Originally Published on 13 May, 2021
Generating enquiries is an integral part of any broker’s business. However, no number of enquiries matters if you can’t convert them into paying completions. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve your conversion rate.
Some techniques use the latest technology and others just require returning to the basics of delivering a good service. Providing great customer service at all points of the customer journey may sound obvious, but you may be missing out on some easily implemented tactics.
Avoid application declines
If a client’s mortgage application is declined, it doesn’t only amount to a missed conversion and wasted time for both yourself and the client. It can damage your relationship and lead to a loss of trust and the possibility of them looking elsewhere for a broker or going directly to a lender.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to minimise the chances of this happening:
- First and foremost, information is key. Gathering the right information about your client and their needs is essential to maximise the chance of their application being approved. If you are planning a meeting or a digital interview, let them know in advance which documents they’ll need to reduce any chances of missing details.
- Ask them to run their own free credit check. A client may be declined because of something in their credit history that they neglected to tell you. It’s better to be sure.
- Consider going to a specialist. Mainstream lenders tend to be less flexible when it comes to applications not quite fitting their criteria. If the information you’ve gathered suggests that they’re less likely to be accepted by a high street lender, get it right for them the first time and approach a specialist distributor.
- A simple sense check goes a long way. You can be as diligent as you like when collecting information, but things can still slip under the radar. Having a final proofread of an application can save you from unnecessary declines.
Learn more: Six traits of successful mortgage brokers
Prepare your responses to common customer queries
You can also improve your chances of conversion before you get to the submission stage of the customer journey. During initial enquiries, there are a number of queries and concerns that your client may have. It’s important to put them at ease and demonstrate the benefits of working with you as early as possible.
Clients may reveal:
- That they’re happy with their current mortgage. Great! Just make them aware of any potential savings they might not have considered.
- They’re already working with an IFA. This means that they should already understand the importance of weighing up their options; give them something to consider.
- They want to deal with a high street lender. Of course, dealing with a trustworthy lender is important, some clients think that high street lenders always provide them with that assurance. Remind them that you go to banks and building societies on their behalf and may be able to offer exclusive deals.
- Their penalties are stopping them from changing. You know that the potential savings can hugely outweigh the penalties, but they might not. Tell them!
- They have already found a deal they like. Great, use that deal as a good benchmark to find them a better deal.
- They’ve already remortgaged. Not to worry, this is a good opportunity to book a meeting before their next fixed rate term ends, giving you a chance at future business.
- They only wanted to see quotes. That’s fine, mortgage brokers have access to more quotes than they might typically see in a cursory online search. Tell them that you’d be happy to explore those for them and find the best rates for them specifically.
Learn more: Top Tips for increasing enquiries for brokers
Make the most of technology
While there is no substitute for good customer service, there are some fantastic tools available to help automate and streamline your conversion process. Consider using some or all of these:
- Add a pop-up window to your site. Make it as easy as possible for a website visitor to contact you, perhaps offer them a deal. While pop-ups are great for pushing customers towards action, they can also be annoying. For this reason, make them easy to close if needed, and consider applying a 30-second delay so that they have a moment to get acquainted with your website first.
- Remove unnecessary entry fields. When you direct a customer to a contact form, don’t put them off with excessive data entry requirements. Make sure you get the information you need to follow up on the lead, but leave the more extensive information gathering to a follow-up email or phone call.
- Add a live chat or chatbot functionality to your website. For potential clients who are interested but need a little help making the decision to interact, start the conversation for them. Live chat tools are becoming easier than ever to use and are a great way of clearing up any doubts that visitors may have.
- Adopt Customer Relationship Management software to stay in touch, manage your relationships, promote products and services and share relevant information.
Learn more: The Complete Tech Checklist for Brokers
The key thing to remember is that customer service is important. If you consider that at every stage of the journey and act on it, then you’re on the right path to turning your enquiries into conversions.
Learn more: The Brokers' Guide to Customer Experience