February 7, 2024
Top 5 Benefits of Outsourcing Water Billing for Water Districts
Water billing is a small piece of a water district’s overall responsibilities, but it can be a massive drain on resources when done inefficiently. That’s why water districts should consider outsourcing these tasks. In this article, we explore the top benefits water districts can expect when outsourcing to the right water billing provider.
Partnering with an outsourced water billing provider can be a wise choice for many water districts. Here are five benefits that working with the right water billing provider can unlock for water districts.
5 Benefits of Outsourcing Water Billing
Benefit #1: Streamlined Operations
Water billing might sound easy, but it requires attention to detail – which requires a lot of time and resources. From meter reads and data verification to invoice generation and payment collection, there are many time-consuming tasks involved.
Many rural water districts still run highly manual billing processes. Depending on how manual your billing processes are and how many customers you have in your service area, that can mean hundreds of hours of work each month just to bill your customers and collect payments.
A third-party utility billing provider streamlines and modernizes your water billing operations, saving your water district time and resources. The right provider can handle everything water billing related, including meter reading, bill generations, recovery and system optimizations to improve recovery rates. They can even take water billing tasks off your plate entirely.
Benefit #2: Better Recovery Rates
Outsourcing water billing to an expert provider can increase your recovery rates, ensuring your water district isn’t waiting on needed revenue each month.
The right water billing provider will always ask how to make a bill as easy as possible to pay. The answer to this question comes down to three best billing practices. Of course, nobody wants to pay a bill, but there are things your water district can do to ensure your bills are more likely to be paid on time.
#1. Send fair and defensible bills. It’s critical that every bill your water district generates is fully defensible, with full information listed out and itemized as necessary. If your bills are missing information, or if the amount billed is inaccurate, residents won’t pay on time. An expert water billing provider will ensure all bills are accurate, fair and defensible.
#2. Send bills at a predictable cadence. Whether you bill monthly, biannually or annually, water bills should be sent at a consistent and predictable cadence. A water billing provider will help you decide on a schedule and stick to it. This allows your customer to plan when they will receive their water bill and budget accordingly. That leads to more bills paid on time and in full, reducing days outstanding. If a bill goes out to a resident when they are not expecting, it can cause significant hardship that will result in the bill not being paid.
#3. Making bills as easy as possible to pay. Bills that are easier to pay get paid more often. A water billing partner will do everything they can to help you improve the payment experience for your customers, making bills as quick and easy to pay as possible. The right provider can help you get set up to accept multiple forms of payment as well as add autopay and paperless billing options. They can even help you improve customer communications by sourcing convenient customer service lines and giving your residents further options to get in touch via email, chat or text. All of this ensures that customers get their billing issues resolved as quickly as possible.
Benefit #3: Digital Tools for Your Customers
In today’s digital world, customers expect seamless digital tools to make payments and check usage. However, many water districts are still operating without them.
The right water billing firm can help your team implement digital tools that improve the experience for customers in your service area, making bills easier to pay and usage metrics more transparent.
Benefit #4: Enhanced Analytics for Your Team
Those digital tools don’t just benefit your customers. They can also provide cost-saving benefits for you are your teams.
A water billing provider can arm your water district with a 24/7/365 utility analytics dashboard. This gives your team in-depth information on water usage and billing. It also allows an expert water billing consultant to spot trends and make recommendations on how you water district can recover more costs.
Benefit #5: More Time to Focus on Critical Tasks
Municipal water districts are vital to the communities they serve.
Your team is responsible for sourcing, treating and distributing potable water to all commercial and residential customers in your service area. To do this, your water district manages an entire network of critical infrastructure like pipes and treatment plants.
Outsourcing water billing to an expert provider not only improves your overall water billing process. It gives your team valuable time back in their day – time that allows them to focus on those critical tasks.
Conclusion: Outsourcing Billing Is a Wise Choice for Water Districts
At the end of the day, investing in an outsourced water billing partner can offer water districts invaluable utility billing expertise while taking time-consuming billing tasks off their plate.
Note, your water district won’t see all these benefits unless you work with the right kind of provider. It’s important to go beyond the traditional read, bill, collect firms, and work with true utility billing experts who can help you at every step of the billing process.
A firm like Synergy can handle all aspects of your water billing system. Our team can help your team save time and recover more costs from ensuring accurate meter reads to bill generation and collection.
Looking to enhance your water district’s cost recovery and water billing capabilities? Get in touch with Synergy. We’re experts in water billing, and we’re here to help your district succeed.