Customer retention tips
There’s an old adage that goes “your existing customers are your best customers.” Generally speaking, it costs a lot less to generate repeat business from an existing client than it does to locate a new one – so it makes sense to do all you can to keep your customers loyal.
Client retention strategies are therefore very important to your business. It pays to find ways to constantly connect with your existing customers and keep yourself top-of-mind. Here are a few strategies you can use to build solid, long-lasting relationships that not only keep your customers coming back for more, but also keep the referrals rolling in.
Great service retains customers.
For a mortgage and finance broker, the delivery of exceptional customer service from the very first point of contact is the key to making an impression that lasts. Quality customer service creates a trust bond between you and your customer that translates into long-term loyalty and can often turn your customer into a salesperson for your business.
- Respond to the first enquiry quickly. This will reassure your customer that you are professional, organised and ready to provide them with the solution they need.
- Focus on quality over speed. Once you have established contact with your customer, take the time to engage with them on a personal level. Your customer will value their experience with you more if they do not feel rushed or ignored. They are more likely to stay engaged with your business if you and your staff are courteous, willing and helpful at all times and can communicate with them on a first name basis.
- Manage and meet expectations. Exceptional customer service does not necessarily mean going above and beyond your customer’s expectations. All you need to do is clearly outline what they can expect – tell them about the process, procedures and time-line that is necessary to secure the loan they need and make sure you deliver. If you anticipate any difficulties, then make sure that you mention them – don’t allow your customer to be ambushed by unexpected surprises or delays. Remember, the main thing that drives loyalty and retention for customers of mortgage and finance broking businesses is the ease of getting their problem solved. They don’t want any stress.
- Communicate in a way they appreciate. Ask your customer how they would like you to contact them, as using a method they prefer is important to them. Staying in constant communication with your customer before, during and after the sale is key. However if they do not enjoy receiving your communications they will simply switch off and go elsewhere, so make sure you only send them relevant information they will enjoy.
Use testimonials and social proof.
Long-term loyalty means ensuring your customers remain confident they have made the right decision to choose you as their personal mortgage and finance broker. People are essentially ego-driven and constantly being reminded of their smart decision to secure your services will make them feel special. A consistent stream of testimonials from your happy new customers is a great way to remind your existing customers of your value.
- Encourage social media interaction. Testimonials published spontaneously by your clients on social media provide positive social proof of the value of your services. This not only provides a reason for new customers to choose your services over a competitor, it also provides a reason for your existing customers to do so as well. Encouraging your customers to engage with you and each other on social media also helps them to feel included in something greater than themselves, owning your ongoing successes. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to give you a recommendation – even if they are extremely happy with your services, they may forget as they will be caught up in the excitement of acquiring their new property.
- Publish your successes. A constant supply of simple messages on social media like “Congratulations Mark & Jenny on securing your new home at auction last Saturday!” will make a strong impression, particularly if accompanied by a selfie of Mark & Jenny’s happy faces. You can engage with your customers more if you get involved with their journey and motivate them to share their experience with you and your other customers. In the event you or your business receives an industry or community award, be sure to share it on social media and thank your customers for making it possible. Communications like these will constantly remind your customers they are with the right service provider.
- Provide valuable content. Engaging your customers with important information, interesting articles, ways to save and more through your newsletter, website and social media pages will help to keep your relationship alive and current. Content they will value will keep you top of mind and generate more consistent referrals.
Reward your clients for their loyalty.
If you want to ensure your clients appreciate you, then it is a great idea to remind your clients of how much you appreciate them. You can go about this in a variety of different ways, according to your business model, but one thing that always ensures your customers feel appreciated is remembering their name and all the important information about their personal situation and family as though they were a close friend.
Of course, no one can remember the details of each and every customer when you have hundreds or thousands of them in your database, so be sure to keep detailed notes about your customers in your CRM to facilitate a sense of familiarity and friendship. Connective’s Mercury software allows you to set automated tasks so that you are reminded of when to contact a customer. It also allows you to attach detailed notes to your customer file that will remind you of what to say to them when you call.
- Send out congratulations on anniversaries. Personalised messages from you delivered in a timely way can make your customers feel rewarded and special. Send out birthday texts, or remember to congratulate them on their wedding anniversary or on the birth of a child. Always treat the annual anniversary of their loan settlement date as a special occasion – make them feel that this is up there in importance with all the other important milestones in their life.
- Reward successful referrals with a gift. If a customer refers a family member, friend or colleague to you, be sure to thank them for doing so. This may just require a quick telephone call or text, but sending a gift card or movie tickets as well will make a more lasting impression and encourage more referrals. Always acknowledge a referral, even if it does not result in a sale. Your customers need to feel appreciated for their efforts and recommendations.
Find ways to add value and keep them interested.
Offering other services to your customers is a great way to retain their attention, add value to your services and further develop your ongoing relationship. For example, talking about insurance during your original transaction not only helps to fulfil your Responsible Lending obligations, but shows your customers that you care about their financial well-being. If you can actually sell your customers a policy, the annual renewal gives you another reason to get in touch with them and also provides an additional revenue stream.
Asset finance services have also proven to be an excellent customer retention tool for many brokers. Home-buyers often want a lovely new car to grace the driveway of their new home and making this dream come true could help to position you as the hero.
You can also add value by encouraging your referral partners to provide your customers with special discounts, promotions and offers for their services. Another idea is to provide financial educational information to your customer’s adult children, or perhaps you could organise free seminars about financial management or property investment.
Offering to help your clients formulate a property investment plan gives you a foundation for following their progress and staying in touch over a longer period of time. If you impress upon your customers that your ongoing role is to help them build wealth for their future, you can help them to formulate a plan that includes times when they should get in touch with you for further assistance.
It is also important that you stay on top of the customer’s current loan. If their lender increases interest rates, review your client’s loan and see if there might be a better deal for them. If they have had their loan for a while and there could be a more cost-effective alternative, get in touch and let them know. Even if there is not a better deal available for them, let them know that you’ve stayed on their case and that you are monitoring the situation.
If you require more information about customer retention strategies – or would like to join an aggregator that supports you in implementing them, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Connective makes customer retention easier by including a fantastic CRM within Mercury, provided with your flat monthly fee at no additional cost. We’re also happy to discuss your own customer retention ideas and tell you how Mercury and our expert Broker Support Managers can help.Contact us