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How Thames Water Does Customer-Centric Collections

Utilities are a special case for collections — they often have a public duty to keep customers switched on that can affect collections performance. That makes the success of Thames Water Utilities Limited, the UK’s largest water and sewerage company, all the more noteworthy.

Thames Water has improved collections effectiveness by using FICO collections systems to match each customer with the most appropriate and effective collections actions. Thames Water is also using FICO technology to communicate with overdue customers, enabling them to pay without ever having to speak with a collections agent.

In the first seven months of using FICO® Debt Manager and FICO® Risk Intervention Manager, Thames Water has collected £10 million using these services, and has accelerated payments from customers for Thames Water at a lower cost.

This is all part of an initiative at Thames Water to transform its management of customer debt. As the CFO of the utility group’s Retail group, Stuart Ledger, says, “Increasing pressures on household budgets and the high transiency in our region were making it harder for us to collect outstanding debts and help customers meet their payment obligations. We needed to use customer-specific actions to help customers reduce their debt, in a way that would ensure we gave excellent service to our customers.”

FICO Risk Intervention Manager uses voice and SMS channels to offer customers automated payment choices. In the first seven months, the system sent 345,000 automated voice calls and 95,000 text messages to Thames Water customers.

Tailored treatments. Flexible strategy control. Automated communications. Sounds like a formula for collections success.

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