Utility bill outsourcing is a smart move for the industry. Spending time and resources on statement printing and invoicing isn’t your core competency. Billing is certainly a critical function, but that doesn’t mean you need to perform it in-house. With outsourcing, you gain substantial benefits that will positively impact your bottom line and increase customer engagement.
So, why outsource your utility bills? Let’s find out.
Starting with reducing costs is always an advantage, and outsourcing utility invoicing can do just that. Running an in-plant requires a lot of capital for equipment, space, labor, compliance measures, and technology. That list is just the beginning. Other total cost of ownership (TCO) expenses figure into this number, as well.
Are you aware of your current cost to process an invoice? According to data from 1,485 organizations, the high end is $10, with the median $5.83. That’s a substantial amount that you’ll only be able to reduce via scale. However, you are likely printing fewer paper invoices every year.
The only way to gain efficiencies is to outsource to a professional print and mail provider. Because they print and mail greater numbers per day than an individual company, the cost per piece is much less. You also no longer have to budget for all the other in-plant expenses discussed above.
Receive More On-Time Payments with Greater Efficiency and Accuracy
Utility companies depend on the timely payment of bills, but those that internally handle invoicing don’t always have optimal workflows. Additionally, your operations may lack accuracy with addresses. Both of these contribute to bills arriving later than expected with the possibility of missed payments.
Our utility bill outsourcing process is a streamlined, efficient practice that’s backed by 99.9999% accuracy. If your accuracy is less than this, then you’ll be upgrading on that aspect of mailing. With precision in mailing and the most advanced equipment and technology, bills are more likely to reach consumers promptly.
Track Your Communications with Ease
With mailed bills, you need to ensure that these important communications reach their destination. To do this requires advanced technology that most organizations don’t have or would be too cost-prohibitive. However, a web-based business document management tracking system is available from vendors when you outsource. With the trakPCI Dashboard, you’ll have the ability to monitor communications from production to pick-up to delivery.
trakPCI Dashboard also provides real-time status updates, letter change request options, and access to cost data to better understand expenses.
Engage Customers with Great Visuals and Communicate Updates and Offers
Your invoices are more than just a bill; they offer another channel of communication to your customers. If your bills look tired and dated, they aren’t much of a communication tool. With full-color design, customers will find invoices easier to read, which they’ll appreciate. They may also pay more attention to the updates and offers.
If you need to advise of regulatory news or rate changes, your invoices are a great medium. When you outsource, you can ensure these areas are eye-catching. Promoting energy efficiency programs or other offerings can get the same treatment. Personalized messaging is possible at scale, so you can customize what consumers need to know based on where they are and what services they use.
How can you track the effectiveness of engagement? For updates and offers, create a unique phone number or email address for inquiries specific to invoice messaging. Further, you can also compare on-time payments and see if they rise once you deploy a new, well-designed invoice.
Decrease Risks Associated with Lack of Redundancy
Every utility company has a business continuity (BC) plan. They cover the most critical infrastructure, but your in-house billing capabilities may not be part of it. It’s often overlooked in business continuity because other things are higher priority, but you still need to send invoices.
When outsourcing, you can have fewer concerns about disruptions to billing and invoicing. Redundancy is a pillar of any critical communications print and mail company. Downtime is minimal, and the strategic approach to BC is to be proactive, not reactionary.
Utility bills are subject to several compliance criteria. Working with the right critical mail provider will ensure that you are staying up to date with all of the latest protocols. At PCI, we have a compliance team that focuses on ensuring consumer communications are printed and mailed accurately and in accordance with all of the latest federal regulations.
Ready to Learn More About Utility Bill Outsourcing?
In consideration of all these benefits and reasons to outsource, you should explore the idea more. By talking to bill outsourcing experts, you can learn more about how it works and all the advantages you’ll gain. Contact us today to see how PCI Group serves the utility market with print and mail services.