We recently wrote an article on the importance of properly staffing your credit department. One of the ways to achieve this is to constantly question and analyze what you are doing. One of the worst answers to why you are doing something is saying because that is how it has always been done. Here are two questions you should ask yourself when attempting to improve your credit department.
What are customers calling about?
Many times, the majority of customers are calling for the same reason or a group of
reasons. Are they calling to discuss the product or service or are more calls concerned with invoices and balances on accounts? On a similar note, are the customers calling existing customers or new ones? It is important to also take note of the tone of the call. Are the customers calling simply to discuss and ask for help or are they calling to complain?
The most important question of all is asking yourself what you can do with this information. With this data, you can determine if a certain type of customer (size, location, industry, etc.) are calling for the same reasons. What trends are there that allow you to take proactive steps to minimize these calls? This may include redesigning an invoice, developing or adding to a new customer information packet, enhanced product or service manuals or special handling of certain balances. Analyzing the data you gather from your customers can not only provide a better experience for your customers but can also save your company time and money with increased efficiency.
What are your employees saying?
In many cases, your employees will have some of the best ideas for how to improve your business. They are the ones who are communicating with customers and talking about the product or service. A good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. Many
employers actually offer a bonus to any employee who comes up with an idea on how to increase efficiency or improve the business. At a minimum, you should be clear that those employees who look to improve the company will be more strongly considered for promotions or other advancements.
Improving a business can be hard work, but asking the right questions can be a great way to start.