Handling cancelled and failed energy direct debits, quickly and effectively

Handling cancelled and failed energy direct debits, quickly and effectively


A large UK energy company was experiencing a considerable increase in the number of cancelled and failed payments from customers. They approached Sigma Connected to see if we could connect with their customers and re-establish payment before they entered the collections cycle.


Sigma Connected was approached by a large energy company who had seen a large increase in the number of customers cancelling their direct debits or payments being returned unpaid. The increase had been predicted due to the rise in energy costs and the resulting increase in customers direct debits


We proposed a 14-day strategy using our omnichannel dialler with a mix of automated voice, SMS, cloud lettering and human voice.  We were pitched head-to-head against another external team to see who could perform the best.

Our collections team in South Africa are already experienced in this type of work in early collections, where customers have cancelled direct debits and fallen into the collections cycle when the bill remains unpaid.

We know that the key objective is to get to these customers as early as possible to understand if there has been an oversight, an administrative error or genuine worry about how much the direct debit had increased. We ensured that we picked up all failed direct debits the day after they had failed and immediately started a 14-day pro-active campaign to reach the customer and find a resolution.


Our extensive experience handling these scenarios with customers meant we were able to convert over 45% of the people we spoke to back onto a direct debit before they reached the collections cycle.

By speaking to the customer early, before they got into the collections cycle, we were able to deal with any issues when the amount outstanding was still low. If left to run through a collection cycle the customer could be 2 or 3 payments in debt before a conversation took place.

Sigma Connected finished ahead of the competition impressing the big energy client with the results.

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