Project Profile: Lake Stevens Sewer District’s Customers Embrace New Billing System

New system allows sewer district customers to receive, pay and archive billing statements

Lake Stevens Sewer District, located in Snohomish County, Wash., provides sewer services to about 11,000 customers in its service area. Customers are billed once a month for sewer service. The district accommodates a variety of payment options. However, for bill presentment, the district had only offered one option, a paper bill mailed out each month.

Many of the district’s customers wanted to receive and pay their bills online, something known as “electronic bill presentment and payment,” or EBPP. With a median age of 32, the district largely — but not exclusively — serves a young, tech-savvy customer base. So it comes as no surprise that more and more of the district’s customers interact with businesses through their smartphones, tablets or computers.

The doxo dashboard

In response to customer demand, the district began evaluating a range of vendors, mindful of the need to offer EBPP yet keep a status quo option for those customers who prefer to be billed by mail. The ideal solution would make the transition to EBPP simple and beneficial to the customer.

The default bill presentment continues to be physical, paper bills, delivered via mail. For district customers who prefer this method, nothing changes. It’s business as usual. They will continue to receive bills by mail. They can continue to pay their bills through a variety of options.

Yet for those customers who want to move to EBPP, the district makes it very easy. In just a couple of minutes, the customer can sign up for paperless billing through a novel new service called doxo. Doxo allows the district’s customers not only to receive and pay their bill electronically but also to archive the bill. The service supports other district communications, such as the district’s quarterly newsletters.

The district and its customers see a range of benefits through the doxo solution. One, it costs less to bill a customer through doxo than via standard mailed bills. It answers a customer demand — the ability to receive e-bills. The district has also seen that those customers who have signed up for doxo pay in a more timely manner, with fewer delinquencies.