Monthly billing is a critical part of the customer experience for utility providers, but the billing experience is often just an afterthought. At PrintMail, we have been improving the monthly statement experience for our customers for more than 20 years. From increasing efficiency to cutting costs and improving the design experience, we share our expertise in this blog. The keys to any good user experience are simplicity and no errors. These same principles apply to billing and customer communications at a utility provider. Keep reading to learn the best ways to improve your billing process and make it a positive part of the customer experience.

Why is the billing experience important?

As a utility company, the monthly bill is your main touch point with customers. In addition to presenting a professional-looking, accurate statement of account usage and billing, your company’s monthly bills can be an opportunity to inform and market special offers. 

Above all else, today’s consumers are looking for a seamless, omnichannel billing experience. Some people may still prefer to receive a printed monthly bill, while others will sign up for eBilling and Auto Pay. Keeping the billing experience convenient will help you retain customers and collect more on-time payments. 

Let’s take a closer look at what makes for a good vs. bad billing experience. 

Key Factors of a Good Billing Experience

The most important thing about a utility bill is that it’s easy to understand. Whether viewed in print or online as an eStatement, your customers should be able to quickly grasp what they’re looking at.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by using graphs to show usage and charges by month. The human brain can process images in less time than it takes to blink your eye. So, a visualizer is more compelling than printed text. You can also use white space to break up different sections of the bill to make it easier to scan.

Easy-to-understand means that the most important information can quickly be identified. This includes:

  • Contact and emergency phone numbers
  • Billing statement date, customer account number, next meter read date, payment amount and due date
  • Customer name and address
  • Account summary with comparison graphs for energy or water usage and charges 
  • Account activity since the last bill (previous balance and payment(s), current charges and balance)
  • Electric, natural gas, or water usage 
  • Payment stub with mailing address for payment by mail
  • Instructions or link for how to pay your bill online

Comparative energy or water consumption information consists of graphs showing the customer’s own usage patterns on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis as well as how their usage compares to their neighbors’ and similar households. Adding comparative energy or water consumption information to your customer bills can help prompt changes in customer behavior, such as reducing usage or being strategic about the time of day.

What makes for a bad billing experience?

When designing or redesigning the format of your monthly utility bills, you want to avoid these three pitfalls:

  • Unclear design: Such as making it hard to find basic information such as the account number, current balance, or payment due date. 
  • Statement errors: Such as miscalculations or unrecognized charges
  • Hidden fees: People want to understand what they are being charged for and why. No one likes the “gotcha” feeling of discovering hidden fees.

As you can see, a simple, clear billing statement layout is critical to a positive customer experience. PrintMaill offers statement redesign services for utility providers to help you create the best possible billing statement for your customers. 

How To Improve The Billing Experience


Whatever the current state of your billing process, there is almost always room for improvement. It’s worthwhile to invest in billing improvements for the payoffs of cost reduction, a more efficient and smooth billing process, customer retention, customer engagement, increased payment collection, and a more user-friendly experience. Take a look at the following ways to improve your utility provider’s billing experience to see which tips are most applicable to your operation.

Accurate Data Collection

Data collection is the first step in the data quality process. It’s a crucial step because errors at this stage can circulate through the data lifecycle, resulting in incorrect or incomplete information. To ensure data quality, utility providers should put in place processes and controls to reduce errors at the data collection stage.

Reliable Mailing and Delivery

While it may be cheaper to send your monthly billing statements to the closest commercial print shop, consider the consequences of a mistake or delayed mailing date. When you partner with a company like PrintMail Solutions that has specialized in statement printing and mailing, you can have peace of mind that the chance of error is very low. PrintMail Solutions has a 99.999% error-free rate and has two redundant locations to provide consistent on-time mail delivery to anywhere in the country. Most organizations find they reduce costs up to 20% by outsourcing their statement processing and customer communications to PrintMail Solutions.

Digital Bills and Online Payment

Consider offering your customers eStatements if you don’t already. Electronic documents can be delivered at any time, anywhere regardless of the weather. They also offer an opportunity to further reduce costs for your organization. The team at PrintMail Solutions has seen an adoption rate twice the national average after implementing eStatements for our customers. Younger customers, especially, want the ease and convenience of online bill pay and account management.

If you already offer eStatements, we can help you redesign them.

Partner with PrintMail!

PrintMail Solutions has been driving innovation and delivering customer satisfaction in communication solutions for more than 20 years. To learn more about our communications solutions for utilities providers, including statement processing, eStatements, or statement redesign, contact us today!