These are tough times. Many companies face serious liquidity problems. Throughout the week we speak to people from countless companies in a variety of situations. Of course we call for our customers, who have rightly sent an invoice. But a number of the companies that are their customers, and sometimes also the private individuals, have ended up in heavy weather due to the Corona crisis. We are then in splits, because we understand and empathize with these companies, but we also have customers who need paid invoices to keep their company financially healthy.
Suzanne works almost exclusively in splits. If she calls companies that have to pay, but have liquidity problems, she carefully agrees with them to at least keep the payments ‘ongoing’. ‘They don’t always arrive on time and it sometimes takes a little longer, but if we see that they are doing their best to keep up, there really are no extra steps. One of our customers, T. is on top of his debtors. They want to call them every week. Last week I had a customer of theirs on the phone who explained to me that the situation was dire. I then agreed on a payment arrangement and I see that he paid a large invoice the day before yesterday. Then I actually have to call him again today, about another invoice. Here I try very carefully to keep the balance. Yes, our customers must be satisfied, but we also want to keep their customers friendly. In these times I think it is very important to take the situation of our customers’ customers into account.’
Creative with crisis
Suzanne’s story does not stand alone, of course. All our debtor managers think along with our customers’ customers. We make clear agreements, empathize and show understanding. It is precisely because we have a good relationship with our customers’ customers that we come a long way. You cultivate goodwill. On the other hand, there are also a lot of companies that are still running. You notice that many people are now less on the cutting edge than during the first lockdown, at the start of the Corona crisis. We all don’t know how long this will take and we have to move on. All of them. Many entrepreneurs who have been hit even harder still remain creative. They do things they might not otherwise do. But that also opens doors. Seizing opportunities and looking out for each other. There are two extremes, but by balancing we come a long way.