The basics of debt collection for startups: talking with customers

By on November 13th, 2018 in Industry Insights
TrueAccord Blog

Startups live and die by customer acquisition and growth, and that is where they spend most of their time and effort. However as many startups find out, retention is key to continued growth. Active current customers spend more, and are more likely to use other services your offer as well as refer others to your service. As part of our debt collection for startups service we meet many consumers who’ve churned and left an unpaid bill. We’ve learned that customers who churn sometimes provide businesses with the most important feedback.

Why do customers churn? The vast majority don’t do so with malicious intent, even if they leave an unpaid balance behind. Most of these situations involve a service or product dispute. A disappointed customer feels that paying is unfair, even if they agreed to a charge in advance. Some have real cash flow or billing issues. What do you gain from talking to these customers, or from using a service to engage with them?

  1. They have the most pointed feedback for issues with your product or service. Deciding not to pay is a strong decision often driven by an exceptionally bad experience. This is the equivalent of a bug bounty program – finding what went wrong while recovering money. Debt collection for startups should be focus on soliciting that feedback, not only getting you paid. Listen to the content rather than the style, and you’ll discover a plethora of relevant product and process feedback.
  2. They care enough to make it noticed. Not paying is a strong signal, and you want to unpack what happened. The same issue this customer identified may impact thousands more who, instead of not paying, just churn – or hurt your referrals. You need to talk to them to find out what’s going on.
  3. They often owe you money. There is revenue to be recovered by reconciling with churned customers, both money they owe and future income. While TrueAccord offers debt collection for startups, our NPS is 60 – mostly because we offer a positive experience in a negative situation. Engaging with these customers or using a partner to do so can turn their perception by 180 and change your relationship trajectory.
Approaching and reconciling with churned customers is an art and science. Follow our blog to learn more about how we do it!

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