Research finds that 1 in 10 people from the region pay their bills late, compared to a national average of 7%...
Businesses with customers located in the South West must find better ways of engaging customers to avoid late or non-payments, after our research found that 1 in 10 people from the region pay their bills late, compared to a national average of 7%.
Conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,500 consumers, the research revealed that 63% of UK adults had experienced debt recovery procedures at one point or another, with one in three believing it is OK to fall into debt in extreme circumstances.
Research found that most instances of South West consumers paying late were down to forgetfulness, with 40% of those that had paid late in the region citing it was because they'd forgotten to pay, rather than them not having the means to pay.
An additional 1 in 4 hadn't paid a bill in the past due to a mix up with the bill, or it being higher than expected, with a further 5% saying they had withheld payment in protest of poor service.
Experts are now warning businesses in the region that they need to find better ways to predict consumer behaviour and engage them earlier with tailored and proactive communication, in order to avoid late payments and potential cash flow issues later down the line.
"With mounting consumer debt levels across the country, it's an issue that simply isn't going to go away, therefore we must begin to look more closely at the reasons behind debt. Although people in the South West are most likely to pay their bills late, it's actually often not because they don't have the means to pay, but simply down to forgetfulness."
Karen Banfield, contact centre director, Echo Managed Services
Early intervention and multi-channel customer communication can be extremely effective in helping to avoid a lot of unnecessary debt - such as that due to forgetfulness, withholding payment in protest, or non-payment as a result of inaccurate billing. However, for customers with genuine affordability issues, offering a range of achievable payment options and signposting to impartial debt advice remains crucial.
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