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May 01 2014
The Importance of Customer Visits
Ryan Palmer, CBF, LKL Associates

How many of us remember when we were in school and would look forward to the days when we would go on field trips? We would all have our brown paper sacked lunches and our "buddy" for the buddy system. Our bright eyes were excited for the adventures that were awaiting us away from school. I feel the same way now when I get to go visit with customers. 


It has been my experience that customers respond much better when they can put a face to the name that is behind all the calls that are made to them. They seem more willing to open up their pocketbooks to pay us on time or to get caught up when a free lunch has been given to them.


This personal interaction with the customer instills trust in the customer and they are more willing to take care of those who take care of them. This also lets you get an idea of interests the customer may have. I always look for little things that be of interest to them. Be it a U of U license plate cover, or a Boston Red Sox hat. I always try to take notice of those and make conversation about them. It lets the customer know that we have the same interests and aren't just that mean person on the other end of the phone looking for their money.


It's not only the higher maintenance customers that need visits either. Make sure you visit the excellent customers as well. You want to make sure good relationships are kept with your good customers so they'll remain good customers.


There have been many instances when I've gone on customer visits and received payment that very day. One customer even told me that he would "go ahead and pay me because I made the trip out there." I have found the more you get out in front of your customers and the more time you spend with them, you build better relationships and they may pay more quickly and become better customers.