Helping UK water client achieve £2m in collections

The challenge

Our client, one of the UK’s three largest water companies, wanted to test the potential for using litigation and enforcement on carefully selected Live and Final accounts to try to improve engagement, help manage the ongoing consumption charges and reduce the bad debt charge.

These were customers who had chosen not to engage for an extended period despite the client having made numerous previous contact attempts via letter, SMS, calls and third-party debt collection activity.

The client was especially sensitive that the activity must be appropriate for the customers’ circumstances whilst delivering positive net returns.

The solution

Initially Just  undertook a rigorous portfolio analysis and treatment selection to help the client understand and segment a portfolio of over 40,000 customers to ensure any additional debt recovery treatment was fair and appropriate.

Just applied its proprietary LitigationScore to identify accounts suitable for litigation, where the customer had the means to pay, but for some reason was choosing not to engage to clear the outstanding balance.

The client did not have their own litigation provider, so Just provided an integrated litigation service using one of its own carefully selected and  extensive Litigation panel.

For accounts unresolved by the litigation activity, Just then provided a fully managed High Court enforcement service, using its ready-to-go network of enforcement suppliers and agents.

The results

 Customer engagement rates and collections performance both far exceeded client’s expectations.

  •  High contact rates: up to 28% of customers engaged during litigation and 34% during the enforcement stage
  •  Total collections to date have already exceeded £2.4m (including cash and plan benefit across all segments)

 The success of this initial project gave the client the confidence to incorporate a litigation and enforcement treatment path into their standard collection dunning path  for both Live / on-supply and Final / Closed accounts.