Aptumo makes life easier for Australian water utilities and their customers: Information Statements 

Aptumo is proud to be a major sponsor of the VicWater Conference 2022. Part of Echo Managed Services, a long term, trusted partner of over a third of water utilities in the UK, Aptumo is a specialist billing platform that delivers much more than just accurate bills. Over the coming months we’re very keen to share details of some of the benefits this best-in-class system can bring to water utilities here in Australia.

If you haven’t heard about Aptumo yet, here’s a very brief introduction: Developed by the water industry, for the water industry, the team behind Aptumo has decades of water sector expertise and a deep domain understanding of the issues faced by water utilities every day. We understand that a “one-size-fits-all” approach just doesn’t work: to be truly worthy of the investment, a billing platform must be flexible and future-proof. Being native to the Salesforce platform means that Aptumo ticks these boxes and many more.
  
So, apart from ensuring accurate and on demand billing, what could Aptumo actually do for water utilities here in Australia?

On this occasion, let’s concentrate on an important back-office activity that all water customers in Australia will call upon at some point during their home-owning or renting journey - the information statement.

Moving home can be both exciting and stressful; the last thing a mover needs is more red tape and delays. Likewise, it tends to be an expensive activity so any unexpected costs will be equally unwelcome. The information statement is, of course, an essential part of the process so if a water utility can make that process easier for their customer, that’s a big tick in the customer satisfaction ledger.

Because Aptumo is customer rather than property centric, customer service agents have real-time information at their fingertips which allows them to action a request for an information statement quickly and easily.

The basics of an information statement are pretty simple: you need one when buying or selling a property; using things like average water consumption it calculates what the current owner will owe on the property settlement date when the new owner takes over; and it should also highlight any easements on the property and the location of underground pipework. How hard could that be?

Well, first of all, Aptumo makes it easier for a property conveyancer as they can choose to make the request online.

Because Aptumo is highly customizable there is no such thing as a standard information statement; each water utility can choose the type of information it wants to provide based on the preferences of its customers and any region-specific requirements. Does it want to forecast a bill on the settlement date based on estimates, or wait until closer to that date and carry out a meter read? It could, for example, choose to include a plan of the property, or details of other assets such as water meters. The statement could even be used to clarify metering arrangements. If a property is not, for example, metered separately the statement can provide full details of how many and which properties it shares a meter with and how consumption is divided among those properties.

Data is drawn directly from the comprehensive transaction history of the customer’s own profile. As the new owner/tenant of a property will become liable for any outstanding costs upon settlement, providing as much detail as possible at this point sets the relationship with the new bill payer off on the right footing. They will be fully informed about which services are provided to the property and the costs associated with those services.

Once the statement is ready, it can be returned to the property conveyancer electronically if that is the route they have chosen.

Tony Kelly is a non-executive director at Aptumo and part of the team based here in Australia. He is a familiar face around the water industry with an impressive backstory and limitless enthusiasm for Aptumo and how it will help water utilities in Australia. Tony told us:

“Customer expectations have been changing for some time and water regulators are championing those expectations by calling for higher levels of customer satisfaction within the industry, so a customer centric billing solution can help enormously. Aptumo has been built from the ground up to meet the unique challenges that water utilities face today, as well as those they will encounter in the future”.

The claims made by the Aptumo team are extensive but well founded. It is cloud based and can grow to accommodate the ever-expanding expectations of customers. Being native to the Salesforce platform also means it is built on modern digital technologies that can easily be integrated with the utility’s own digital strategy.

Being part of Salesforce also future proofs your investment. Salesforce invests millions of dollars each year in acquisitions and research and development projects to make a comprehensive customer relationship toolkit available to their clients. The Salesforce App Exchange offers over 2,500 apps, including Aptumo, which help businesses of any size, anywhere in the world, drive improvements in the quality of service they offer to their customers. That’s sharing best practice on a global scale.

We’ll hand back over to Tony for the last word: 

“Making the information statement process easier is just the tip of the iceberg. With Aptumo there is so much to talk about; even as a standalone billing system, without the rich functionality offered by its connection with Salesforce, Aptumo can help water utilities navigate their way towards a more fulfilling future. The system provides a real-time 360° view of customer engagements which means that every interaction is accurate and valuable.”

Look out for more updates over the coming months about how Aptumo can help water utilities to engage effectively with customers who are dealing with a variety of issues including hardship or domestic violence.