Collections & Recoveries Service Provider of the Year: our award-winning transformation

Collections & Recoveries Service Provider of the Year: our award-winning transformation

By Phil McGilvray, Managing Director Debt Services

Since joining TDX Group and being part of Equifax, one of the best bits I’ve found about working here is the passion and energy you feel from the people around you. I’m lucky to be surrounded by an exceptional leadership team and a wider team who are experts at their roles and are all striving to do the right thing, which has a huge positive impact on the millions of consumers served by our incredible  Debt Collection Agencies (DCA) community.

We’re just at the beginning of an exciting journey of fresh investment and transformation for the business, and these changes are already making a positive difference for clients, colleagues and the consumers we serve. We were delighted to be awarded the Collections & Recoveries Service Provider of the Year at the Credit Awards at the end of 2021, so I wanted to highlight some of the changes and improvements we’ve put in place and contributed towards us receiving this award.

Significant improvements in consumer communications

We transformed how we communicate with consumers to better align with their circumstances and rapidly deployed new COVID communications with no stigma, no jargon and no barriers to resolution

  • We created a new Customer Experience (CX) team who have totally overhauled how we communicate to consumers in debt and established a complete new library of award winning communications designed to adhere to our core principles for communications writing - no stigma, no jargon and no barriers to resolution. 
  • Our Customer Experience team implemented real-time Customer Experience Feedback score to provide agent feedback and ensure our clients and their consumers are getting the best possible service. Phase 1 of our Customer Experience Feedback score ran with the private sector across three clients and 1,000 consumers with scores averaging 91%. 
  • We worked with the Plain English Campaign to ensure these communications are easy for people to understand and encouraged consumers to get in touch whatever their circumstances. This change in language is a real shift in how debt recovery communications have been written traditionally. We implemented new digital engagement trials to help our clients to make the best use of all forms of consumer communications.

These improvements are only made possible by working closely with our suppliers and strategic partners as part of a debt ecosystem. Our panel of DCAs are the consumer face of our business and help us to gain first-hand experience to improve our collections strategies. We believe our supplier partners played a key part in helping us with this industry award.

Our own specialist conduct and oversight framework carried out more than two million process checks each month to help us maintain a consistent level of service and ensure operational transparency for our clients and has helped us to deliver the best possible consumer experience we demand from our service providers.

Implemented new segmentation strategies to support pausing and restarting collections

We knew that the strategies we had in place prior to pausing recoveries during the pandemic were no longer going to be optimal to achieve the best outcomes for each consumer, so we proactively built a detailed consumer picture through data and segmentation to determine the best  ways to resolve a consumer’s debt position for client and debt type. This involved creating a new eight-segment model based on previous engagement, propensity, vulnerability and a range of other characteristics.

The sudden stop in placements, followed by a rapid acceleration in volumes, needed careful capacity management to protect both clients and the supply chain, but our approach enabled our government clients to ramp up collections activity from a nearly standing start, to placing 1.1 million consumer accounts between August 2020 and March 2021.

Outbound activity levels went from circa 10k per week in April to over 500,000 per week in December - driving 35,000 weekly consumer contacts. Allowing us to return more than £400 million in collections to government departments over an eight month period.

As part of our 2021 consumer survey, our clients said that new segmentation strategies to accommodate more effective pausing and restarting collections was our best service innovation improvement of 2021.

Identifying and supporting vulnerable consumers remains a key priority

As the UK’s leading provider of data-powered debt resolutions services, it is our mission to collect debt responsibly, ethically and fairly. Our vulnerability process was recognised by achieving the BS18477 consumer vulnerability standard accreditation. An achievement that reflects TDX Group’s continued commitment to providing our consumers and clients with the best possible outcomes.

We also introduced Debt Respite Scheme solutions created and rolled out a communications plan for all clients to ensure they were able to make it easier for consumers to take advantage of new breathing space regulations and ensure all our clients were equipped to handle in-coming requests.

Incredible feedback from our clients about our services

As part of our drive for continuous improvement, our annual client survey invited all our existing public sector clients to offer honest and anonymous feedback about our services in November 2021, with some incredible results:

  • 9 out of 10 of our clients told us they would recommend us to other government departments.
  • Three quarters of our public sector clients rated us as offering value for money either always or most of the time.
  • More than 9 out of 10 clients said we are either very easy or fairly easy to do business with.
  • Three quarters of our clients told us we offer value for money either always or most of the time.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 told us they rated the restart of debt recovery activity as either excellent or good.

Our plans for future innovation

We’re planning plenty more innovation this year as we continue to lead the way in fair and effective debt resolutions in both the public and private sector world.

If you’d like to continue to follow our journey please follow us on LinkedIn or contact us to hear more about how we can bring our solutions to your business.

Phil Mcgilvray, TDX Group
Phil McGilvray, Managing Director Debt Services.