Qire is helping Severn Trent with debt collection, enabling it to follow up unpaid water bills and provide a better, more informed service to customers through interactive voice messaging.
Following a competitive tender process, Qire was selected by Severn Trent to deploy its IVM technology as part of the water company’s continued efforts to provide high-quality customer service to its 3.7 million household and business users in the Midlands and mid Wales. Initially the IVM solution will be used for managing domestic customer debt collection and arrears with basic messages being automatically issued to customers with outstanding payments. The Qire solution will significantly help Severn Trent to manage a more efficient payment collection process. The real-time reporting mechanisms of Qire’s solution will also allow Severn Trent to analyse statistics from calls, enabling the company to measure efficiency benefits quickly and accurately.
Russell Mackuin, Debt Strategy and Controls Manager, Severn Trent said: “Working with Qire and the company’s technology has been nothing short of excellent. Roll-out and implementation have been seamless and it’s obvious when talking to Qire employees they really know what they are doing in this space and how to genuinely help businesses. Prior to using Qire, up to 50-60% of the time a call centre agent would get through to someone other than the person responsible for payment using manual dial-out processes or predictive diallers, which can be incredibly hit or miss. Now, through IVM, Severn Trent can filter out wrong party numbers before the agent speaks to the party, making the agent more efficient.”
The Qire IVM solution calls the customer and informs them it is a Severn Trent call. It then asks if this is ‘Joe Bloggs,’ for example and the interactive conversation continues from there. If it is Joe Bloggs and he answers ‘Yes’ he is put through to an operator. If he answers ‘No’ then a message is left asking Joe Bloggs to call a number.
Mackuin continued: “Qire is helping us to meet our desire and that of our regulators to make personal contact with our customers; it is simple and easy to use and has really helped in terms of call centre productivity. This is just the beginning of a really exciting project. Now the Qire platform is in place, we’ll be able to continue to upgrade and offer more and more advanced services. There are opportunities to use this technology for notifying our customers during crises or times of problems such as a water outage in a given area, for example.”
Proud to be working with Severn Trent, Guy Cooper, CEO, Qire said: “The example of Severn Trent is testament to how IVM is really helping to put more intelligence back into customer service through voice communications. Working with 3.7 million customers, Severn Trent has a responsibility to interact more closely and strategically with each of them to improve customer relationships and increase business growth opportunities. IVM is helping Severn Trent with the capabilities for targeting customers to respond to a voice message and, in some cases, be automatically guided to a resolution instantly. Adding this ‘human touch’ to communications has required no additional investment from Severn Trent and has enabled them to allocate staff resources more successfully.”