If you aren’t focussing on retention, you’re probably leaving money on the table (and losing customers you can’t get back in the process).
Don’t just take our word for it though.
Research conducted by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score) shows that in the financial services industry, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% produces more than a 25% increase in profits.
No wonder so many other industry experts are focussing heavily on the importance of retention right now.
“The retention market has overtaken the acquisition market.” Those are the words of Esther Dijkstra, director of strategic partnership at Lloyds Banking Group, speaking at the FSE London Expert Panel in September 2018.
It’s a view that Ian Andrews, managing director at Nationwide Building Society, also shared at that event. “In 12 months’ time, retention will be the dominant channel,”.
Furthermore, with the number of purchase customers anticipated to decline this year, competition to retain customers is only going to get fiercer.
There are Benefits to retaining mortgage clients
Now, before we get into the meat of this post, we wanted to briefly touch on some of the benefits of retaining mortgage clients:
- Past clients are easier to sell to because you already have an established relationship
- They also tend to spend more than new customers (refinance, second home, etc.)
- New customers cost more to acquire.
- Repeat clients naturally promote your business (referrals are still the best and highest converting source of leads).
- Repeat clients are also more open to your marketing efforts & more forgiving of errors.
- Client retention helps grow businesses (repeat customers are more likely to explore your services further i.e. they’ll buy more stuff from you)
So now you know why you should want to retain more clients, here are a few of the best ways of doing just that:
1. Stay in touch
By staying in touch with your past clients on a frequent basis, you ensure you are always at the front of their mind. So, when they do have a need i.e. they are in the market for a mortgage, you are (hopefully) the first person they turn to.
It’s no good contacting a past client out of the blue just before they need advice. It will come across as contrived and insincere. In fact, it’s likely they’ll think you only get in touch when you want something, and nobody likes to feel that way.
Stay updated and stay in the minds of your clients (in a professional, non-pushy way, of course). Don’t be one of those advisers who doesn’t even know his client is mortgage shopping. Remain ahead of the curve and you’ll nurture stronger relationships, which will ultimately lead to more repeat business.
You don’t need to sweat for hours over what you’re going to say, either. Something as simple as a birthday or Christmas card is a great way to keep in touch on two occasions throughout the year. It won’t cost the earth, yet will go a long way in your clients’ eyes.
In addition, you may want to create a monthly or quarterly newsletter. It can be as simple as sending your clients links to articles on issues that could impact them. You’ll stay in their minds and be seen as a person who adds value – two things that will stand you in good stead when they remortgage.
Whatever you decide to do, remember, nothing beats high-quality, personalised content i.e. content that relates to the customer’s mortgage. This is an important factor and one that we’ll talk more about later in this post.
2. Add value and educate
Position yourself as a market expert
As we touched on in the previous point, it’s much better to position yourself as a market expert rather than a salesperson. That’s because market experts are held in high regard by their clients and are not viewed as people who only get in touch when they’ve got something to sell. As a result, market experts enjoy better relationships with their clients.
Look to educate your clients at every given opportunity. Whether it’s about changes in the marketplace or ways in which they could save money. By anticipating your clients’ questions, you’ll solidify yourself as their go-to adviser.
For example, highlight how much easier the remortgage process is compared to securing a mortgage when you first buy a property (there’s fewer steps, less paperwork and often the costs are lower etc). There’s a good chance your clients simply don’t know this and will appreciate your input.
Anticipate consumer anxieties
Because consumer mortgage journeys are non-linear, there’s always an opportunity to add value.
Major life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, a new job, etc., impact your clients’ lives. However, they also potentially impact their home/mortgage situations too.
At a time when your clients are likely already feeling anxious, you can stand out as someone they can talk to when life events occur.
Again, why not have pre-prepared documentation to cover such eventualities? It will allow you to serve your clients better and add real value (both of which improve retention).
Many consumers feel intimidated when they encounter mortgage jargon. It’s something they are unfamiliar with. That’s where you come in.
Be available to help your clients decipher documents that are full of jargon. When you send out your own comms, put information into easily digestible formats, allowing your clients to make fully informed decisions.
If you want to take this one step further and really wow your clients, consider creating your own jargon-busting guides and sending them to your clients ahead of time. This will not only portray you as an adviser who’s conscientious but also give you a great excuse to stay in touch on a regular basis.
3. Embrace your data
Hidden away in the darkest depths of your CRM system is a treasure trove of data. Data that relates to your clients and that can provide you with extremely powerful insights into them, their behaviours, their motivations and their pain points.
By harnessing this information, you can create highly-personalised communications that engage your clients and significantly boost your chances of securing more repeat business.
But do you know how to extract and manipulate the data you hold on your clients? If not, you’re missing a big trick.
4. Take advantage of automated retention software
Automated mortgage retention software does exactly as its name suggests. As well as taking the pain out of client retention, it also ensures you are in the most favourable position when your clients need your services.
You can significantly reduce the chances of missing retention opportunities by having timely and prioritised insights delivered straight to you.
With automated mortgage retention software, you can make sure that you:
- Always be the first to contact your clients
- Maintain their interest on an ongoing basis with the right content delivered at the right time
- Save massive amounts of time and effort, while driving positive results
Automated mortgage retention solutions, like Eligible.ai, enable you to focus less on data mining (in fact, you won’t need to do any at all) and more on nurturing your client relationships and helping them find the perfect mortgage deal.
As we mentioned at the very start of this post, mortgage retention is only going to go from strength to strength over the next 12 months (and probably long into the future).
So, don’t forget to:
- Stay in touch with your mortgage clients on a semi-regular basis
- Provide them with real value – even when they are not in the market for a mortgage product
- Boost engagement with your clients by harnessing big data insights to create personalised, timely communications
- Take advantage of automated retention software, like Eligible.ai
If you don’t show your past clients some love, there’s a good chance they’ll look for it elsewhere.
Make sure to stay on top of your client retention to maximise your revenue.