Customer service is as important with delinquent or default accounts as it is with accounts in good standing.
Customer service doesn’t – and shouldn’t – stop when companies are dealing with outstanding accounts. Life is hectic, and financial woes can happen to good customers.
When it comes to collecting a debt, the most exceptional service is focused on honest and compliant communication and treats every customer with respect and dignity – regardless of account status.
This is especially critical for larger businesses whose customer service reputation not only affects their own brand or service image, but can also have a lasting effect on their product manufacturer’s or supplier’s reputation. In the most precarious cases, it can even hamper either company’s marketing or product distribution efforts.
Customer service doesn’t – and shouldn’t – stop when companies are dealing with outstanding accounts.
Pay attention to your social footprint
Social media fallout is another important consideration. Channels like Ask.com, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are largely responsible for giving customers the opportunity to communicate directly with brands of every size and drawing businesses closer than ever to their target market and customer base.
However, they are also an ideal megaphone for customer complaints. If a business becomes known for its aggressive or non-compliant accounts receivable management and collections practices, or treating its customers badly, its reputation will suffer even more and it can have long-lasting effects.
There’s often a misconception that the customer relationship ends when accounts become delinquent or are in default. On the contrary, customer service should remain a priority when recovering outstanding amounts.
Businesses would do better to see the situation for what it typically is: A hiccup in an otherwise good customer’s financial life that requires education, support, flexibility, and patience to get back on track.
After all, few, if any, would consider a relationship positive if neither party has reached a mutual agreement through an open communications channel. These kinds of customer relationships in crisis may also require third-party expertise to help fix them and to avoid any hint of miscommunication that could risk destroying the relationship in the process.
There is no substitute for a customer base that remains loyal, even when you’re trying to collect outstanding debt.
Put customer satisfaction first
Whether working with a third-party provider or managing accounts receivables in-house, emphasize customer service and customer satisfaction. Your ability to compassionately work with your customer to help them through a difficult financial period, while also recovering monies, can set the tone for a lasting relationship.
This attention to detail helps preserve customer relationships for the long term, and can enhance their view of your company and brand.
There is no substitute for a customer base that remains loyal even when you’re trying to collect outstanding debt. Good customer service, educating and being an advocate for your borrowers, and treating all accounts equally will pay rich dividends well after your customer’s financial troubles subside.
— Gary Dorman, Director of Operations (@wrg_gdorman)