By Patrick Yeagle
Springfield City Water, Light and Power debuted a new website design this week, offering better security, a more user-friendly interface and cost savings for the utility.
CWLP previously used an outside vendor to provide account management through its website, says spokesperson Amber Sabin. The new design integrates the formerly separate account management site, cwlponline.com, into the utility’s main site, cwlp.com. The former URL now redirects to the account management section of the main site, which is also reachable directly via mycwlp.com.
“This rebuild was done by our in-house staff in our Information Systems Division,” Sabin said, “and similar to other recent City of Springfield department website makeovers, it’s been designed as mobile friendly, is easier to navigate, find information and request assistance.”
The immediate cost savings by eliminating the outside vendor is $13,000 per year, she said, adding that there may be additional savings in the future because upgrades to the website can now be done in-house at no cost.
Customers who previously used cwlponline.com will have to re-register for online access to accounts on the upgraded site, but the new design allows one login for multiple accounts and one payment instead of several for multiple accounts.
“Login errors were also common and customer service was spending a lot of time assisting customers through the processes of that payment website,” Sabin said, “and we received plenty of negative feedback on the trouble they were experiencing.”
Additionally, the upgrade allows direct messages to customer service, provides text message alert options and offers better access to usage and billing histories.
Sabin says users of the old site were sent instructions for using the new site, and about 1,400 users signed up during the website’s “soft launch.” Registering on the new site requires an eight-digit CWLP customer number and a valid email address. Using the new site doesn’t require electronic billing, Sabin says, but the site offers it as an option.
“Customers who prefer not to register for online account management will still be able to pay their bills online using the QuickPay payment option offered on the main page of the online account management site,” Sabin said.
The upgrades to account management were accompanied by a redesign of CWLP’s main site, bringing it more in line with the design of other city websites.
Sabin says customer service and the utility’s Information Systems Division have been on standby to troubleshoot any problems with the new design. They can be reached at 789-2030 or email@example.com.
Contact Patrick Yeagle at firstname.lastname@example.org.