Approximately 77 percent of American adults own smartphones, according to data from Pew Research Center. The widespread adoption of on-the-go technology has forced retailers and other business-to-consumer organizations to develop products and services that meld with the mobile lifestyle. Utility companies are slowly but surely moving in a similar direction, as consulting and research firm Capgemini Worldwide discovered.
Customers expect power providers to offer robust online portals, and utilities are, for the most part, meeting this demand. Some are even equipping dispatchers and field personnel with mobile devices to streamline communications and improve service quality. Mobile solutions in each of these categories come equipped with some salient features.
Anytime account access
Paper bills and printed account statements are things of the past. Modern customers want to manage their own accounts, preferably through easy-to-navigate online portals. Consumer-facing mobile applications make it easy for utilities to provide this service. Users can review usage rates, pay their bills and more, all without shuffling through junk mail.
"Modern customers want to manage their own accounts, preferably through easy-to-navigate online portals."
In addition to facilitating everyday account management tasks, customer mobile applications provide streamlined communication channels for users who need to report outages or address other pressing issues. This cuts the phone out of the equation entirely, making it easy for customers to connect with service providers.
Improved field connectivity
Enterprise mobile applications allow utility companies to cultivate efficient internal processes that make it easier to conduct everyday operations and address outage events. These employee portals are especially useful when problems arise and dispatchers need to reach out to crews in the field. Office personnel can easily push work orders and outage updates to linemen as they perform restoration activities. Additionally, those in the field can use mobile devices to document damage and send evidence to management for compliance purposes.
Informed utility managers
Managers only have so much visibility when overseeing field operations. After all, most don't have the bandwidth to survey outages firsthand. Mobile applications make it easy for these supervisors to engage with crews. These solutions include vehicle tracking features that make it easy to monitor linemen as they perform their duties and redirect them if need be. Additionally, managers can view outage data information on the go, allowing them to remain informed even when off-site.
Are you ready to adopt customer-facing and internal mobile applications? Connect with DataVoice today. We offer industry-leading mobile solutions for customers, crews and supervisors.