15 Jan 2024
by Jules Eames FCICM (Grad); PGCE, Iain Young MCICM(Grad)

How to treat your customers this Blue Monday

Look after your customer's on the least favourite Monday of the year.

As the festive cheer fades and the realities of the new year set in, many individuals may experience a dip in mood and motivation as the realities of the new year come sharply into view. December’s credit card bill, the shortened daylight hours and general sense of dreariness can all culminate in what is Also known as "Blue Monday,";it is the third Monday of January and known for highlighting the post-holiday blues. Referred to as being the most depressing day of the year, in 2024 it falls on 15th January. 

In the current economic climate, with rising inflation, energy costs, and interest ratesthe ongoing cost of living crisis means that, the emotional impact of Blue Monday is amplified for many individuals and families. It can also have a knock-on effect for businesses too, with many experiencing a slump in sales over the same period. Credit managers and debt collectors play a crucial role in navigating this challenging period, ensuring bothbalancing the collection of debts and the well-being of those who may be struggling financially. 


Understanding the Emotional Dynamics of Blue Monday 

Blue Monday, a concept popularised by a British travel company, is not an official meteorological term but rather a marketing ploy. However, it resonates with many individuals who experience a combination of factors that contribute to low mood and motivation such as the realisation of returning to financial obligations.Although the scientific basis for Blue Monday has been debunked (the concept was originally created by a travel company looking to sell holidays), the reason it has stuck around so long is likely because we can all identify with feeling the strain during the early part of a new year; it is thought that around 2 million people in the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 


The Responsibility of Credit Managers and Debt Collectors  

In the face of these challenges, credit managers and debt collectors have a responsibility to exercise empathy and compassion while upholding their duties to collect debts. Here are some key principles to consider: 


  • Humanise interactions: Treat debtors with respect and understanding, acknowledging the challenges they may be facing. 

  • Offer flexible solutions: Explore payment plans that align with the debtor's financial situation, avoiding aggressive or punitive measures. 

  • Provide clear communication: Regularly update debtors on their accounts, avoiding surprise charges or collection notices. 

  • Referral to support services: If the debtor is struggling financially, offer referrals to relevant support services, such as debt advice charities or budgeting workshops. 

  • Maintain confidentiality: Respect the privacy of debtors and avoid unnecessary disclosures to individuals or organizations without their consent. 


By adopting these principles, credit managers and debt collectors can play a positive role in helping individuals manage their finances and navigate the current economic climate, even during the emotionally challenging period of Blue Monday. 

Related topics