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Seven steps to a robust client retention strategy – Geddes

by: Rachel Geddes, mortgage advisor for Mortgage Advice Bureau
  • 23/04/2018
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Seven steps to a robust client retention strategy – Geddes
Customer retention is a critical strategy for brokers and lenders, as an estimated £191bn worth of mortgages are due to mature during 2018.

With customers also likely to benefit from a pro-active strategy by brokers, investing resources now can reap rewards for all later.

We overhauled the business’s after-sales care process two years ago. Customers are now contacted every six months after their mortgage completes and the firm has achieved an 80% customer retention rate.

It can be hard getting a new customer through the door so, as most brokers know, it’s important to provide the best possible service to ensure you get repeat business, which ultimately helps to keep business ticking over.

As part of our after-care service we regularly check-in with customers to see if there’s been any change to their circumstances which may affect their lending options going forward, for instance a new job or a baby. This helps us to prepare well in advance of their mortgage maturity date.

It’s an extremely busy time for brokers, so renovating your retention process may feel a bit daunting at first.

However, once you get into the flow you’ll soon start to reap the benefits which will also work in the best interest of your customers so it’s a win-win situation.

 

Below are some helpful tips on how brokers can strengthen their retention strategy:

  • Invest now to save time and money in the long run. It’s easy to get embroiled in the next case, but investing in a good retention process and system will pay dividends later down the line.
    There are several good customer relationship management (CRM) systems available which can do the hard work for you, reminding you when to contact the customer and even doing it automatically, meaning you spend time with the customer rather than administration.
  • Keep in regular contact with clients. This will help you to stay on track of individual client’s needs and also keep you at the front of their mind when they need further advice.
    The market is constantly changing so regular catch ups will provide you with the opportunity to reassure clients, or discuss any areas where they may potentially be impacted. Try newsletters, market information and education – rather than product pushes – so the customer sees you as market expert rather than trying to sell them something.
  • Start by looking forward not back. It may be overwhelming to start changing your process retrospectively, so start with new clients first and then try to instigate the process with current clients when you have the time and resource. Employing someone to input your client data on a short-term contract may be a cost effective way to speed up the process.
  • Tailor your reasons for contacting clients to their needs. As well as arranging routine check-ups some types of mortgages provide a good excuse to get in touch, for instance offsets. Periodically checking if your client is best utilising their savings will help them make the most of their mortgage. Alternatively, if their savings balance is looking healthy there may be potential for investment opportunities.
  • Be upfront with clients. Make your clients privy to your process during their mortgage application so they know what to expect of you and how it will benefit them. But also allow the option to opt-out if they wish.
  • It’s all about the small things. Birthday and Christmas cards are simple touches that a client will really appreciate. Alternatively, you could mark key relationship anniversaries with a gesture depending on how long your client has used your services.
  • Keep on keeping on. Don’t be haphazard once you decide to change course. Ensure your new process is embedded into your business and ensure you follow it consistently. It would be savvy for the same person to contact specific clients as this will help with rapport and also for maintaining information.

 

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