Water services are no doubt essential, especially during a pandemic when more people are staying home, and cleanliness is a top priority. Ease your customers’ minds during these uncertain times by keeping communications flowing. A customer portal is a perfect way to stay in touch. Here are some ways to use this tool to help your community through this uncertain time.
Staying in Touch: Use your portal to keep the public informed about the reliability of your water system. Remind them that buying water bottles in bulk is unnecessary because of the cleanliness of their public water supply. We know that disinfection and filtration can rid water of many pathogens and viruses, but your average customer does not know this. Include links to your water quality reports and state and federal regulations but provide a simplified explanation of what it means to the customer.
Better Budgeting: With unprecedented unemployment numbers and reduced working hours across the country, many people are concerned about how they will pay their bills. An online portal can help customers keep a close eye on their water use. Highlight budget thresholds and leak alerts to ensure they aren’t surprised when their next bill arrives.
Family Fun: The data housed in your customer’s profile can also be a creative way to get the whole family involved in water use and conservation. With many families at home, there’s a captive audience and parents looking for new ways to engage their children. Teach your customers how to view their water use and come up with ideas that can help reduce usage over a week or month. Sleuthing out leaks or reducing water usage can be turned in to a fun family game! Who takes the fastest shower in a household? How much water does it take to water a lawn? Do small habit changes, like turning off the faucet when handwashing, actually make a difference? (Hint: They do!)
Highlight Your Heroes: From healthcare professionals to grocery store stockers, the unsung heroes of our communities are shining in the spotlight during this pandemic. Your water utility employees are no different. Most customers don’t think about the people behind the pipes and pumps. Use your portal to show the community how hard your employees work to deliver water to their homes reliably.
Customer portals aren’t only helpful during a pandemic. They can be an essential way to keep in touch with your customers about utility updates, service disruptions, billing, and educational opportunities. If you already have a customer portal, highlight the benefits listed above to help your community be more water-wise and budget-conscience during this difficult time.