As a collection agency that works with both small and large business, we encounter this question quite a bit. We often hear that a business needs to place a customer into the collection process but they really don’t want to lose that customer. It is very common for those two factors to be discussed in the same conversation.
We work hard to secure a customer and we don’t want to lose them if we can help it. Acquiring new customers can be a long process for some businesses and the fact that they are behind in their obligations to our business, should not totally disqualify them from doing business with us in the future.
Take a sales professional for example. If you are in sales, then you know this all too well. You could chase an account for a year or more before someone decides to do business with you. That was hard work and you put your time in to make sure they trusted you. You got the client. Now because of some bad experience, they are not a client anymore. That’s a shame and hopefully it could have been avoided.
There are many reasons your business might be losing customers and we feel that in a lot of cases, it could be prevented.
Bad customer service:
What does a collection agency know about great customer service? Quite a bit. Check out our blog post on that topic.
The age of customer service has now turned into the role of the customer experience. It’s not enough to just serve the customer and handle their issue with care. Although that is a large part of it. It is now imperative that you create a great experience for your customer. That’s what the people you service equate to customer service. If they have a bad experience, that’s one part. If you don’t solve their issue or they think you don’t care, that’s part two and that’s when you begin to lose their trust and ultimately their business.
How many times have you walked into a store and the person serving you either has an attitude or they just come across as not caring about your business? Running a business is difficult and finding the right people is even harder. You will not find many people that will care about your business as much as you do. Teaching your staff to treat every customer with respect and a cordial tone is one of the most important thigs you can do as a business owner. Even if your staff cannot answer a customer’s questions, if they interact with them in a proper manner, many times, the lack of knowledge is forgiven.
We just mentioned training your staff proper customer interactions. But let’s take it a step further. Investing in staff training is investing in customer retention. Your customers come to you because they feel you are the best option to either solve their issue or supply them with the best product or service. Give them any doubt and they start to wonder if there might be a better option. All you have to do is go on to Google and see how people complain about a business because employees were not properly trained. Before you let an employee come in contact with your customers, make sure they are trained in that area. And make sure you have system in place to continue their training and education. What makes American Profit Recovery a better collection agency is our laser focus on training. It happens every day here in some form. And it sets us apart.
Yes, poor technology can be a strong factor in losing customers. And it can happen in a number of areas. First, if your website is not clear about what you provide and the issues you solve for customers, you may lose potential business. If you don’t have clear call to action and a way for new business to get a hold of you quickly, you’ll lose out. We know this might seem basic, but you would be surprised at how many websites have their phone number buried.
The technology you use to run your business could be hurting you. That goes for your customer database, proprietary technology or software that is outdated or the use of inadequate software to process your accounting and accounts receivables. You’ll not only lose money by having ineffective accounting software and systems, but you could also lose customers.
If you need up to date technology out in the field, if that pertains to your industry, you’ll be serving the customer in an outdated fashion, so it is important to keep up on your industry and what’s trending.
We understand that in business, you cannot please everyone and that you will lose some customers and never know why. But you have to make customer retention a priority at all levels of your business. Losing money can be expensive. Losing a customer can be even more damaging.