The Constant Client Contact initiative is essential to the movement towards client-centered microfinance. Spanish-speaking members of the organization communicate with all active clients by telephone or Skype at least once a month, holding casual yet informative conversations. The objective of this communication is two-fold: 1) to provide a better understanding of the economic goals of poor households as well as how clients deal with risk on a daily basis; and 2) to form personal connections with our clients. Gathering information directly from the client gives us an avenue through which to focus on the non-income dimensions of poverty, and to gain an awareness of how clients use microfinance services to build assets, mitigate risk, and reduce their vulnerability, in the objective scenario.
Through this program, we strive to establish not only a conduit for client feedback (catalyzing organizational innovation), but also a method by which to observe client behavior and repayment trends, provide qualitative measurement of social performance, and foster relationships with our clients that will both compensate for the distance of and justify the small scale of our operations. Additionally, communication administered at various stages in each client’s credit cycle allows us to respond to any repayment difficulties they may encounter with timely and personalized solutions. As more information is gathered, we hope to be able to address specific obstacles through our adapted educational services, and the development of effective solution sets that may serve to ameliorate future repayment concerns.
Our Constant Client Contact initiative:
- Allows our clients to receive individual attention and possibly personalized solutions to their problems.
- Allows us to practice “high-touch high-feel” microfinance – a method of realizing a high repayment rates.
- Provides timely information regarding a client’s repayment performance. In the case of a client running into difficulty with her repayments, possible solutions can be explored in a prompt manner.
- Provides an avenue by which La Ceiba can receive continual and immediate feedback from clients – which is a possible catalyst for rapid organizational innovation.