|Customer Service Information||
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
How To Handle Customer Billing Snafus
Q: I just discovered that for the past six months I have been billing a client half of what I should have been. Should I just include the total of the past due balance on his next bill or contact him first to let him know that it's coming? This client has been difficult in the past, so I'd rather not deal with him until I absolutely have to. My partner, on the other hand, thinks we should call the client and let him know what's going on before sending the bill. What do you think?-- Louis K.
A: I think your partner is right. If you think this client has been difficult to deal with in the past just wait until he opens your bill with six months worth of arrears attached to it without prior notice or a full explanation of the amount owed.
Sending such a bill is like dropping a bomb on the client's desk, and I guarantee you the fallout from the resulting explosion would end up landing squarely on your head.
So the question then becomes, how do you collect money that is rightfully owed to you from a client who has a history of being difficult? That's easy, Louis. You make your partner call him.
Seriously, whether the client owes you the money or not is a moot point. Yes, you made an accounting mistake, but if the client agreed to pay you a certain amount each month in exchange for certain services rendered, and you have been under-billing that client for delivering those certain services, the client owes you the money, period.
I have found that in situations like this it is always best to be proactive and face the problem (or what you perceive as a potential problem) as quickly as possible. This will save you hours of needless worry since most of the time the problem is not as big a deal as you imagined it to be.
There can only be three outcomes in this situation.
(1) The client will understand and pay you without argument.
(2) He will argue the point, forcing you to offer a compromise plan.
Or (3) He will flatly refuse to pay, forcing you to decide how far you're willing to go to collect what is owed. You should be prepared for either occurrence before getting face-to-face with the client. Remember this: In a business negotiation, he who is prepared the least gives up the most.
With that in mind, here's how I would handle the situation.
Arrange to meet the client in person. This is much better than trying to explain the situation over the phone because most people (including myself) tend to only give half of their attention when on the phone. The other half is usually focused on things going on around them while they're on the phone.
Once you're in front of the client, downplay the fact that an error was made (since the error did not negatively affect the service the client received). You might even poke fun at yourself over the situation (if the client has a sense of humor, that is). You should then politely ask if he would prefer to have the unbilled balance included on his next invoice or submitted as a separate invoice.
Then close your mouth, smile, and wait for him to respond.
You'll notice that you did not give him the option of not paying the bill, nor did you give him a point of contention to argue over. He should get the message that it goes without saying that he owes the money and needs to pay the bill, but being the wonderful person that you are, you are willing to let him decide how you should be paid.
I'm willing to bet that the client will choose option A or B and that will be the end of that. If this client has been difficult to deal with in the past, he may argue that since the mistake was yours, he shouldn't have to pay the bill. This is, of course, a BS argument (and I don't mean Bachelor of Science), but one that some clients might make just to get out of writing you a check.
As mentioned earlier, you should have prepared for this possibility before going in. If your business can survive without collecting the unpaid balance and you really want to maintain a relationship with this client, you should be prepared to offer a compromise that lets the relationship continue.
Without appearing to be caving under the pressure (this is the hard part) look the client dead in the eye and say, "Mr. Client, since I value your business and the billing mistakes were indeed mine, I'm willing to forego collection on the unpaid balance and start billing the correct amount with your next invoice, which, by the way, I happen to have right here?"
Granted, in this situation you are not going to collect on the past balance, but you are establishing the rules of the game for the future and you might even improve your relationship with this client. The money you forfeit today could lead to an increase in referrals, testimonials, and repeat business tomorrow.
Here's to your success.
Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox. Tim serves as the president and CEO of three successful technology companies and is the founder of DropshipWholesale.net, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs.
Customer Service - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Hook Me Up With A Human
Oh, what has happened to the carbon-based organizational interface? Many organizations have digitized humans - aka carbon-based units - out of existence in their customer service operations. Now, I love digital technology as much as anyone, but it is time to bring the people back into their appropriate customer service roles, don't you think?Have you ever tried to reach a human at Amazon.
The Logic of Emotion!
Homebuyers are an interesting study. Watching people make their home buying decisions has brought me to the conclusion that every decision that every one of us makes is based in emotion.
How to Walk the Floor and Talk to Customers
This may seem a strange topic to introduce. Yet, it is the most under-used skill by many retail managers, but one of the most important roles in their supervision.
How to Keep Customers
Who was it that said - "The customer is always right"? Wellfor those of you who can't get through the day withoutknowing, it was H Gordon Selfridge, the founder ofSelfridges's department store in London.The question I want answered is; did he ever work withcustomers on day-to-day basis and if so, was he some kind ofsaint?Let's face it; customers can be a real pain in the neck.
Be the Customer: See Yourself as Your Customers Do
What do your customers experience when they interact with your business? As a mystery shopper, I help businesses see themselves through the eyes of their customers by posing as a typical customer and evaluating their service, quality and cleanliness. Was it easy to find what I needed? Were the employees polite and helpful? Was everything neat and clean? Was I thanked for my business? What happened when I made a return?Whether your business is an international retailer or a small one-person shop, what you don't know about your customers' perceptions of your quality and service can hurt you.
The Dissatisfied Customer
We, as small business people, naturally dislike complaints from our clients and customers. Because we're intimately involved with our home businesses, small businesses, or freelance careers, any complaint takes on a personal commentator.
Customer First Customer Service
The world of customer service is rapidly changing. Thirty years ago, telephones and mail services were the norm for most companies.
Listening to Customers - 5 Tips
In a strange juxtapositioning of articles, this month's UK 'Management Today' has three pieces, relating to the importance of listening to customers.Susan Rice, CEO of Lloyds TSB makes it clear how vital it is for great leaders to listen and hear.
Become a Customer Enthusiasm-Guru!
One thing all successful small business owners have in common is the knowledge that their business is based on enthusiastic customers. Despite their multi-tasking titles of bookkeeper, service provider and sales-manager, their most important title is Customer-Enthusiasm Guru.
Learning from Your Employees and Customers Complaints
Listening to complaints, whether they're reasonable or not, is a part of every manager's job. Sometimes complaints can be overwhelming.
Over Delivering Provides Big Results
Over promising is a problem only when you under deliver. There are a number of ways that you can overdeliver to your customers or prospects, and as a result create a win-win situation for you both.
Clients... and 38 ways to communicate with them
As Alan Weiss (guru to the savvy consultant) says: "It is actually difficult to contact clients too much. It is easy to fail to contact them frequently enough.
Cheap To Keep
You've heard it all before when it comes to stats about customer retention. Acquiring a customer costs five to 10 times more than retaining one.
6 Reasons Why Complaining Customers are Golden
With Some Tips on How to RespondTt has probably happened to you if you own your own online business. You get an email or even a phone call from someone who is upset or unhappy with this or that about your business.
What Every Employee Should Know About How to Win the Loyalty of Customers
Dr. Michael LeBoeuf, in his cassette album entitled, Win Customers and Keep Them for Life presents twelve principles that will transform the workplace into a customer-driven, highly motivational team.
Develop Loyal Customers for a Lifetime - part 1 (1 - 10)
Traditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's competitive world of business, it is more important than ever to aim for more transactions with existing customers by using the power of customer follow-up and attention to good service.
11 Ways to Get What You Want - Be a Clever Customer!
We all want great service, whether we are buying our weekly groceries from a store, or want a billing hitch resolved at our local utilities provider. Whether it's getting our car fixed, or a great meal in a restaurant.
Create Win-Win Deals With Your Competitors
In the competitive world of the 20th century, we generally viewed competitors as the enemy. And a competitor was anyone who sold to the same target audience as us - even if they sold a different item.
Dont Forget your Existing Clients
Quest for new clients shouldn't ignore those who pay the billsAcquisition. It's a big word in small business marketing.
Developing A Customer Complaint System
BackgroundThe company was experiencing an increase in the number of customer complaints and an increase in the cost of processing them and we were hired to analyze the current situation and develop recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the process of administering and resolving the complaints.Identify Customer Requirements A consultant was assigned to the design of customer service systems and complaint processes, and who had done extensive work in QFD (Quality Function Deployment), which is a methodology that analyzes the needs of the customer and integrates them with the company processes to ensure the needs are met.
AusTrade Domain Is For Sale - $15,000 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.AusTrade.biz - 2012