If your company has a dedicated support or service team, they are likely receiving calls and emails from your customers or other project participants regularly. The support interactions could range from questions about your product or services, to invoice disputes or even questions about documents they received. The documents could be preliminary notices, notices of intent to lien or perhaps an actual mechanics lien claim. Although you and your department may be responsible for managing the lien and notice process, you may not always be the first person or department contacted regarding your liens and notices.
In this article, we'll help you best inform your company and cover what your Customer Service and Support Teams need to know about zlien documents.
Educating the teams first may seem obvious to some organizations. However, many companies do not fully roll out their lien and notice policy or perhaps a change in vendor to their different departments (or even their customers)! It's very important to roll out your process and educate your different teams on what your lien and notice policy is, why your company is adopting this policy and how it will be helpful for the organization, your cash flow and your business relationships with customers.
- The support representative has no idea what the customer is referencing.
- The support representative thinks this is an error or not a document their company sent, so they tell the customer to ignore it.
- The support representative has no idea how to answer any questions or who they should direct the customer to within the organization. Thus leaving the customer with unanswered questions and a bad support interaction.
- The support representative has some exposure to the fact that your company sends these documents and presumes that a lien was filed and lets the customer know that the document is a lien (even if it's a notice).
Some of our customers have a dedicated person from their credit or collections team (or whichever team is responsible for sending notices, exchanging lien waivers and filing liens) who conducts recurring seminars or sessions on lien and notice management. This may be for the benefit of the entire company or certain departments such as Support and Sales.
Would you like for zlien to host a virtual or on-site training for your company on the importance of lien and notice management, how this benefits you and everything else in between? Ask us! Reach out to your zlien account manager or just email me (email@example.com). We love visiting with our customers and are here and happy to help you best roll out and manage this process successfully.
READ MORE on zlien advanced training.
The most important things they should now
At zlien, it's our job to know everything and anything about the construction payment ecosystem, liens, notices, etc. We don't expect every customer to train every employee - or even their support team - on all of these details as well. Educate them on what matters most. Here are the most important things they should know about your lien and notice process and the documents you're filing through zlien:
- Every document that you send will not always be a lien - ask the right questions to see what document the customer received. In most cases, you should be sending more preliminary notices (which is a proactive document) rather than notices of intent to lien or liens (which are reactive/ adversarial documents).
- Preliminary notices are good for business and they promote transparency and collaboration with your customers.
- Sending these documents is just a part of your company lien and notice policy, and it's not an indicator of payment issues or disputes.
In addition to those basic fundamentals, you should give them the resources and internal tools they need to properly serve your customers depending on what they're looking for from your company.
For example, if your customer is looking to make a payment based on the notice of intent to lien that they received, make sure your support team knows how to accept that payment, what department they should redirect to instead and/or if they need to let you (or the department managing your notice/lien/waiver process) know that a lien waiver should be exchanged in receipt of payment.
Here are some potential scenarios you should have the team prepared to handle - or at least understand:
- Your Customer Service or Support Team should know that your company protects lien rights, and as a part of your business process, you send preliminary notices, notice of intent to lien or file mechanics liens.
- If a customer calls asking to make (or dispute) payment for a project based off a notice of intent to lien or the actual mechanics lien, make sure your Support Team knows the best route for your company to get that payment and that they let you know about this payment. If you have a credit and collections funnel in place, you'll need to make note of this payment and take potential next actions - such as exchanging a lien waiver or releasing a lien.
Helping entire organizations understand the importance of liens and notices and how they can help your business is something we're very passionate about at zlien. Read more on best practices for explaining your lien and notice process, setting up your policy and why this is just good business: