Mid Sussex District Council and the software platform TellJO have won a national technology award for the support they provide for vulnerable residents.
The Credit & Collections Technology Awards recognise technological innovation within the industry and this year Mid Sussex District Council and TellJO have been announced as winners of the Vulnerable Customer Identification and Screening category.
When residents miss a Council Tax payment, it can be an early indication that something is wrong. Mid Sussex District Council introduced the TellJO system to help identify vulnerable people who could be facing financial difficulties, poor health or other social problems. TellJO enables the Council to automatically send out email and text messages to ask if the resident is OK and find out what difficulties they might be facing. By identifying people who are at risk early, the Council can signpost them to support and help them to improve their circumstances.
The TellJO system has been a huge success, helping over 75% of respondents to request new payment arrangements and providing 46% with immediate debt advice. The support provided by the service has enabled the Council to help residents with a range of complex issues, and this has led to a Credit & Collections Technology Award 2021.
Councillor Ruth de Mierre, Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet member for Customer Services said:
“Providing support for our residents who are facing financial and social difficulties is at the heart of everything we do. TellJO enables us to identify people who may need help at an early stage and this means we can work with them to resolve issues before they get out of control and extra fees are added to their outstanding debts.
“It’s a wonderful software platform that helps us engage directly with our vulnerable customers. Most people who are going through a difficult financial time are reluctant to communicate with their creditors but TellJO acts as a trusted go-between, helping to connect our support staff with hard to reach groups.
“TellJO is an excellent example of how technology can be used to help support people who are in crisis. It has made a significant difference to the lives of our residents and I’m delighted it has been recognised with this award.”
Dominic Maxwell, Co-Founder and Director at TellJO said:
“It’s fantastic to be recognised with this prestigious award. Working with Mid Sussex District Council demonstrates that by harnessing innovation and asking residents “are you ok?” it is possible to use digital to improve resident wellbeing and reduce the potential for homelessness at an early stage.”