A UK business outsourcing specialist has agreed a three-year contract with Anglian Water to support its most vulnerable customers.

Sigma Connected, which provides UK and offshore customer contact services for some of Britain’s biggest utility and financial services firms, has signed the deal to provide its ReachOut service to the largest geographic water and wastewater company in England and Wales – supporting its most vulnerable or financially challenged customers.

ReachOut will see Sigma’s team helping around 600 vulnerable people in debt every month by engaging with them, raising awareness of support and guiding them to charities such as the Samaritans, StepChange, MIND, Turn2us and Macmillan. The charities help with any underlying challenges often linked to debt, with Sigma’s ReachOut team also guiding customers back to the support Anglian Water has to offer those in poverty.

The three-year contract award, the first for ReachOut in the water industry, follows a successful pilot which saw 20% positive engagement in just two weeks from customers in debt who previously had not engaged with the water supplier.

Sigma Connected’s CEO Gary Gilburd said: “Our trial of ReachOut with Anglian Water was a huge success and they are now leading the way in the water industry by becoming the first company outside of the energy and banking sectors to engage with and commit to ReachOut.

“This is all about our team engaging with, building trust and really listening to people in debt – understanding what’s making their bills difficult to manage – and guiding them back to the client’s own teams, alongside the best possible support with financial, emotional and physical wellbeing in mind.

“It is another great milestone for ReachOut and we look forward to making a difference between now and 2024.”

Spencer Hough, Head of Billing and Collections at Anglian Water added: “The ReachOut service has shown us that by using a trusted partner to support customers on our behalf we can get vulnerable customers to open up more about the challenges they are facing and then find a route to help them.

“It will undoubtably bring us closer to thousands of our customers, help to resolve their debt and improve awareness of the type of support available. We have high hopes for ReachOut and look forward to working hand-in-hand with the team at Sigma.”

In September this year Sigma Connected won the CSA 2021 Innovation Award for ReachOut and followed that in November with ReachOut also winning the Best Vulnerable Customer Support category at the U&T Awards.  So far 12 leading utility and financial service clients are working with ReachOut.

For further information about ReachOut, readers can visit www.sigmaconnected.com/reachout.