Are You Training Your Customers? Maybe You Should Be.

As a technology company, it’s important that we train our clients so that they can get the most out of the products that we provide. That’s why we have our growing selection of online how-to videos, in-house training sessions, and of course our annual Innovate conference. But what about your customers? What kind of training can you implement for them? And more importantly, should you even bother with it? After all, unlike us, you don’t have any software or technology to train your customers on. Or do you?

I was talking to a colleague the other day, and he mentioned something that got me thinking: “You know, if the people that buy from our customers understood how to use this, then our dealers could collect way more money.” In this case, we were talking about the SMS texting abilities in CollectorPro and PortalPay. Specifically, we were discussing the ability for car buyers to make payments from their mobile phones by responding to payment reminders sent via text. My colleague’s point wasn’t lost on me.

The conversation left me wondering, out of the many clients that use PortalPay or CollectorPro to send payment reminder texts, how many of their customers actually know that they can make payments by simply texting a response. Definitely not all of them. But just think about how much more money could be collected if they did know. If your customers fully understand the convenience available at their fingertips, then it’s only logical that they’d be more likely take advantage of the technology. Sure, not everyone will jump on the bandwagon, but some would. And that’s just one example of how educating and training your customers can benefit you. There are countless other situations where a bit of training could go a long way to helping you be more successful. But how do you get started?

The simple answer to this is to identify the behavior that you want to encourage in your customers, and then find ways to reward that desired behavior. By doing this, you can communicate that you have certain expectations for your customers, and therefore let them know what is expected of them. You do this anyway when you discuss the consequences of potential delinquencies, and other relevant information at the time of the sale.

Some additional things to keep in mind as you proceed:

  • Stay consistent
  • Be proactive
  • Listen
  • Ask questions
  • Brainstorm for new opportunities

With all this said, you’re in the business of moving inventory and collecting loan payments, and not in the business of training people. So it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. It can be as simple as informing your customers about what is available to them, setting the expectations, and encouraging them to take advantage of these tools.

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