Whilst we were presenting to the Water sector on the Psychology of Collections last week, there were some interesting observations and take outs.
It seems that all too often, frontline staff are shying away from asking whether a customer can settle their bill in full and yet, this is often the first question that needs to be asked to then ascertain whether a customer is willing to pay but experiencing financial difficulty.
Knowing the right questions to ask is imperative to truly understanding a customers situation; they are the experts in their own story.
It also emerged that the ESC may be looking at implementing a version of the Payment Difficulty framework introduced on 1st January for the Energy sector, to Water. Although it was stressed that this idea is very early in the piece and may take 3-5 years to come to fruition, it will continue to challenge all Essential services to rethink and continue to improve how they assist customers facing financial difficulty.
The challenge as ever for Energy and Water retailers is how commercial outcomes can continue to be balanced with the social needs of the customer.