Why Customer Service is the Silent Partner on all Credit and Collections Teams
Whether your company sells widgets, watches, or wallcovering, the common denominator shared by companies and organizations of any size is a critical need for exceptional customer service. As an industry leader in domestic and international commercial receivables management, ABC-Amega strives to provide the highest level of customer service to both our clients and their debtors.
Erica Dishman and Rachel Kirby, who have worked at ABC-Amega as collection representatives for twelve and eight years respectively, agree that solid customer service with both the client and debtor are key to their success. They have kindly shared some of their expert knowledge for this article.
What do you feel are the attributes of quality customer service?
Erica: As far as commercial collections are concerned, first and foremost, you have to be courteous. Being polite and willing to listen are key, especially when you are working with debtors who are being asked to pay past due invoices.
Rachel: In addition, you can’t make any assumptions when working with the debtor, you really never know the situation you are dealing with at first, and everyone is dealing with different circumstances. I also feel that it’s important to not lose focus of your customer service goals. Ultimately, we are working to collect debt, and staying on task is key.
What are some of the challenges you have to overcome in this field?
Erica: A lot of the time, we have to get information that can solve the claim we are working on. It might mean that we have to take extra steps to obtain information from the debtor, or it could mean making multiple calls to both the client and the debtor, but we have to be prepared to do anything to make sure the claim is resolved.
Rachel: There have been times where you have to work with a debtor that does not cooperate, and, unfortunately, it can make for a difficult time collecting their debt. In these instances, it becomes necessary to adjust the way you deal with customers. If you have to be more serious on these calls, then that is what you have to do. It helps to know all of the proper protocols in working with debtors in these situations so that you are never caught off guard or put on the spot, and you can continue on with the claim without losing your focus.
What type of person would be best suited for a customer service position in collections?
Erica: A patient person who has a strong attention to detail. You also have to be the type of person who can listen to other people talk about their problems and the issues that they are facing. Sometimes you feel like a therapist: some people need to vent.
Rachel: You also need to have a thick skin and be open to receiving advice, not only from supervisors, but also from co-workers. Some of the best information is shared by people who have been working in the industry for a while.
In addition to providing outstanding commercial collections services, ABC-Amega offers a variety of educational resources to their clients. The company believes the more knowledgeable their clients are, the better their ability to achieve quality results.
The Credit-to-Cash-Advisor e-newsletter, features articles and content germane to the day-to-day responsibilities professionals working in credit, collections, accounts receivables, finance, accounting, and international business.
Industry Training Workshops include course topics such as: Outside Collection Agency Procedures, Financial Analysis, Telephone Collections, Legal Process, Business Bankruptcy and more.
A monthly webinar series was created to provide credit management professionals with relevant information on trending issues in the credit and receivables industries.
ABC-Amega has strategic alliances with the Credit Research Foundation (CRF) and The Association of International Credit and Trade Finance Professionals (ICTF). These groups provide ABC-Amega with access to the latest information and data on industry trends, which the company shares with their clients.
ABC-Amega is celebrating 85 years of providing domestic and international commercial receivables management. The company’s mission is to provide commercial credit and financial professionals with outstanding and flexible solutions for improving credit, cash flow, and customer retention throughout the world. ABC-Amega provides a wide range of services including global, third-party commercial debt collection, first-party accounts receivables outsourcing (SoftCall®), credit industry group management, and industry education resources.