What’s that? Great customer service improves collection results? Before getting to the nuts and bolts of improving collections through customer service, step back a moment in time to the previous century, when people still talked to each other and before technology eroded personal, human interactions.
Remember when we talked to each other?
- Do you remember going to the bank when there was a knowledgeable person to help you? They were customer service experts! Can you imagine talking to someone at a bank now? It’s the banks’ goal not to talk to you at all. Think about how simple banks make it to avoid human contact. They are so good at making people obsolete, when you finally do reach someone, they are trained to tell you “no” just like the computer!
- What about a trip to the grocery store? Remember when humans “rang up” your groceries, packed your bags, and shared idle conversations with you? Now, you do everything on your own. They made you suffer through years of deteriorating customer service. Your expectations are so low that you prefer scanning and bagging your own groceries.
- Apple doesn’t include instructions with their products. They assume you know how to use an Apple since you like their name so much. If you don’t know how to use your Apple, there’s an underlying arrogance that its your fault!
Unresolved customer service issues go to collections
No one stops to think about how many unresolved “customer service” issues go to collections. We see as many as 1/2 of the accounts in certain portfolios being sent to collections due to poor communication. If you excel in customer experiences and employ people that solve problems, then undoubtedly, your delinquency will drop.
The more you talk to customers and solve problems, the cleaner your receivables will be. Remove the hurdles your company places in the way of communication and you will improve customer service and recoveries. Yes, humans still play a critical role in accounts receivable management!
All agencies are NOT the same
Why am I talking about customer service when our primary business is third party collections? I want you to know that in our industry, the value of speaking directly to people has never been higher. Think that all agencies are the same? It just isn’t true, there are so many agencies stuck in the past. When we reach people, we must quickly find commonality in a solution and path forward. In the old days, you might have several conversations with customers that owed money. Now you may only get one chance!
We know that our clients don’t always dot their “i’s” and cross their “t’s” when it comes to customer service. They may not have addressed every problem. Our professionals excel at sorting through customer service issues. Many clients take our feedback and make improvements to their internal processes. Perhaps that tells you most about why we are different. It’s the hallmark of our client partnerships; assist in identifying and solving root causes of delinquency so that clients’ AR can improve!