Tap water is the great unifier: agnostic to age, salary, language, political party, sins and virtues. It’s one of the beautiful things about your water service: it’s always on and highly available.
Pipes, meters, treatment procedures, and flushing schedules – real nuts and bolts of the water supply – can be objectively standardized and assessed, managed, and delegated. Customer relationships, on the other hand, are as amorphous as the water coming out the pipe. How do you support the broad spectrum of customer needs and wants? Do you? There are examples of well-financed customer service teams that go above and beyond, but often the utility-to-customer relationship is neglected. It’s really hard to satisfy everyone all the time.
That’s where Dropcountr comes in. We help customer service teams support their customers with a self-service portal and tools that cross socioeconomic and geographic divides. We support drought-prone western cities, flood-prone eastern municipalities, second-home vacation communities, rural neighborhoods, and major metros nationwide. We are responsible for helping utilities support the diverse set of customer needs, all the time, no matter the circumstance.
This requires investing in our many communities and understanding user needs in a way that’s truly equitable. Here are several ways that we include and engage all customers:
We serve all customers, and that includes those with disabilities. Did you know that 56 million people in the United States with disabilities depend on apps every day? While what you see may not look dramatically different, the framework under the Dropcountr app is designed to be navigated and understood using accessibility readers on web and mobile. Dropcountr is accessible to your customers with disabilities, and fits with and expands your existing ADA compliance program.
No internet, no problem
Did you know that many Americans are forgoing traditional broadband internet at home altogether, in favor of their smartphone? According to Pew Research, most adults say they subscribe to home broadband, but about one-in-four (27%) do not. It was important for us, from the beginning, to support Dropcountr services across ALL platforms, not just those that can be accessed via a desktop or laptop. Dropcountr is sponsored by utilities and accessible free of charge by their customers as a dedicated native app on iOS and Android, and as a web-ready app on web browsers. This allows water customers to engage with their utility and usage data on any device and even without internet access.
Are you communicating in the language your customers prefer? According to the United States Census Bureau 2018 ACS survey, 21.5% of Americans speak a language other than English at home. However, in many Dropcountr service areas that number is greater than 50%! Several years ago we engineered support for multiple languages and continue this support across all platforms. Read about that development here.
Water use contextualized
Do your customers understand what a CCF is? What rate tiers are? How much they should be using, compared to how much they are, and what kind of programs are available that would serve those goals? Providing usage insight in terms your customer understands is the first step toward self-service and being highly available. Dropcountr prides itself on customer satisfaction and the “aha!” moment, when your customers finally get a sense of their water use and how to use the right amount for them, and for your region.
What do you think?
Customer and industry feedback has always informed our product roadmap, and we depend on our community to better serve our ever-growing customer base. What should we consider in our design process? Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.