Creating efficient workflows within your utility office isn’t easy if the company lacks the right technology. Finding the right software solutions is a way to simultaneously empower your team and enable you to give a higher level of customer service than has been possible before.
Connecting utility management solutions
The key word is “integration” when it comes to effective utility management solutions. By connecting disparate systems, you can unlock productivity benefits that would be unavailable if your technology ecosystem was disconnected – or if next-generation tech tools were lacking altogether. The following are two important links you can make between utility management solutions to bring your organization into the present.
Outage management systems (OMS) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)
Tracking utility consumption in the smart grid era is an automated and efficient process. If your company wants to get the most out of its AMI investment, however, it pays to connect that system to a feature-rich OMS. This integration allows your stakeholders to remotely check the status of infrastructure, determining whether there is a failure at a particular location. Turning this into a remote process is more cost-effective than always needing to get a field crew’s eyes on a potential issue.
Furthermore, an OMS integrated with AMI can enable office staff to receive a wide variety of alerts and perform diagnostics on the behalf of members. Advanced analysis of AMI data can even give predictions about potential points of failure. These automated capabilities allow your utility to take on a more modern management approach, using their resources more efficiently than in the past and saving time and money for the company.
Interactive voice response (IVR) and customer information systems (CIS)
When considering utility management systems, you should not overlook IVR. Today’s turnkey solutions, in spite of the “voice” in their name, allow you to reach members through a variety of platforms and channels, including text and email. This makes for a more flexible customer relationship, one that suits modern preferences for dealing with companies via more than just the phone.
Other benefits come from connectivity with existing databases. Integrating the IVR with a CIS allows you to determine immediately who is calling. Rather than having a live operator ask the customer to produce utility bills to identify themselves, the member is simply able to continue the interaction. This may mean going to billing services to enter payment information or request an extension. In simple cases, the IVR is able to handle these transactions without ever taking the time of a representative, leaving personnel free to accomplish other tasks.
Getting value from technology and infrastructure
There is value in modern utility infrastructure waiting to be unlocked by the right combination of back-office software tools. Creating integration between a variety of systems is the best way to connect every aspect of your organization, from consistent service and interruption prevention to customer communications and more.
The solutions needed to make this functional leap aren’t inaccessible or complex – check out DataVoice’s Customer Success Stories to find how companies are making these tools work for them.