When it comes to paperless billing, there are many reasons why customers make the switch from paper to electronic bills. In these uncertain times, convenience and safety are top of mind, but customers consider a variety of benefits before going paperless.
Here are the top reasons customers choose paperless based on our experience creating promotional campaigns for energy utilities across the country.
1. On-the-go convenience
For energy utility customers, convenience is perhaps the number-one reason to enroll in paperless billing. Instead of waiting for a paper bill in the mail, customers can quickly access their bill from their email inbox. Our society is filled with busy individuals who don’t have time to worry about a paper bill. Paperless billing fits into our 24/7 schedules and helps to reduce some of the stress.
Flexible payment options add to the convenience factor. Paperless billing customers have access to numerous payment options, including through a bank account, debit card, credit card, autopay, mobile app and even smart home voice activation. When thinking about their bills, consumers say late payments are a top concern. That’s why energy utilities should be promoting the benefits of email and text payment reminders in their paperless promotions.
2. Pay anytime, anywhere
The ability to access your bill from any location is a significant benefit of paperless billing. According to Questline’s Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, 68% of residential customers engage with program promotions on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
A survey of smartphone owners finds 42% pay their monthly bills through a mobile device. In addition, millennials and consumers with a household income between $50,000 and $99,000 are more likely to use mobile bill pay. As this data demonstrates, energy utility customers want the flexibility of viewing and paying their bill on the go.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when customers are staying at home, this “pay anytime” value proposition still applies to daily life. Instead of emphasizing the “on the go” benefits, highlight the 24/7 convenience of paperless billing. For example, customers can pay their bill in the middle of cooking dinner, doing a home workout or watching Netflix.
3. Reduce carbon footprint
Energy utility customers are increasingly concerned about the environment, particularly younger generations. Research finds 68% of millennials purchased a product with an environmental benefit in the past 12 months.Paperless billing gives customers an opportunity to help the environment, while also showcasing your energy utility’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact. In fact, 87% of consumers view a company favorably that supports the environment, whether through programs, products or philanthropic efforts.
To reach the environmentally conscious consumer, emphasize the sustainable benefits of going paperless, including less paper waste and a reduced carbon footprint. Paper is a major concern for the environment, making up 25% of landfill waste, 33% of municipal waste and 50% of business waste.
4. Save money
For business customers, in particular, paperless billing has a major impact on operational costs. Compared to residential consumers who receive about 12 bills each month, small businesses receive about 50 bills on average.
Traditional paper bills require a constant supply of postage and time logging into numerous sites to make payments. For small and large businesses alike, paperless billing reduces postage costs and increases productivity. With an overload of paper transactions in everyday business operations, electronic bill statements are one less piece of paper to keep track of each month.
Reasons to believe
Energy utilities also have reasons to prefer paperless billing. In addition to saving costs, paperless billing has a positive impact on long-term customer satisfaction. According to Fiserv’s Eighth Annual Consumer Billing Household Survey, 68% of consumers acknowledge increased satisfaction with their biller when they receive electronic statements.
With these top reasons for going paperless in mind, energy utilities have many messaging strategies in the queue to boost customer signups.