Customers are key to any business, but we need to ensure we are bringing the right customers into a business.
Far too often on social media and in business discussions, we hear stories of dodgy customers. Customers not paying their bills as agreed. I hear business owners asking, how did we get to this point, where did we go wrong?
Let me be honest, no business is the same, and I am definitely not an expert in the debt collecting arena. However one thing I have learnt from my customers is to make sure you work with customers that are going to be good for your business. Have visibility on the internal touch points within your business that are associated with your client.
When you are onboarding a customer –
- Check if they have a good credit rating.
- Have a copy of the signed credit application.
- Ensure they understand your terms of engagement.
- Is the quotation approved and do you have a corresponding Purchase Order from them.
- Do you have a solid contract that has been agreed and signed and what are the key deliverable’s / milestones?
- Are contract renewals visible?
This is one of the first things that a debt collector will ask you for and many businesses fall short in managing the onboarding process, and ensuring the right documents have been signed and stored for future use.
When we move into the operations side of a business, there may be signoff certificates, delivery notes, progress reports, or approvals that the client needs to be part of, however where these are stored could be a mystery for some.
Do you have all customer communication, emails, documents, drawings, agreements, sign off certificates, complaints etc in a single place, so you can get to it easily?
Can you say you have the complete 360 degree view of your customers?
All of these may not seem too important as you are delivering a service or a product, but when there is a dispute on payment, trust me, it is that document or email you cannot find that is the one you need.
Some businesses will have internal debt collecting divisions, others outsource this debt collecting function, but one thing I have learnt, is the more due diligence that is done upfront on a customer, the more control and visibility you have on your internal processes, the better the customer experience and customer satisfaction and the less likely they come into contact with your debt collecting team.
Learn more about how we are empowering organisations with M-Files to give them the complete 360 degree view of their customers.
PS: If you need help in ensuring you have the right wording on your credit applications / contracts or need assistance in managing your credit risk? One of our clients specializes in this, and they use M-Files too.
Vanessa has over 20 years’ experience in content & document management, information management, business process management and knowledge management. During the course of her career she has assisted many organisations.
Vanessa has lead her company into the 21st century with the M-Files solution and in 2016 VM Consulting became M-Files Gold Partners and were awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Commitment to M-Files at the EMEA Partner Conference. Vanessa is passionate about the M-Files solution and bringing solutions that work to businesses within South Africa and Africa.