Experian has helped Enfield Council pioneer a new collections strategy, which has resulted in a significant reduction of customer debt over the past 12 months.
Within the first year of adopting Experian’s offering, Enfield Council reduced its customer debt, primarily council tax arrears, by £1.3 million, helping to reverse the increase in outstanding revenue as household budgets continue to feel the pinch of economic hardship. Through the intelligent use of accurate customer insight, Enfield Council was able to make informed decisions that improved the efficiency of its processes, allowing the organisation to maintain its customer service focus while ensuring arrears were significantly reduced.
In total, across England, council tax arrears are in excess of £2.3 billion, equivalent to approximately 10 percent of all revenues collected by local authorities for council tax. London arrears alone equate to £641 million, reflecting 28 percent of all arrears in England*.
Enfield Council employed Experian’s Debt Prioritisation Service (DPS) to improve its arrears recovery processes, enabling the identification of collectable revenues and informing appropriate debt recovery actions for residents of the London borough The software ensures the local authority safeguards its vulnerable customers by segmenting them accordingly to make personalised and appropriate debt recovery decisions, based upon their individual circumstances. In the last 12 months, for the first time in six years, Enfield’s arrears have fallen, from £30.5 million to £29.2 million, a drop of 4.4 percent.
Geoff Waterton, Head of Collection Finance, Resources and Customer Services at Enfield Council, says Enfield Council, like all local authorities, is under increasing pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while maintaining high standards of customer service: “So, we were looking for an innovative solution to tackle outstanding payments head on. We have been able to recover a significant amount of money, which ultimately goes back into the public purse, and improves our awareness of individual accounts. Our recent award at the IRRV conference for excellence in innovation is a further testament to our commitment to tackle debt responsibly.”