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Credit Matters
What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

The focus of the November newsletter is all about reviewing aspects of customer service and how it can be improved to create more sales, cashflow or profits.

There are no brochures attached with this month’s newsletter

Kim is available to help with your questions and concerns if you need any assistance, and as always, the first chat is always free of charge or obligation.

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

“Customers like one price, one distribution system and one person to call – they hate multiple sales reps.” In Senge, P, Kleiner, A, Roberts, C, Ross, R, Roth, G & Smith, B. The Dance of Change.

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

One of the main problems for many businesses today is that often their stakeholders are frustrated when trying to making contact because many of their enquiries remain unresolved. Irrespective of the stakeholder making the contact, there are situations where they may be unable to find a personal connection to help them resolve their enquiry satisfactorily.

The modern thinking of management reveals this current business phenomenon where there is little contact information on their business’s website such as a telephone number or specific email address(s). Making matters worse, there may not even be helpful contact details on their corporate emails, or other business documentation. There may be however, one or more generic emails addresses for which no one seems responsible, as many enquirers don't seem receive a timely response, or often not one at all.

When visiting websites without effective contact details, I am sure that I am not the only person who has been unable to find a solution to their enquiry. I would also suggest, like me, they have then walked away from that business, or tried to find information from another source.

In today’s world where communication is so important, why management would act to make communication so difficult, is difficult to understand. After all, if customers cannot find answers to their questions, they do not buy. Likewise, if customer has enquiries about invoices, they aren’t going to pay these invoices until they receive an acceptable answer.

Perhaps management may only want to receive orders digitally, so they don’t have to pay for an experienced person to manage the sales and other similar enquiries. It may also be another way management is trying to slow pay their suppliers, or avoid dealing with other important or potentially negative factors.

Management may also believe that stakeholder contact can be managed effectively by a multitude of employees within a given area such as in customer service, small-dollar sales, or in accounts. All that has to be done by these employees is to record details of contact by the various stakeholders in a contact management system and other employees can respond appropriately.

The reality is however, often less than satisfactory as was found in the past. The truth is, when these contact records are reviewed because of a negative outcome, the lack of communication is usually identified on why that negative outcome occurred.

One of the greatest sins of modern businesses, of all sizes, is a lack of respect for the needs of its stakeholders. A perfect example is the email received by the stakeholder with the accompanying warning that “… it is no point responding to this email, as the email is unattended and no responses will be sent.”

The random and often unsophisticated approach by management today to stakeholder’s concerns and needs, means that on many occasions, opportunities to increase sales and payments for outstanding invoices are lost. The same occurs when customers have specific requests or need further information for complex or unusual sales opportunities. Due to poor responses, the customer usually gives up, seeks other options, or walks away swearing never to deal with that business again.

The use of multiple operators in sales which can cause problems, has also affected the credit/accounts and debt collection operations in the past. As a result, repayments have been delayed and prompt cashflow has been negatively compromised, which in turn, has led to further bad debt write-offs. Worse still, because other operators dealing with a customer or debtor, could not read or understand the strategic intent of previous contacts, the same negative results occurred as previously described.

One of the best ways to support stakeholders’ needs is an old-fashioned strategy of employing professional receptionist(s). In the past, the receptionist was almost always the most efficient link between stakeholders and a business’s employees as they could link the stakeholder to the best employee together. However, to fulfill this function, or to provide access to the most professional and knowledgable employee(s) if a receptionist is not employed, there needs to be telephone number(s) on the website.

At the end of day, this month’s quote is as relevant as it was in the past. There is no doubt, a number of your business’s stakeholders which may be happy to deal with anybody within the business or via a digital interface. However, there are still many stakeholders who prefer dealing with one person within the business, or at least, one person within each department of the business. It is also usually found on review that these contacts add extra value to the business rather than the stakeholders which accept just any digital contact methodology.

Monthly Business Conundrum

In team sports, the best teams all have players working together for mutual benefit. The same cannot always be said for many business enterprises where a lack of teamwork is often noted by stakeholders.

Too often, there is group think by the management, sales, and marketing employees within a business, against other departments’ employees within their business. For example, the employees in the warehouse or distribution areas, many of which are often thought as just being lower class workers who don’t think or care about their work.

Credit and accounts employees today are also still often considered to be just the debt collectors of the business. As a result, it is assumed they don’t care about sales but just want to collect the outstanding invoices or stop bad debts.

When the above group think scenario is embedded within a business’s organisation, this is going to cause ongoing problems in the continuing financial viability of the business.

Today, customers are more finicky and demanding than ever before. When there are any biases against other departmental employees, then it is not surprising when cooperation and efficiency is lacking and sales are lost or invoices go unpaid. For instance, when warehouse employees are treated as just work drones, and not encouraged to act responsibly, it is not surprising when stock supplied and invoiced may be incorrect.

Another example is when credit or accounts employees suggest a particular customer always raises false claims and should be investigated. Unfortunately, such suggestions do not always suit management and sales as they try to achieve, what are often unrealistic sales budgets. Consequently, when there is no follow up on why the causes of credit claims keep occurring, the excuse often used is that the business cannot afford the time or cost of completing such a review. Apparently, the business can still afford to process unnecessary mistakes, the results of which, do not provide one additional dollar of revenue or profit to the business.

The principles on why certain sports teams are successful and others not, is the same for business enterprises. It is all about teamwork. When teamwork between various employee departments or professions is not encouraged, it is not surprising to understand why some businesses do not do well. In today’s business world, great teamwork is not just the difference between good and bad performance, it is also the difference between survival or the demise of the business.

Monthly Business Conundrum
This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

It never ceases to surprise me in the business world, when technology is talked about, the main issue continually put forward is that it aids efficiency and performance. These objectives may be achieved in a number of functions such as preparing static operations, for example in accounts preparation. In many other business functions however, unforeseen and negative problems occur because of the inappropriate use of technology.

For instance, chatbots are created to deal with customer enquiries. Too often however, their responses to customers’ enquiries are incomplete or blatantly false. On other occasions, the customer is cut off mid conversation and left wondering what went wrong.

When it comes to making an online or email enquiry, too often the enquiry is never answered, or if answered, the reply is so late, the customer has already moved on to another solution.

In addition, it is not unusual, after listening to warnings, pressing countless buttons and waiting for periods of time, the enquirer is connected to an employee. Even then, there may be no satisfaction because the employee answering the call cannot satisfy the enquirer’s needs. Inevitably, the enquirer is then switched to yet another employee where the time-wasting process of warnings, music etc., is repeated again. Meanwhile the enquirer hangs on vainly in the hope that their needs can be satisfied.

Meanwhile, cybercriminals and fraudsters love the continued unsophisticated expansion of technology as it encourages them to pay for and use the best technology for their business needs. At the end of the day, they are winning the fight for cyber control because for them, the money spent is an investment in their business. For other people in business, any expense on cyber protection or for better cyber hygiene, is usually just another cost which needs to be managed.

Finally, for the time being, technology is often installed by management for their own needs rather than for efficiency and stakeholder satisfaction. The technology for example is used as an excuse to reduce headcount or employ cheaper and less professional people.

Almost daily now, we see technology being employed without due regard to a business’s customers. When this occurs, many unforeseen problems start to become obvious. Not all these outcomes will be beneficial for the business, or indeed for management.

Technology is only as good as the information is supplied by the customer requesting its development, the funds available to create the best version, and the intent of management. When these factors are not applied correctly, and customers suffer, they usually withdraw their business. In these situations, the use of technology becomes a costly exercise.

Recently I came across a new word, “usable security.” A simple definition is included in this newsletter.

Credit Matters is a financial risk management resource centre for the Australian business community. If you are in business, Credit Matters is your ideal source of financial risk management solutions.

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Future Opportunities & Possibilities

Credit Matters is continuing to grow and provide marketing and knowledge about financial risks to the Australia business community.

Futhermore, we invite marketing and knowledge ideas from our readers and contributors on how we can assist our respective firms grow. If you have any ideas, please contact me at

If you are interested in finding new ways to reach your marketplace, why not try Credit Matters. Our prices for advertising are very reasonable and advertising packages are on offer to make any cost, even more affordable. So if you are interested in reaching your customers at the right price, please contact Kim at for options.