Energy and utilities businesses outsourced contracts worth £268 million during the first six months of the year, according to outsourcing firm Arvato and industry analyst NelsonHall.

The figure was up 10% year-on-year.

The increase was due to customer services and collections being outsourced, to the tune of £164m.

The total number of outsourcing contracts signed in the sector rose by 20% year-on-year.

Combating switching

Deals with energy companies and other utility firms accounted for 15% of the entire UK outsourcing market during the period.

Only the government and the financial services sector procured more outsourced services, at 30% and 17% respectively.

Debra Maxwell, Chief Executive of Customer Relationship Management Solutions for the UK and Ireland at Arvato, said: “More businesses are recognising the importance of improving the customer experience as price differences become increasingly marginal and consumers are more liable to switch supplier.”

> View the UK outsourcing index