Revising legal letters and improving language and effectiveness

Tasks included

What was needed

Analysis of payment records at Thames Water suggested that 'legal' and debt recovery letters were not effective in persuading reluctant customers to pay the money they owed Thames Water.

Traditionally, persuading customers to pay had involved sending many increasingly threatening letters, to little effect. A new customer management cadre, together with new computer systems, gave the company the opportunity to improve debt collection without alienating customers.

Our approach

We looked at the timing of letters - both when in the debt-collection cycle a letter was used, and how long it took to issue one. A more realistic approach was needed to make the letters more effective.

[next page]