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Collecting From Customers in Trouble

"When customers are in trouble, they're usually embarrassed," says Debra L. Whitfill, CCE, corporate credit manager for Arizona Refrigeration Supplies Inc. (Phoenix). "They don't want to initiate a call to the credit department to discuss their problems. In addition, their self-esteem as businesspeople is often low. This adds to the pressures they're feeling."

Furthermore, while many of these customers feel they might be able to make payments over a period of time, few feel comfortable taking the initiative to contact the credit department to suggest such an idea. "If they can't pay the whole amount immediately, they don't think there are any other alternatives," she explains.

Learn: the three goals goals Debra has when she visits with a distressed customer; specific examples of payment alternatives she offers her customers; how she counsels customers; and the positive results - from both a financial and customer service perspective - from her approach. . . . (to read the remainder of this article, please log in below.)
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