic printing, every bill can be different, depending on the customer. Beyond just the graphs, you can communicate one-to-one here on things that might be useful to that customer.
Targeted messages always get a better response than that which is broad. This is especially helpful for utilities that have multiple products. You can provide special incentives for customers to sign up for other services. You can also track the performance of these messages by using unique phone numbers, emails, or website pages for the customer to visit to inquire.
Add a Clear Call-to-Action
What do you want your customer to do? Most importantly, you want them to remit on time most conveniently, so a CTA that says “Ways to Pay” with the list of options could be helpful.
For other marketing messages, you can have additional CTA’s like “Subscribe Now” or “Learn How to Conserve.” When you provide customers with a clear sign of what to do next, they are certainly more likely to do it.
What Are the Benefits to Better Design?
If you are thoughtful and strategic with your design, you can expect:
- Faster remittance: The information is easy to find and highlighted. You can even track this to see if on-time payments increase after the redesign.
- Happier customers: They’ll feel less frustrated with a professional, clean design that gives them all the information they need.
- Fewer calls to customer service: If you answer customer questions on the statement, they won’t need to call you. Your agents will then have shorter queues and be able to address more significant customer issues.
- Better informed customers: The more you can educate your customers and deliver data to them, the more informed they are, which can lead to paying on time and following your tips on conservation or relevant information.
- More opt-ins for programs or added services: With those dynamic messages in place, customers may be more apt to join programs and add services.
How Will You Enhance Your Utility Bill Design?
Utility bill design doesn’t have to be boring, dull, and dated. With color, great layouts, graphics, and branding, your statement turns into a customer-driven communication.
If you’d like to learn more about modernizing your utility statements and engaging customers, connect with our experts today.