Adding Value Through Good Customer Visits

“As credit people we don’t ever look at our roles at making the
customer experience a little better,” said Susan Delloiacono, CCE, director of
credit for Brother International Corp. “We kind of just stay in our own silo and
we forget about the touch point we have with the customers.” However, as
Delloiacono discussed in her recently delivered NACM teleconference, “Customer
Visits,” a credit professional’s ability to pull off a productive customer visit
and successfully maintain a healthy customer relationship can add real ongoing
value to a company.

Preparation is required for any successful customer visit and,
throughout her presentation, Delloiacono offered tips on what to know and what
to take care of before a customer visit, such as creating an agenda, confirming
with the customers what issues are going to be discussed and setting the travel
logistics so both parties are clear on when the meeting will take place.
Delloiacono also noted that, prior to the visit, credit professionals should
know as much as possible about the customer. “Understanding the cash flow and
looking at their operations cycle is so critical to a credit professional,” she
said, adding that potential visitors should check the customer’s website for any
recent press releases, even if they don’t necessarily pertain to business.
“Customers really like that, because then you’re really taking an interest in

But just as important as it is for visiting creditors to know
their customers, it’s also important for visitors to know everything about their
own companies, including any ongoing sales and marketing initiatives. “We want
to understand our companies,” before visiting a customer, she said. “You really
need to understand what is going on with your sales person and it’s very
important for you to understand your upcoming promotional activities.

Delloiacono took questions at the end of the presentation and
also offered recommendations of other valuable resources to help when it comes
to mutually beneficial customer visits and enhancing customer service. For more
about NACM’s teleconference series, or to register, click here.

Source: Jacob Barron, NACM staff

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