The Devil You Know!
It is not caused by the economy. It isn’t additional laws, savvy debtors or too many lawyers with nothing better to do. It is not a change in ethics or morals with a new generation.
Your lack of success in receivables management, long term financial results and customer service has more to do with the man or woman who may be sitting in the office right next to you. It is the head of accounting, who knows the cost, to a fraction of a cent mind you, of making a collection call, but not a clue, nary an inkling of the value of a collection call, half again as long, by a seasoned and emphatically gifted seasoned professional.
There are many areas where money should be saved, and the credit and collection departments is no exception. But the centralization, often followed by off-shore displacement of credit and collection activities is short-sighted.
Customer service and collections is about empathy, not simply making a ‘contact’, an irritable email or telephone conversation. It is working WITH the customers to bring them up to date, able AND WILLING to deal with you again. Now, bless their little calculator-based hearts, but this type of layered conversation with out customers cannot be handled by inexperienced, ill trained and poorly paid customer service representatives.
Traditionally, accounts receivable representatives have been the highest paid staff in the organization – for good reason. We expect much from them and should be willing to pay them accordingly.
Had enough? Ready to stand up, join the revolution, man the barricades?
You will need to get ready – be prepared. The next time you are in a meeting room and the accountants bring up potential savings that will affect the quality of your collection efforts, be prepared and remember – emotion beats logic – every time.