When it comes to the mortgage sector, adjustments in company structures could disrupt the relationship and the service a client receives if an adviser leaves. This also depends on who owns the client.
So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: How do you ensure a seamless handover and what is the structure of your client bank?
We are in a fortunate position that we don’t get too many advisers coming and going, but it is an inevitable part of running a business that this will happen.
For that reason, I have always had employed advisers, as the client ‘belongs’ to Rose Capital, not the individual.
We also use a good customer relationship management (CRM) system, which is eKeeper.
They have had a lot of upgrades of late, which include automated emailed to remind clients of product expiry dates. You can easily access the relevant data so clients can be ‘re-assigned’ at a click of a button when needed, and you can even email centrally from the system.
In this case, you can send an email from the system explaining who their new adviser is, which comes from the actual adviser, without the need for endless copying and pasting and can also be done centrally.
We also maintain quite a good web presence and actively market our clients, so they are quite used to interacting with ‘Rose Capital’ rather than purely being left to the adviser to foster the relationship.
I know in our industry firms vary from having self-employed and employed advisers, some firms are way more technically advanced than us, others are literally working off paper files in a lock up cabinet.
Each to their own.
My focus is only ever how we can get better, but this was at the forefront of my mind when I set the company up this way.
In any industry there will inevitably be times when colleagues move on. In a customer-focused business like mortgage advice, that can clearly present some challenges for the firm and more importantly for the customer.
The goal must be to have a robust process in place that will allow as little disturbance for the customer as possible.
The customer may have had a good relationship with their adviser but where a case is already in progress, their prime focus is likely to be in ensuring that progress continues smoothly.
As a business we want to make sure that the customer has continuity which will help instill confidence that they haven’t fallen through the cracks. That means communicating effectively that their previous contact has left but that a new colleague will be there to take over, whether that is an adviser or case manager.
Updating and introducing that contact point as soon as possible will play an important part in minimising any disruption and most importantly help to keep the case on track.
As for any question of who ‘owns’ the client we could talk about the need to check contract and data protection issues from the perspective of the business and the departing employee.
These are important considerations but it’s usually safe to assume that ultimately the client will be the one in charge of where they place their business.
Helping them understand that they remain important to you as a business and providing as seamless a handover experience as possible will be what matters most to the customer.
If a broker leaves and the application has ben submitted, they’ll have an administrator who will handle it and it’ll be in the pipeline through to progression so it won’t need to go to the broker.
It isn’t helpful from a client’s point of view if a broker leaves but it depends how far the application has got.
With regards to who owns the client, if a broker leaves a company, technically it’ll be the company’s client. But no doubt, a lot of them will have relationships they have built so most companies will find it difficult to keep hold of the client.
With regard to our brokers who have left, their clients either continue with the company or go with the broker. It depends on the relationship they have built.
There have been legal cases where brokers have tried to take former employees to court but it doesn’t help anyone, it’s just part of business. Especially in the mortgage industry, it’s just the way it works.
In any sales environment, people will take their clients with them when they leave.
As well as this, a lot of the bigger firms have good contacts with lenders, their business development managers, national account managers and more senior people. So if something goes wrong, there’s that additional contact which can be beneficial to clients but some brokers may not have access to the same people.
But it’s a risk the leaving broker has to take, if you leave a company or want to set up your own firm it’s just the way of the industry.
The original firm is likely to hold client information on their database too, so the client may not be that interested in telling that to a broker all over again.