What is good customer service in credit management?

Reliability – keep your word

Do what you say you will when you say you will. Failing to keep your word is incredibly frustrating to customers. This is often perceived as the most important aspect of service quality. Among the unhappiest customers are those who say “I have already talked to your company about this twice and they said they’d fix it but they didn’t”.

Assurance – be knowledgeable

It is important to know what you are talking about. Most happy customers are those who got their problem sorted out. In credit terms, this may mean that they were set up on direct debit so that they were less likely to forget again, or they now have a payment arrangement set up, to avoid the same situation reoccurring.

Act confident in your abilities

Customers want to deal with someone who knows what they are talking about and who can be relied on to get the right solution. If you can help with their problem, say so, “I can help you with that” and bear in mind that while it’s nice to get the problem dealt with on the spot, coming up with the wrong solution because you are in a hurry will please no one.

Responsiveness – be efficient

If possible, resolve the issue on the first call, rather than having them call back, or be put on hold. When customers call they want the issue resolved then and there – they don’t want to wait or to call back, so helping them quickly improves the customer’s perception of the situation. However, in some cases it may take more time to solve their problem and if you are to call them back be sure you do so when you say you will.

Be easy to get hold of

Customers hate waiting in call queues and hate having people say, “I can’t help you with that. I will have to transfer you through to …”. When you do have to transfer the customer do it as professionally and quickly as possible.

Give the customer your full attention

Remember how frustrating it is when someone in a shop serves you without breaking their conversation with their workmates, or when you are put on hold while the employee takes another call.

Customers should feel they have your full attention for the short time you deal with them. If something else comes up and it is urgent, apologise and excuse yourself to the customer before dealing with it. This should happen rarely, if ever (for example, if the office is on fire).

Do whatever you can to make your customers’ lives easier

If you were the customer, how would you want to be treated? It is very obvious when we listen to calls that there are two sorts of call centre operator – those who are caring people who really want to help customers, and those who just want to get through as many calls as possible. The latter may be good collectors but they need to understand that service is all about helping people, and helping people is not incompatible with collecting money and getting through lots of calls.


Be and sound courteous, professional, helpful, understanding and friendly. Much of the secret is simple good manners and attention.

Keep the customer informed

This includes getting back to a customer and explaining any delay, and also the setting of deadlines. One way to avoid breaking your word is never to promise anything by a particular time or date unless you are sure it’s a reasonable period.

Be warm

Be friendly to every customer from the first point of contact. On the phone, some customer service staff are very warm and friendly once they know who they are speaking to – they should sound warm and friendly before they know who it is.

First impressions are very, very important and can influence the remainder of that customer’s business with you. Think about the people close to you. How would you like them to be treated if they had a question or a problem with your company?

Customers/debtors want their problems fixed

Then they want you to be nice and efficient while you’re doing this. You won’t get them all rating you 10 out of 10 but you can certainly make them feel better about dealing with you and your company.