Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one? That’s why, once you’ve got a customer through the door, it makes good business sense to hold on to them.
When you also consider that an estimated £191bn worth of mortgages are due to mature in 2018, customer retention strategies need to be a fundamental part of any mortgage broker or lender’s business.
But what are the best ways to go about this?
Get into good habits
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the application you’re currently working on but if you can be proactive and invest in a good retention process, your business will reap the benefits in time. Some firms adopt the practice of contacting every customer as a matter of course six months after their mortgage completes, which has resulted in retention rates of 80% in some cases. To help you, there are many good customer relationship management (CRM) systems available which will remind you when to contact the customer and even do it for you automatically. Remember, anything that helps you spend more time on the business than in the business is to be welcomed.
You may have been a very important person to your client when they were waiting to see if their mortgage had been approved but once the excitement dies down, they’ll sadly soon forget about you. Unless you give them a reason not to, that is! So keep in regular contact with newsletters and market updates. Don’t just force your news on your customers, though, think about them and their needs - what would be useful to them? Position yourself as an industry expert rather than someone who is just trying to sell them something.
Tailor the reason for your approach
Don’t just send out a blanket set of mailers. You will meet with more success if you can tailor your communication to a client’s particular needs or life stage by segmenting your database. Some types of mortgages will provide a good excuse to get in touch, for instance, offset mortgages. It’s good practice to check from time to time to see if your client could be using their savings to make the most of their mortgage or, alternatively, if their savings balance is looking healthy then to investigate potential investment opportunities.
Make it personal
By keeping in regular contact with your customers, you’ll find out if there’s been any change to their circumstances which may affect their lending options in the future, for example, a new job or a baby. This will mean you can be prepared well in advance of their mortgage maturity date. Don’t forget the little things - just sending your customers a birthday or Christmas card can make a big impression. Or you could even send a card marking the day they became one of your customers!
Retain your retention strategy!
Don’t give up! Once your retention strategy has become part of your business processes, make sure it is consistently followed by everyone in the business. You may decide it makes sense for the same person to contact specific clients to build up rapport. In any event, by adopting these simple strategies you’re increasing your chances of retaining your existing customers instead of constantly having to find new ones.