6 Tips for Convincing Your Customers to Switch to E-Bills
April 11, 2022
If you’ve spent time and money trying to increase your e-billing adoption rate, but your customers are still clinging to their paper bills like a winning lottery ticket, we’ve got some helpful tips and best practices to improve your adoption rates. It may not happen overnight, but implementing these tips will lay the groundwork for a successful adoption campaign.
Make the Experience Seamless
Convenience is still one of the biggest things driving customer behavior, so be sure your e-billing solution is efficient, easy to use, and in a user-friendly format. Any extra steps or limited options will turn a lot of your customers off. Seamless also means using a multichannel approach that includes digital, print, and voice channels. This is important because you don’t, for example, want customers who choose to pay bills at their bank website to have to sign up for e-bills on your website. They are more likely to convert to paperless if you offer it at the touchpoint they’re already using to pay their bills. All this to say, take away the obstacles as best you can because if it’s a hassle, your customers won’t bother switching.
Understand the Whys and Turn Them Into Why Nots
Nobody said changing customer behavior was easy, but it’s especially hard when you don’t know what’s at its root. Below we break down the most common reasons why customers prefer paper.
- 33% think it’s easier to review
- 29% find paper bills an effective reminder to pay
- 21% worry they’ll miss paying digital bills1
Knowing this allows you to customize messaging to address these reasons using a variety of channels, including videos, inserts/onserts, your website, and call center. Since many surveyed feel paper bills are simpler to review, examine your e-bill to ensure it has the same look and feel as your paper bill. Create a “How to read my bill” infographic or insert/onsert that shows where important information is located. You can also show the customers how easy it is to view their bill history and download copies.2 Communication should emphasize that electronic bills are typically identical to the paper bill, making them feel more comfortable using an e-bill for record-keeping. And finally, explain how effective smart reminders are as a reminder to pay to alleviate worry around missing payments.
Educate Customers to Close Knowledge Gaps
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming your customers know the benefits of e-billing. This isn’t always true. With that in mind, use awareness campaigns to explain the benefits of paperless adoption, like being able to view and pay bills from the same location, how convenient and easy it is, and how they include features to help them pay on time, such as smart reminders and bill due alerts. You may also want to think about targeting specific demographics. Millennials are the largest users of e-bills, so it makes sense to focus on them, tailoring messages and developing a call-to-action that resonates specifically with this cohort and inspires them to act.
Use a Multi-Channel Approach–Including Social Media & Mobile
When educating customers, use a variety of channels, including mail, call center, website, walk-in payment centers, social media, and mobile. Each of these channels offers opportunities for you to showcase the benefits of converting to paper and informing customers of its availability. Increasingly, customers look for you on social media to get up-to-date news regarding service disruptions and offer assistance, which presents the perfect opportunity to promote e-billing. As far as platforms go, 69% of adult internet users use Facebook, 81% YouTube, 28% LinkedIn, 40% Instagram, 22% Twitter.3 The key to a successful e-billing adoption campaign is communicating with your customers in the channels they prefer and use. Be aware that a channel primed for growth when it comes to billing is mobile apps.
Auto-Enroll Your Customers
Understandably, you may feel auto-enrollment is a bit pushy, but it could be what triggers some of your customers to switch. If you’re reluctant, take some comfort in the fact that 57% of customers surveyed said they would be ok with their utility moving them to paperless billing without remaining on paper billing, with a further 25% neutral to the idea.4 Here are some best practices to consider before using this approach:
- Inform your customers that they have been selected to enroll in e-billing and will no longer receive paper bills.
- Tell your customers everything they need to know about the features of e-billing.
- Share the benefits of e-billing, like the ease of paying bills, handy payment reminders, convenient access to bill history, enhanced privacy, security, and overall convenience.
Be aware that 17% of customers were not ok with being auto-enrolled,5 so this strategy is best left for customers already open to switching.
Customers generally respond favorably to incentives, so don’t be afraid to use them to improve your adoption rates. You can offer perks every time they pay online, like a discount on bills, raffles, or the opportunity to donate to a charity of their choice. Your Customer Service Representatives are your boots on the ground, so you may also want to incentivize them to help you achieve your e-billing adoption goals. Ensure they know the ins and outs of your billing options, including how each works and which options are best in different circumstances. They should also be equipped with answers to the most frequently asked questions.
E-Billing Adoption Rates Are Inching Up
On average, e-bill use has grown nearly 10% per year over the past five years.6 Despite this impressive growth, as of 2021, 62% of customers still receive a paper bill, and just 35% receive an e-bill.7 On the bright side, the growth in adoption rates signals changing consumer behavior, which will likely only increase as younger generations become bill payers. You can build on this momentum with KUBRA iDoxs. Our multi-channel e-billing solution offers your customers a convenient way to view and manage their bills and lets you efficiently manage your payment cycle. Contact us today to learn how KUBRA iDoxs can help you achieve your paperless adoption goals.
- KUBRA Billing and Payment Report 2020.
- Improve Electronic Billing Adoption Rate by Improving Customer Experience, RR Donnelley, 2017.
- Pew Research 2019, Social Media Fact Sheet.
- Chartwell, 2021 Residential Consumer.
- Chartwell, 2021 Billing Industry Benchmark Report.