Customer loyalty is largely based on customer experience. In fact, customer experience is becoming an increasingly important factor in customer loyalty. By 2020, it is expected to surpass price and product as the primary brand differentiator.
Many factors shape the customer experience. Assuming you offer high-quality products and services at a fair price, customer experience will be influenced by factors like responsiveness to customer needs, helpful customer service interactions, personalized service, the cleanliness and appeal of your physical locations, and many other intangible circumstances.
Customer experience is also shaped by how you handle problems. What if an expected shipment doesn’t arrive on time? What if a customer with an account doesn’t pay in a timely manner? How you handle difficulties is important to customer sentiment too.
Customers Are Generally More Loyal to Businesses That Provide Good Customer Experience
Sixty-seven percent of consumers and 74% of B2B buyers say they are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, according to a study by Salesforce. Customers who value experience are loyal too, which is great news, since it’s much less expensive to retain loyal customers than it is to bring in new ones. Your loyal customers are seven times more likely to test something new you offer, and they’re four times more likely to refer someone else to your business.
In short, it pays to provide an outstanding customer experience, because by doing so, you build loyalty and increase the chances of getting referrals and new customers.
How You Handle Past Due Accounts Affects Customer Experience
Providing a great customer experience is only possible when your business operates well, and that means collecting all money owed to you. Most businesses at one time or another must deal with the issue of a customer who hasn’t paid their bill.
Handling past due accounts is a delicate and diplomatic process. You need to be paid, yet you don’t necessarily want to lose the customer due to bad feelings. Having a collection policy drafted in advance and educating your team about it is important so that it is applied fairly. Collecting money owed to you is a stressful experience, but you can handle it in ways that don’t jeopardize customer sentiment.
A Positive Debt Collection Process is Part of Good Customer Experience
Some businesses choose to create a debt collection strategy in partnership with a debt collection agency that also offers end-to-end accounts receivable management. That way, personnel can focus more fully on providing the products and services for which the business is known.
Sustaining a thriving business requires predictable cash flow, and when customers don’t pay on time, cash flow can be affected, indirectly causing problems with other aspects of your business. Understand the debt collection process and choose the right debt collection partner, and you can prevent many of these problems. With a smooth, orderly, and fair approach to accounts receivable and the debt collection process, you can get what’s owed to you, without causing undue damage to customer sentiment. TSI provides solutions for accounts receivable management and debt collection services for organizations of all sizes. Contact us today for more information.