What surprises await you…after you sign?

What surprises await you…after you sign?

 
 

“…Are there going to be any surprises? Did you ask all the right questions? What business owners and entrepreneurs are very concerned about is if they didn’t ask all the right questions, somebody may not volunteer the right answer, and you wake up with a real problem on your hands.”

 
—Robb Mulberger, President, NRI Staffing

It can be an unknown variable. Once you sign a contract for an important business relationship such as funding for your staffing company, how will that relationship actually unfold? Will everything the sales people told you before you signed the contract come to pass? Or, once you’re on board, does the service you experienced during the sales process become a thing of the past? Most importantly, how can you ensure your expectations are met once you’ve signed the contract?
 

Unfortunately, you do hear the stories.

 
The sales people were so nice and courteous. Everything they told you about how the relationship would function is exactly what you were looking for in a funding partner. So you sign the contract with high expectations and a hopeful eye on the future.
 
Then the actual relationship begins, and it’s nothing like you expected.
 
Besides the obvious part of the relationship that involves actually funding your invoices in an accurate and timely manner, there should be a level of expertise and service that comes along with those services.
 

Any good funding provider should meet your expectations by:

 
  • Answering the phone when you call. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? You call and a live person picks up the phone on the other end. But how often does this actually happen, or do you get voicemail instead? A provider dedicated to offering top-notch service has people at the ready to answer your calls so you have the information you need, when you need it. Voicemail should be just another option, not the standard.
  • Availability of management and team members. When you have an important business decision that needs management input from your funding provider, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to make contact with that person. As a partner dedicated to the success of your staffing company, those top-level management personnel should be accessible to you and respond to your needs quickly.
  • Questions are answered in a timely manner. You need information when YOU need it. Waiting hours, or even days or weeks, to get answers you need can become a detriment to your business and hamper your ability to make quick business decisions. If your funding provider doesn’t know the answer to your question immediately, they should have a policy outlining a reasonable time frame to respond to your request.
 

How do you know if a funding provider will meet these expectations before you sign? Ask the following questions to help you decide:

 
  • Do they have actual policies and procedures in place to ensure quality customer service? This includes turnaround times for returned calls and answered questions. Having these policies in writing means they’ve made service a priority.
  • Can you speak to current clients about their experiences? Chances are, they’ll only have you speak with happy clients. However, asking them detailed questions about the service they receive, and any issues they’ve had and how they’ve been resolved, can help you better understand if the level of service they describe meets your expectations.
  • Can you visit your prospective funding company’s offices?Any good funding provider should offer this as an option before you sign. When you meet in person the people you’ll be working with, you can get a sense of their level of industry knowledge and commitment. Ask for the full tour. Ask how long people generally stay in their positions and their level of turnover.
 
Once you sign with a funding provider, the only surprises you should experience are pleasant surprises. If that’s not the case, it may be time to move on to a provider who better meets and exceeds your expectations.
 
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