Payments due or payment over due?

As a call contact centre consultant, among the many things that have bothered me in the course of my career, the most mind troubling one is how client servicing companies handle customers’ due or overdue payment/ fraud detection.

These companies are accessible at the time of purchase. They offer you the needed services, right product, the payment options and even offer to guide you through. The tides change when you do not get the right service for the cost incurred. This is not only in Uganda but through out Africa.

I am always confused whether it is the banks that process the payments or the telecom employees themselves but your money is stuck somewhere and you are not getting the required service.

It also happens that When making another payment by EFT or TCC by the client, the telecom will claim they don’t get the payment yet the customer’s account has been debited already. They will ask you to send them proof of payment. This time you have to go through your bank asking for a bank reference and the same bank already debited you. It then sounds like their systems and the people operating them are two straight lines that can never meet.

To worsen the situation, the manner in which they ask you to prove that you have paid is beyond believe:

1. They send you an alarming email or letter telling you how your lines are going to be disconnected

2.They go ahead and implement the disconnection process as you are still dealing with the bank to give you a reference.

3.If you call them, the call attendant shows no empathy and makes you feel like a debtor. Meanwhile, Some of these clients have been loyal customers of these telcoms and when you observe critically at their payment history, they have no payment over due, then why treat your clients like this?

Eventually, when you manage to get a proof and send to them, there is no apology for the delayed time and bad treatment, instead they will come up with another development- Oh i think moving forward, please indicate your invoice number or company name properly. Really??

As we get closer to 2017, let’s treat our customers with dignity, do not loose your customers because of your choice of words in demanding that due or overdue payment, before you disconnect any client’s service look at the payment history ,show empathy and be keen to know when you should expect payment.

Always have the right people in credit control offices who understand how important your clients are. This will improve your client relations for the future.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2017.

The writer is: Ayub Kato Customer service and Call centre Consultant.
akato@smilingfaces.co.ug

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