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 a past CMA webinar, “Effective 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
them.

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.”

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