samedi 22 août 2015

Adopting A Utility Billing Systems That Is Efficient

By Nancy Gardner

Utilities have basically the same aims which are to provide energy and water to their customers in a safe manner. In the process, such function revenue stream must be safeguarded and the customer satisfaction put first. Utility billing systems has increased customer satisfaction and also improved client management.

Manual gauge reading has been widely used but is being replaced by automated meter readers. The personnel employed by these service companies are exposed to risks where the meters are in dangerous locations. Moreover, not all meters are located in areas where they are readily accessible. The meter readers in some instances have to deal with hostile owners and restricted access of other areas. This makes the process of meter reading lengthy such that the bills are not mailed to the customers in time. It also results to increased costs.

Manual meter reading has been used for a long time in most countries. However, there are cases especially in the rural areas where it may be very difficult to access the meter in order to read. This makes manual meter reading time consuming.

Automatic meter reading, on the other hand, can be done remotely without necessarily going to the customer meter. Automatic meter readers are generally regarded to as any system that makes it possible to read the meters at a distance of one hundred meters or more.

The automatic indicator reading systems will collect data efficiently and accurately because they eliminate the possibility of human error. This data is then used in the preparation of invoices and bills which are sent to the customers in time.

Automated invoicing software enables the utilities to avoid negative lawsuits. Utilities should strive to minimize the risks of lawsuits from an injured worker or customer. The security of the employees is threatened when they have to read meters located in dangerous areas or areas with difficult terrain.

They may also have to face owners of the homes who are hostile and prevent them from acquiring the data. There is also the danger of people who may pose as employees of such company illegally and gain entry into peoples homes to cause harm. Automatic meter reading minimizes these risks by minimizing the number of workers being sent to read meters.

Automated meter reading enable flexible schedules for reading these service usage thereby avoiding delays in summary billing of accounts. Summary billings are usually for customers who have multiple businesses within the area. Therefore, it necessitates the utility to hold bills of the individual businesses until all of their accounts in the summary billing are read. With automated billing software, all the accounts can be read on time enabling the summary bills to be provided to the customers promptly.

The utility will have to analyze the customers reason for calling from the call logs in the call centers. Automated meter readings have reduced the customer calls and led to an increase in customer satisfaction.

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