We always hear companies bragging about how they have the best customer service in their industry. And in recent years, what is taking shape is that the entire customer experience needs to be taken into consideration when deciding to do business with a company.
A customer experience starts from the moment they pick up the phone and inquire about your services. And it extends all the way until both customer and business have met each other’s obligations. That includes financial obligations as well.
If a customer is treated poorly during any stage of the relationship, or they feel they have not gotten the service that you promised them, that can directly affect how you get paid, when you see that money, and possibly dictate how a dispute may end up.
Before you think cash flow is the sole responsibility of your accounting department, read below for our thoughts on how a profitable company is everyone’s responsibility.
The customer experience builds long term relationships
If a customer does not have a basic connection to your company and your team, you run the risk of a dispute if that time ever comes. Creating a stellar customer experience from top to bottom should be one of your top priorities when running and managing any size business. This involves the people you hire, the amount and depth of training you provide those people as well as educating them as to how important it is to treat every customer like your only customer.
In short, your customer should love doing business with you and enjoy that experience.
Realistic expectations for the customer every step of the way
Let’s say you are a swimming pool contractor or home improvement specialist. You’re going to be spending a fair amount of time on your customer’s project. You and your team should make it a practice to be upfront about expectations for every stage of the project. There should be no surprises and there should be constant communication so there are no doubts about any part of the process.
This also includes the expectations of payments. When you communicate with your customer about the benchmarks and timing of a project as well as when payments are expected, and you do it in a respectable but firm manner, you leave little doubt as to what the customer should expect from you and what you expect of them.
Communicating realistic expectations improves the overall customer experience and builds a better relationship with your customer. And that will become tremendously beneficial if there is a financial dispute.
Dignity and respect always wins
The customer experience extends even through the accounts receivable process and debt collection activity if needed. Your customer should be treated with the same tone and tact they have hopefully enjoyed throughout the relationship you have built. If they owe you money and are faced with a completely different customer experience in the form of anger or even threats, that will only further the timing of a resolution to that dispute.
The customer experience must hold true throughout the entire customer relationship which includes financial disputes and collection activity.
The right collection agency extends the customer experience
There are many reasons your business would want to hire a debt collection agency. That includes hard-to-collect accounts, lack of internal resources, and other reasons. When you hire an agency, you should make sure that collection activity will be cordial, your customers will be treated fairly, and that the customer experience and relationship you have built will be extended through that process. When you interview collection agencies, ask them this important question.
Will you treat my customers with the respect they deserve?
If you have an ongoing need for debt collections in your organization and you’re looking for an agency that will extend the stellar reputation that you have already built, contact our team today.