Take the Poll - Should you send a long-term customer, who Is unfortunately now past due, a holiday gift?

This is one of those difficult customer and human relations situations that can keep us up at night. There are many factors involved as we try to evaluate the past relationship and anticipate how things may turn out in the future. 

Personally, I happen to be the type of person who gives a lot of second chances, even when things look bleak. It’s just who I am. But in saying that, I do have limits and there’s comes a time when ultimately, the answer is “no.”

Let’s say that I have a wonderful customer that for the past twenty hears has been loyal and has contributed to my organization’s success and profitability. If they are now experiencing difficult times, the idea of not sending them a holiday gift would not even be a thought. In fact, I would be trying to help them out in any way I could. 

Conversely, if I had a long-term customer who always paid but the relationship had several rocky periods and currently it was significantly worse, maybe I might hesitate on sending over a holiday gift because it may send the wrong message. How much is owed, how long is it past due, how is the communication, and when will we finally get paid, would all play a part in my decision. 

For me, it’s all about balancing the message. I want to always show appreciation and deepen the customer relationship but in times when we seem to be at odds, it’s important to clear up the problems first and then start afresh. 

Your thoughts will much appreciated. 

Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc. (nseiverd@cmiweb.com)

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