Chapter 4 Types of Listening Different situations require different types of listening.
For example, how many resources should be devoted to the credit investigation of a long-time customer with sound financial background versus a new customer with little financial information available? How much additional effort should be spent on the collection of a certain past due versus writing it off as bad debt?
It is clear that a good self-evaluation effort should yield much insight to the corporation's requirements of the department. This should also allow you to more effectively plan and use the limited resources available. In this regard, management can obtain a better understanding of the needs and requirements of the internal customers and evaluate the effort required to satisfy them in relation to common corporate goals.
This is an important step towards the alignment of the credit operation's effort with that of each internal customer's requirements. Clearly, there is no reason to focus on issues that are not of major concern to the internal customer or to take actions which are warranted in the context of the overall corporate goals.
For instance, the focus of the credit department's resources may be to update and assess the financial condition of existing accounts, while the internal customer may perceive it to be more important to get timely information on new accounts.
It may be necessary for the credit operation to re-evaluate the relative importance of the two functions and consider devoting more resources to new account assessment.
This should be done with the support of the internal customer. If, in the final analysis, it is decided that the up-keep of marginal accounts is more important toward the corporate goal, credit can then maintain the status quo with an understanding from the internal customer and not a misunderstanding that the department is devoting resources to a less important task.
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To understand the needs and expectations of internal customers, a number of tools can be employed by the credit, collection and accounts receivable functions. These include the use of surveys, the forming of focus groups, and the scheduling of one-on-one meetings between managers in the respective departments and internal customers on a regular basis.
Each of these strategies has its merits. The tool that is least demanding and most comprehensive is the use of a customer survey. This is especially true when it is a priority for internal customer service to not hurt your external customer.
This may sometimes occur while a company, or functional department, is learning a new way to operate and frequent group meetings can be disruptive to the work schedules of internal customers. The use of a customer survey is most consistent with a quality customer service program.
One disadvantage however, is the loss of personal contact with internal customers that can yield significant insights. A compromise solution to this problem is to supplement the survey with occasional periodic review with internal customers.
In addition, it is advisable to send the survey results to be reviewed by internal customers to them ahead of time.
By keeping them informed of such results, each internal customer can compare how their perception of the credit, collection and accounts receivable operation is similar or different from other internal customers and that of their functions. Moreover, the knowledge obtained by internal customers from the survey results over a period of time allows them to clearly observe your operation's improvement and demonstrates your commitment to excellence.
The Internal Customer's Survey It is desirable for the credit, collection and accounts receivable department to develop a process to better meet the needs and expectations of its internal customers.
The above discussion suggests the introduction of a process to survey the needs and expectations of these internal customers and to measure the current level of satisfaction. This information, in conjunction with an evaluation of the resources available and the way internal customer's needs and expectations are addressed, are important inputs to devising a plan for future improvement.
Survey evaluations of the credit, collection and accounts receivable function can focus on three performance characteristics: The list is by no means exhaustive and your individual credit, collection and accounts receivable operation should adopt and refine it according to its needs.
The evaluation of organizational performance centers on how much the operation plays an active part in supporting external customer satisfaction and being an active player in the overall corporate environment. Finally, the credit, collection and accounts receivable function is also expected to perform with professionalism and bring in superior industry and business knowledge to the organization.
When the internal customer expects these intangible qualities of the credit department, it is the responsibility of the credit, collection and accounts receivable department to address these issues.
It is important to note that customer satisfaction is not achieved through the provision of products or services alone, but through meeting or exceeding the expectations of customers without employing excessive resources.
While an internal customer survey can include as many of the measures of performance discussed above as possible, the most effective survey tool is one that does not burden potential participants with hundreds of items.
The ideal tool is a one-page survey form. While there is no universally accepted list of performance measures, the credit, collection and accounts receivable operation can develop a one-page survey with effective measures of performance over time, as they learn more about their organizational role and the requirements and needs of internal customers.
While this survey Exhibit 2 is a start, your survey may include the performance measures of different tasks and then refined over time. In order to be able to collect the most useful information, you should put in place a built-in mechanism to solicit input from the internal customer.Jun 02, · What Activities Have You Performed That Demonstrate Your Ability To Work Effectively With People?
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Job Preparation Materials & Instructional Activities Pharmacy Technician Effectively demonstrate qualities identified by employers of Pharmacy Technicians.
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