Speaking at The Specialist Lending Event 2018 in York, the distributor panel noted that brokers needed to support a culture which embraced feedback and was proactive in engaging with online forums.
Failing to do so would leave them exposed to reputational damage they were unaware of.
The panel also discussed how brokers might be able to attract more opportunities – especially in the context of a potentially flat market. To create leads and write more business, brokers need to engage with client reviews and hold a “don’t say no, say how” attitude, said the panel.
In a “eureka moment”, Rob Jupp, chief executive officer of Brighstar Financial, (pictured centre) said that businesses must adapt their practices and engage with customer feedback, because the “Tripadvisor generation” of clients were changing how they interact with firms.
“What’s really important, and this was a eureka moment for me six or seven months ago – is that the way your customers are going to be doing business with you in the future is changing now,” said Jupp.
“Customers will be checking out people they want to trade and do business with, looking at feedback reviews such as Trust Pilot.”
Neglecting to address such feedback, then, could damage reputation and potentially harm future business.
Jupp continued: “If you don’t control that, if you don’t manage that and you don’t get your business into a culture which embraces that feedback, then those customers will leave that feedback about you in a public forum.”
“Remember, when it’s there, you can’t get rid of it,” added Jupp.
“Use it as an opportunity to say – ‘don’t just take my word for how good I think I am, take the word of my peer group, people like you that traded with me, people with names and addresses and identities’,” he added.
Similarly, Jo Breeden, managing director of Crystal Specialist Finance (pictured left) emphasised a flexible and adaptable approach to customer service.
Central to this strategy, said Breeden, is collaboration.
“Don’t think that it falls outside of my scope of knowledge or my network’s allowance – team up with a packager, and if you’re part of a network or a club, use their mortgage desk – there are great resources out there,” he said.
Breeden added: “Don’t think that everyone’s in this game to pinch customers off you. It’s all about collaboration and working to get that customer outcome.”