Just Ask Alexa
May 6, 2021
If you’ve ever used a voice-activated assistant, like Siri or Alexa, then you know how convenient they can be for quickly providing valuable information in real time – delivering answers within seconds of being prompted.
And now voice assistance technology – available via Amazon’s Alexa app, Echo devices and Fire TV – can help you retrieve important details about your FirstEnergy utility account – including billing notifications, due dates, payment confirmations and monthly bill comparisons.
“As a forward-thinking utility of the future, it’s important to give our customers new, innovative ways to connect with us – and voice assistance is an important part of this equation,” said Sam Belcher, senior vice president and FirstEnergy Utilities president. “This technology provides another touchpoint between us and the customer centered on convenience, real-time data and ease of use.”
It just takes a few simple steps to connect your FirstEnergy and Amazon accounts and begin the process. Once set up, you can ask prompts like these and more, beginning first with addressing Alexa by name:
- “Alexa, how much is my electric bill?”
- “Alexa, when is my FirstEnergy bill due?
- “Alexa, compare my FirstEnergy bill to last month.”
- “Alexa, did I pay the FirstEnergy bill?”
- “Alexa, what’s the balance of my electric bill?”
- “Alexa, what is my electric bill status?”
Alexa will respond quickly, empowering you with important information to help manage your utility spend, ensure you stay on top of payments and never miss a deadline.
|A Team Effort
While using voice assistance is a breeze, launching this new capability didn’t happen overnight.
“This effort was a true collaboration between Customer Service and employees from Emerging Technologies and Information Technology, with assistance from many other support groups across FirstEnergy,” said Michelle Henry, vice president, Customer Service. “I want to thank and congratulate the Alexa team for making this interactive innovation a reality for customers.”
The voice assistant for commerce concept – first presented by Emerging Technologies last year – has been effectively implemented by several of our peer utility companies, revealing tangible benefits to customers.
It still took many months of hard work and testing, however – including partnering with Amazon personnel and enabling the necessary technological framework – before the idea came to fruition.
“We’re planning to soon inform customers about this Alexa voice assistance feature and encourage registration,” Michelle adds. “Obviously, using this technology isn’t required, but we want customers to know the capability is there – and it’s ready and waiting for them to use to their advantage.”