The surprise audit: due diligence for a payday loan business

A facial close-up of an African-American woman looking through a spyglass.

Good payday loan stores check up on both customers and employees. (Photo Credit: ThinkStock)

Much has been alleged by payday loan opponents regarding the so-called exploitative nature of the products payday loan stores have to offer. That is a diatribe-style argument that will rage on with certain activists, regardless of data pointing toward the contrary. However, here’s something that the best payday loan business organizations do that not only reflects top-quality customer service, it helps ensure that employees are doing their jobs properly: a surprise audit.

Why a surprise audit? The reason may surprise you

Payday Loan Industry Blog suggests that payday loan stores perform a surprise audit fairly often. This is not done in secret by ownership. In fact, once the audit commences, employees should be made aware of what’s going on. The reason Payday Loan Industry Blog gives is that it has noticed that while the vast majority of payday loan business employees are trustworthy and industrious, employee fraud can occur.

Pick a customer from the recent past

This is a chance to follow up with the customer via contact they’ve given. Identify yourself and your store, and remind customers that you appreciated their business when they were last in. Then simply say “Thank you” and ask if there’s anything else you can do for them. Then allow the customer all the time they need to reply. This is classic customer retention effort through conscientious customer service.

Listen to what customers say

Ideally, customers will say they had a positive experience and would use a payday loan again. Sometimes, an employee may have been rude, and the customer will recount this. It happens, and it can typically be adjusted with minor correction.

What if there has been employee fraud?

Employee fraud is a difficult thing for any business to face. Employee fraud erodes the internal trust a business has with its employees and causes great damage to customer relationships. What happens in this case is that dishonest employees take out a loan for themselves under another identity. It’s essentially identity theft. Payday Loan Industry Blog claims it has found “as many as 22 percent of payday loan contracts are bogus” at its store,” but in all likelihood that number is quite high for most payday loan stores. However, a surprise audit should still be used as a preventative measure. It’s the way each and every payday loan business can ensure that the customer truly does come first.


Payday Loan Industry Blog