Callcredit Blog

Utility providers need to be more focused and enhance their own data if they want to get the best out of their debt portfolio

Collections & Recoveries

Picture1With competition rising across the utilities market, and with the increase of specialised aggregators promoting customer switching, it’s no wonder bad debt exposure is a challenge for energy and water companies.  With little brand loyalty and minimal customer engagement, consumers can’t always be relied on to inform their utility provider when they move. Do people forget to notify, their bank or their employer? Probably not, so why do some consumers overlook their utility providers?

  1. Some consumers may not understand it is their responsibility to get in touch. Take student households for example, with numerous address changes and multiple house shares making for disjointed communications.
  2. Then there are those who perhaps can’t pay their final bill, or have outstanding arrears and believe absconding will write this off.

Whatever the reason, tracing debt costs utilities huge amounts of time and money, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a futile pursuit.

So what’s the solution?

Focus on cases driving the best profit

Sourcing internal and external data insight provides a much clearer picture of the customer’s propensity to pay, enabling collections to be targeted at those most likely to pay, increasing the likelihood of return.

Don’t focus on: Debt that has accumulated due to poor creditworthiness as the economic case for recovery is marginal.  Debt where there is a spectrum of circumstances regarding the customers’ ability to pay.

Improve your contact rates through data enhancement  

Equipping tracing agents with the right tools for the job can greatly increase tracing efficiency. Searching across multiple data channels to source contact details and occupation status can be used to evaluate the best channel of contact. Tracing solutions can be used to search from as much or as little of the information available on a customer, and matching technology will generate results relevant but not identical to your search, providing details on those tricky to track individuals. 

Validate billing before action and resolve disputes  

Not all disputed accounts are genuine, and validating responsibility with confidence where fraud is suspected can be challenging. By identifying accurate residency information, including tenancy period and individual names registered at the property, customers can be traced to their new addresses and disputes resolved. Bookkeeping These accounts can also be screened against residency data prior to any court action so that you can proceed with confidence for best results.

Utilising these three effective solutions will help utility providers save time and get the best out of their debt portfolio.

If you want to find out more about getting the best out of your debt portfolios drop me an email, I would be happy to speak with you.

Author: Mitul Patel

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