Identifying the Noise on Your Bill to “Find the Waldo” of It All
June 7, 2022
Many of us are familiar with the children’s book series, Where’s Waldo? For some, it’s an effective child-occupier, and for others, a fun challenge. The trick to Waldo’s elusiveness is that tons of details on each page make it almost impossible to find him. Great for the game but not for a bill. When a bill is overflowing with information, customers can’t easily find what they need. This adds friction to the customer experience, turning a bill payment into a time-consuming chore rather than a quick task.
Your customers don’t want to embark on a Where’s Waldo-type hunt just to pay their bills each month. In fact, our KUBRA utility bill design research revealed that 79% of customers spend less than five minutes reading their bills. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, you can bet they will contact you for help. A well-organized bill reduces pressure on your call center by putting the information your customers value upfront. Before you can do that, you need to know which details they find helpful and which they don’t. This blog reveals what customers told us they could live without.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
Simplicity should be top of mind when you start a document/bill redesign project. To simplify your bill, knowing what items are valued most by your customers and what things they won’t miss allows you to remove and pare down its contents. When we asked utility customers what information they find least valuable on their bills, they selected the following:
- Term Definitions: 46% aren’t interested in your term definitions, even if they would help them better understand their bill. This section is often information overload for your customers. To avoid overwhelming them, you should consider removing the definitions from your bill and finding another place for them (e.g., your website’s FAQ page). You can still provide ready access to the information by using a QR code that guides them to the FAQ page. If you must include term definitions on your bill, consider trimming the content as much as possible and placing it on the second or third page of the bill. That way, it doesn’t occupy valuable space.
- Ways to Pay: 40% do not need reminders of ways to pay. While this is an interesting data point, we don’t recommend removing this from a bill. Instead, consider the placement. Consumers read a page in a pattern, with their eyes traveling in a Z formation. Our eyes travel from the top left corner to the top right corner, then diagonally across to the bottom left corner, and then to the bottom right corner. Knowing that, think about placing the ways to pay in an area outside of the Z pattern or on the second page.
- Contact Information: 21% already know how to access your contact information and therefore don’t see the need for it on the bill. It’s usually included along with a company logo, which can fit neatly in the header of a bill. Again, consider placement and size. Since this information is easily accessible online, it can be reduced in size and tucked under a logo or a place not within that Z pattern.
- Meter Readings: 20% aren’t interested in trying to understand their meter readings. Without context, these numbers can seem arbitrary. Eliminating it from your bill may not be an option, so try placing it on the second page and leaving the front page for the more valuable items.
Remove the Noise on Your Bill
Now that you understand what your customers see as clutter on your bill, you can set about the task of tidying up and making way for the more valuable information. By assisting your customers with “finding their Waldo” within the 5 minutes they set aside to review their bill, you ultimately reduce those unnecessary calls into your call center.
The next step is understanding what the most valuable items are. Keep an eye out for our next blog post, 4 Items Your Customers Value Most on Your Bill to learn what you do want to make room for on your bill.