So you're ready to kick off your notice policy and start being proactive about protecting your lien rights! Congratulations - this is something to celebrate, and we're here to help you do it.
In order to ensure a smooth roll-out of the new process across your company, you will need to align your coworkers behind your decision. Since transparent customer communication is a key aspect of your new policy, it will be especially important to prepare your coworkers on customer-facing teams like Sales and Support.
first, explain why you decided to protect lien rights
Lien rights management can be complex and is often misunderstood. Some people in the construction industry have inaccurate perceptions concerning what lien rights management is all about. Because of this, you might get push-back from your coworkers about your new policy. Have no fear - there are plenty of ways to ease their concerns by demonstrating the return on investment and benefits to your customer relationships.
If you need to present to company leaders to get approval for protecting lien rights, check out our new landing page: zlien Roll Out: Explaining the Benefits of Notices to Your Customers and Internal Teams. This page has written and video content that you can use in your presentation.
train your Sales Team on your policy
Your sales team plays an integral role in setting expectations with your customers. They need to be able to properly communicate your notice and lien policy to customers from the very start of the relationship to prevent misunderstanding and confusion when documents are sent and received. They are also in charge of collecting critical project information at the start of the job so that you can send notices to the right parties.
Some tips for training your sales team:
Provide written policy guidelines to your sales team so they know which of your customers should expect to receive notices. Is it only customers on projects with contracts or amounts due over a certain dollar threshold? Is it all customers? Are there certain customers that will never receive a notice? This will help the Sales team know what information they should communicate to customers at the start of the process.
Provide them with a job sheet, an online form, or some other way for them to easily collect critical project information at the start of the job and share it with you. The more information you can collect up front, the better.
Have a procedure in place if a customer calls confused about a document they received. If the call is handled by a sales rep, show your sales team what the documents look like so they will know how to respond. Show them the cover letters that zlien sends out with your notices and the link they can direct customers to if they have questions.
Every zlien document has a Reference ID at the top, so you can train them to collect this Reference ID from the customer and request you to pull up the document in zlien. If you need help getting sample zlien documents, contact your account manager.
TRAIN YOUR Support TEAM ON YOUR POLICY
At zlien, we’ve helped companies train their customer service agents to give them the tools needed to answer incoming customer questions about notices, lien waivers, and next steps.
Common questions these folks may receive:
Q: What is this document I received in the mail? Is this a lien?
First, your support member should verify what type of document it is and that it is not a lien. Your coworkers can do this by asking simple questions about the language on the document, or they can request the Reference ID and look up the order in zlien.
- NOTE: Make sure to show your support reps what the documents look like and the cover letters that zlien sends out with your notices.
- You can also train your support team to be familiar with the state-specific notices where you operate.
Next, have your support team explain that the customer received this document as part of company policy. More often than not, the notice they received is not an adverserial document. Preliminary notices are intended to increase transparency about who is on the job site and secure lien rights per state law.
Q: Is there anything I need to do?
- If it is a preliminary notice: "No, there is nothing you need to do. Feel free to go to http://www.zlien.com/info for more information."
- If it is a lien or a notice of intent to lien: "You appear to have an outstanding balance on this account. Our accounting department can help you resolve it."
Q: Can you provide me with a lien waiver?
Short answer: yes. Lien waiver requests are very common. Most folks expect to receive notices, and then they will provide payment in exchange for a lien waiver - you are waiving your lien right when receiving payment.
As part of your lien and notice policy, your team should have guidelines about when to provide a lien waiver and who will provide them. Anyone who uses zlien can quickly generate a waiver. Your support team will most likely forward this waiver request to your accounting team or credit manager. Be careful which waiver you sign - make sure you aren't waiving more than you think!
get everyone on board
We know liens laws are complex. It's no easy task to explain mechanics liens and notices to someone else, whether that person is your coworker or your customer. By framing the conversation around the positive benefits of lien rights and providing clear guidelines for your internal teams to follow, you can roll out your new policy smoothly and ensure positive, transparent communications with customers. Once your internal teams are on the same page, your customers will be too!