When we think of customer service, we often think of the customer aspect being related to the sale and making sure the customers are happy with their purchases — from the ordering process to receiving the right products on time and making sure those products work as planned. However, there is one element of customer experience that is often forgotten: the collections process.
A survey conducted by TermSync, an Esker-owned cloud-based solution provider for business-to-business post-sales interactions, uncovered a major disconnect between what sellers think they’re providing and what their customers are actually experiencing. As customer satisfaction is often times the number one driver in competitive advantage and profitability, the post-sales customer experience is of growing importance to many companies. So, as an organization looking to improve all facets of customer experience, here are eight tips for building the customer experience in collections.
8 Tips to Strengthen the Customer Experience in Collections
- Build a cohesive team
Your team should consist of staff members who interact directly with the customers, therefore shaping the customer experience. Everyone from accounts receivable (AR), sales and service providers should be involved to form a cohesive customer-focused team.
- Set up your team for success
Giving your AR team the tools they need, including procedures, training and technology, will help reduce the burden of disorganization and manual tasks, and allow them to spend more time helping customers.
- Work with a shared set of goals and expectations
Make sure your team members agree on, and are involved in, creating the policies and procedures around your customer experience goals.
- Hold individuals accountable
Once expectations are agreed upon and set, everyone needs to work together to uphold and support those goals. All team members should own a piece of the customer experience and should be held accountable for that piece.
- Measure performance
Using a reporting tool is beneficial to measuring the kind of service your team is providing customers. Everything from response time to the number of communications sent can be measured and visible in one tool to track success or correct actions if necessary.
- Don’t treat all customers the same
A “one size fits all” approach will not lead to exceptional customer service. The customer experience needs to be enhanced in ways that are tailored to meet each customer’s needs and wants — be it by a self-service portal or more personal one-on-one communication.
- Don’t treat all issues the same
Giving your team the authority and freedom to handle each issue as they see fit based on the complexity of the issue and the solution will improve efficiency and morale in the collections team.
- Listen to your customers
Providing ways for your customers to give feedback and then listening when they provide this information will go a long ways in improving the customer experience and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, this is what sets you apart from your competitors.
To learn more about these eight tips to ensure success in building the customer experience in collections, take a look at our new white paper: 8 Steps to a Customer-Centric Approach in Collections.