February 2, 2016

SMECO Updates Outage Communication Tools to Provide Additional Features for Customers

In December 2015, SMECO completed a new customer portal that gives its customer-members a single point of access to self-service features and account information. As part of the customer portal project, SMECO updated its power outage map and expanded its customer messaging program.

Using the iFactor Storm Center 4 product, the updated power outage map includes new features designed to enhance the user experience. Revisions to the outage map include providing the industry-leading Google Maps platform, an updated user interface, responsive design layout, the ability to report an outage from the map, and options for auto locating a user’s location on the map.

SMECO Storm Center 4 power outage map

Leveraging the latest version of the iFactor Notifi product, SMECO also expanded its customer messaging program to include the Notifi preference center, allowing customers to select the messages they want to receive in the channels of their choice. The expansion also added email alerts as another communication channel. Previously, customers could only register by text message to receive text message alerts by text message.

SMECO Notifi preference portal
Notifi preference center in the SMECO customer portal

As part of the customer messaging program updates, SMECO and iFactor migrated existing e-bill enrollments from a third-party vendor to the Notifi system. Before the customer portal was completed, SMECO customer-members had to sign up for e-billing on the e-bill vendor website. Now, SMECO customer-members can sign up for e-bill messages using the Notifi preference center in the customer portal. iFactor also created a new e-bill email message design for SMECO to match the look and feel of the customer portal and the preference center.

SMECO e-bill email example
SMECO e-bill message example

Approximately 7,800 customers were enrolled to receive text message or email alerts from SMECO as of December 2015.

About SMECO

SMECO is a customer-owned electric cooperative providing electricity to more than 156,000 services in southern Prince George’s County, and in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County. For more information on SMECO, visit www.smeco.coop.