The Growth Series

What do house buyers want from brokers?

Consumers engage with brands across countless industries every day of their lives, from utility providers to retailers - and their dealings with these firms will form their view of what they expect from others - including you.

Perhaps they like being able to make a transaction or get an answer to a question outside of traditional office hours, or maybe they like using apps to purchase products, book appointments or use basic services.

Alternatively, they may appreciate receiving timely, personalised communications that reflect their individual needs, preferences and priorities, or want to transact with brands that understand them and have strong values.

As a broker operating in this environment, you need to bear in mind people’s experiences with other companies and what’s driving their purchasing decisions, so you can deliver what they both require and demand.

Otherwise, you could risk losing out to a competitor, no matter how much knowledge and experience you have in-house.

According to research by Capgemini, the cost of living is, unsurprisingly, weighing heavily on people’s minds at the moment, with many consumers worrying about the cost of essential items and feeding their families.

As a result, many have changed their spending habits, and are more actively looking for bargains, promotions and affordable alternatives. That has, in turn, influenced what they want and expect from the brands they work with.

Specifically, consumers now expect companies to help them through this difficult period, and are willing to reward the most considerate brands by staying loyal to them.

As a broker dedicated to providing people with the right financial advice, you are in a very strong position to advise people on the issues that worry them most, and provide valuable support that genuinely makes a difference to their lives.

For example, perhaps you could diversify beyond providing mortgage advice, or at least build a network of specialists in other areas, such as life insurance and critical illness cover, that you could refer clients to.

At the same time, you could create a process to pre-empt when customers might need advice, using tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to flag up key dates that are coming up.

For instance, if you’re alerted to the date when a client’s mortgage maturity comes up and their loan is scheduled to be repaid in full, you’ll be in a position to offer advice and upsell in good time.

You’ll also be adding genuine value to clients who may be unaware of this looming deadline and, again, having a meaningful and positive impact on their lives.

Using technology such as a CRM system can also help you get a grip on the basics of attracting, retaining and engaging with clients.

For example, you can personalise communications to show that you understand and care about them, using customer data to produce targeted, relevant information based on their specific situations and objectives. CRM technology can also help you keep your promises to customers, such as making follow-up calls after saying you would, which is a quick win as you try to strengthen your relationship with a client and show you care about them.

Additionally, the insights you have on your customers could enable you to notify them about services they might not need now but could potentially need in the future, so you can lay the groundwork for future cross and upselling opportunities.

Ultimately, as consumers are increasingly preoccupied by concerns over making ends meet, you must be able to acknowledge these worries and provide more holistic help when it’s appropriate to do so.

As the Capgemini report notes, brands must “identify new revenue and channel growth opportunities”, which involves “tailoring experiences and content to divergent consumer needs”.

Furthermore, it believes companies must “lead with purpose and help consumers through this difficult time to build goodwill and loyalty in the longer term”.

Brokers can be at the forefront of this, adding value at every turn to make a genuine difference to their clients.

For more information and ideas on this topic, check out our guide: The Brokers' Guide to Customer Experience.

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