Annual Report 2016 - Page 25

Annual Report 2016 Market leading and retail ready customer billing Echo’s billing and customer information solution, RapidXtra, continues to hold a market leading position within the UK water sector. Ten client implementations have already been completed, two further implementations successfully went live in 2015 and a further implementation is in progress and is due to go live in September 2016. The introduction of non-household retail competition in April 2017 continues to be a significant priority for UK water companies. Acknowledging this, Echo continues to be heavily engaged in the Open Water programme. With vast experience in the deployment and delivery of retail billing programmes, and a deep understanding of the water sector and its regulatory requirements, RapidXtra is perfectly placed to be the solution of choice to service commercial customer retail system requirements once the market opens. RapidXtra Retail remains on course to be delivered on time and in line with the industry requirements. Consolidated end-to-end customer-centric debt collections services The market for debt collection services remains buoyant as debt levels continue to rise across the UK. The challenges of supporting customers in circumstances of vulnerability, ascertaining customers’ ability to pay and ensuring fair outcomes for all are key concerns affecting the sector. Strong data, tailored strategies and positive customer engagement are at the forefront of debt recovery strategies. Echo’s position in the sector was further strengthened with the 2015 acquisition of utilities market specialist, Grosvenor Services Group. Echo is now able to offer an end-to-end debt recovery service from early arrears collections right through to litigation, delivered via field and office based strategies and expertise. Recognising that debt is just another part of the customer journey, we have differentiated our offering by leveraging the importance of customer experience and a customer service mind-set throughout the debt recovery process; championing the importance of early intervention and a joined up approach between in-house teams and external providers across the complete debt cycle. 23