Customer contacts and queries must be viewed in a positive light everyone in your organisation must be bought into the idea of keeping your customers happy. This is why every single instance and every single query must be taken seriously and responded to quickly, whether it is justified or not. Your unjustified queries came about by a miscommunication somewhere, and even these should be investigated thoroughly and you should communicate with your customer the result of your findings and you should explain how the query has been dealt with, and if the result is not as they were expecting extra care should be taken.
If you are in a service business you should encourage the service providers within your organisation to be aware of your billing cycles and every invoice should be expected and agreed in advance, especially if you are billing on a stage payment basis.
If you are supplying goods the invoice should be raised on the basis of what was delivered, not on what was dispatched, and if there was a short delivery, you should check with your customer if they still require the goods if they were left short on an order.
Everyone in your organisation must play their part in delivering excellence from the sales rep to the store man, from the marketing executive to the account manager, everyone should be brought through your administration procedures right at the start, you must explain exactly what is expected and when, and exactly what they must do at every stage. Failure to deliver on this will cause untold problems for you and will damage your reputation in the market.
You should keep a query log and this should be discussed with all the relevant people on a weekly basis, you should have a credit note analysis to understand what is going wrong, you should log your customer calls, particularly complaints, not because you want to focus on the negative, but to fully understand what is going wrong and what you have to do to resolve it.
Every overdue amount on your ledger is there for a reason, a properly trained and motivated credit team will get to the bottom of every single issue and use it as a learning tool for the future.
Reports should be concise and geared for the audience that is going to read and action them, you must get Board approval and buy in and it is the job of the credit team to explain the importance of this vital function to everyone.
In today’s competitive market anything short of excellence is not good enough.