Aptumo makes life easier for Australian water utilities and their customers: Supporting customers
experiencing family violence

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’ll introduce you to some of the benefits this best-in-class system can bring to water utilities here in Australia.

Aptumo is a billing and customer management system 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. A “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t work; we understand that a billing platform must be flexible and future-proof to keep up with changing customer expectations. As Aptumo is native to the Salesforce platform, it ticks these boxes and many more.

In last month’s article we looked at how Aptumo can make the process behind supplying an information statement significantly easier for both the customer and the water utility. In this article, we’ll look at the troubling issue of family violence and how Aptumo can help water utilities support customers who are affected by it.

Family violence has become a major issue in Australia. While our community struggles to improve the situation it’s also a very personal issue that can be difficult for those affected by it to talk about. Reaching out for help to escape the situation takes an enormous amount of courage; surely the process of putting a life back together – a roof over your head, food on the table, a sense of safety and security – should be easier, shouldn’t it?

Tony Kelly, non-executive director at Aputmo Australia, believes it should be and, where possible, organizations from banks to water utilities should lead the way in offering support. 

“Technology gives us so many opportunities to impose order on a situation of chaos” Tony said, “it just takes one ‘light-bulb moment’ to help someone who is struggling feel that they’re making progress.”

A great deal of upheaval and uncertainty often follows in the wake of breaking away from a violent situation. Having found a new place to call home, the worry that something as simple as an administrative error could push any progress into reverse is something that a well-designed customer management system like Aptumo can help to alleviate.

Tony continued: 

“In such a personal situation what a water utility, or any other service provider, can actually do is limited. The most valuable thing we can do is work with the customer to make sure the progress they have made is protected”.

Unlike many other billing systems currently being used by water utilities, Aptumo is customer rather than property centric; a profile is set up for a customer and then a property and the related services are linked to it. This means that when a customer service agent looks at a profile, they see a full 360°, real-time record of the customer’s billing and engagement history.

A customer may choose to identify themselves as affected by family violence, or it could become apparent to the water utility if their payment behaviours change or on the recommendation of a counsellor. Once aware of the situation, the customer’s profile can be flagged in Aptumo accordingly and, if necessary, be password protected to allow only the customer to make enquiries or provide information. After that, as soon as the account is called up by anyone in the utility, a warning can be flashed onto the screen. If necessary, only specially trained customer service agents, who understand the sensitivity around the customer’s situation, will be able to access the account. Aptumo can easily provide high level management summary reports regarding the number of customers affected, without compromising anyone’s personal information.

Back to Tony:

“Even with the best intentions, manual work arounds, usually set up outside a billing system, can fail, putting the customer’s safety at risk again. With an automated system in place, supported by appropriately trained staff and robust customer service protocols, the customer can feel safe and secure knowing their specific needs are recognized by their water utility. Being able to automate security around an account is a significant benefit for both the water utility and the customer”.

Look out for more updates over the coming months about how Aptumo can help water utilities to engage effectively with customers. If you would like to know more about how Aptumo could help you deliver exceptional service to your customers, contact Matt Bowd.