We’re here to help our customers and while we truly believe that we deliver top quality drinking water for great value, we also recognise that on occasions some of our customers may have difficulties paying their bills.
We’re here to help our customers and while we truly believe that we deliver top quality drinking water for great value, we also recognise that on occasion some of our customers may have difficulties paying their bills.
We want to ensure that all of our customers who need some support are also aware of all we offer for them.
This is why we have become the first water company to be part of a national pilot project helping customers with debt issues by signposting them to a single contact point providing long-term financial support.
We’re proud to be signed up to the Money and Pensions Service’s Money Adviser Network which simplifies the process to put our customers in need in touch with free, regulated debt advice.
Our aim is to help those in immediate payment difficulties find long-term solutions. This is part of a nationwide strategy to help people struggling with financial wellbeing.
The scheme works by using technology to simplify the process of putting customers in need of expert advice in touch with independent advisers quickly and allows customers to share their financial information easily and confidentially online.
The pilot is testing three great new innovations:
- A virtual contact centre – linking customers to the agency with capacity to give immediate support there and then
- Using open data – with open banking solutions, validation of the customer’s financial position will be simpler and will speed up the process of understanding their financial position
- Improved creditor feedback – technology will support providing more updates and engagement with the customer through the debt advice journey.
Andy Clowes, Head of Customer Experience and Strategy, said: “This will really help our teams to be able to refer customers to funded debt advice agencies when they are struggling with finances or debt. It is an ideal solution for providing our customers with a great service, quickly and simply now and in the future.”
“We are delighted South East Water has become the first water company to become a referral partner for the government sponsored Money Adviser Network (MAN). In the wake of coronavirus it is important that all creditors have debt advice referral strategies that go beyond simple signposting which we know have low customer engagement levels. This partnership ensures that South East Water’s customers with problem debts can be easily connected digitally or by telephone with one of a panel of debt advice agencies through a single point of entry.” Kevin Shaw, Creditor Strategy Manager, Money & Pensions Service
Since joining the scheme, we’ve been able to direct a number of customers towards help with managing their financial wellbeing.
Andy added: “We are doing all we can to support our customers in the current climate and this is an additional way of ensuring they get the support they need when they need it most.
“We are confident that this referral process supported by StepChange, Money Advice Trust and Citizens Advice will give our customers the chance to obtain the support they need to get back on track in a way that suits their circumstances.”