Self-service nets higher pay rates in utility collections.
How a top utility company realized a substantial lift in payments by engaging delinquent customers through automated interactions.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSEG) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest publicly-owned utility with more than 2 million customers and one of the largest utility companies in the U.S. PSEG first started working with Nuance in 2007 to automate customer interactions. Prior to that, the company didn’t have an adequate means for contacting all their delinquent customers, relying on mailings and part-time staff to make outbound calls. With the costs of labor rising, the utility wanted a better way to reach more of their delinquent customers at a lower cost and with the greatest business impact.
“ The first month we made that change, in check payments alone, not including credit cards, the result was an additional 1,337 payments. ”
Strategic Analyst, Credit Collections Team
Publish Service Electric & Gas
PSEG’s goal with self-service was to collect more from past due accounts without causing an influx of calls into the contact center. “With collections, it’s a constant battle because the contact center doesn’t want an increase in call volume,” explains Christy Barone, Strategic Analyst with PSEG’s Credit Collections Team.
“We tested the correlation between the outbound calls generated through Nuance and inbound call volume, and the impact was negligible,” she adds. “Any calls that did come into the contact center as a result of Nuance were customers looking to arrange payment, which ultimately is our goal.”
PSEG bases its collections strategy on level of risk—low or high. Newly delinquent customers now receive a friendly reminder call with four self-service options:
— Promise to pay
— Set up direct deposit auto payments
— Transfer to the IVR to pay by credit card
— Make a payment by check