Client experience will be the differentiator in 2020.
The new year is here and, with it, new goals for your business.
But what sets you apart in 2020 from the 17,000 other brokers across the country.
(Fun fact: there are as many brokers as dentists in Australia).
With market expectations changing every year, 2020 is all about the CLIENT EXPERIENCE. If you want a ‘client-for-life’, you need to provide WOW moments at every step in the client journey.
And with millennials now representing the dominant generation in the workforce, your operations have a strategy that appeals to their tech-savvy, real-time perspective on life.
The client experience
If you think you’ve done your job as a broker by guiding your client to settlement, then it’s time you stepped into 2020 because that mindset died 20 years ago alongside Y2K (and yes, in 2020 you’ll have clients that weren’t old enough to remember the Millennium Bug, either!).
A global marketplace has made consumers aware of every touchpoint in a commercial transaction.
3D software lets us see how our new house will look from different angles before a slab is even poured.
We can buy a shirt on Amazon in our lunch break and wear it out to dinner that night. (Remember when ‘lay-by’ was considered the retail sector’s game-changer?).
We can binge-watch an entire season of our favourite TV series rather than wait for the next episode to drop in a week’s time.
Advancements in tech have changed the expectations of consumers to the point that anything short of a memorable client experience can pull down your 5 star-rating on Google Reviews.
Getting back to the broker-client relationship, there are so many touchpoints in which the customer will reflect on the experience they’ve had along the entire client journey. It’s up to brokers to own every milestone – not just settlement.
As a business owner, you have standards in how your logo will be reproduced by third-party suppliers, or how lenders adhere to agreed SLAs. You should adopt the same mentality in every client interaction you undertake.
While every moment and client interaction presents an opportunity, here are some that can’t be neglected.
Client lead comes in, now what? Does the client have to wait until you have time to call? Or do you have an automated response with a welcome pack sharing info on who you are and your credentials, along with a link to an online fact find so they can get started? Actionable communication for the client that says you’re an always-on broker, ready to help. Waiting kills the client experience – there’s nothing worse than a client having to follow you up.
The initial meeting
First impressions count.
What’s the first thing the client will see when walking in the door to meet with you? A dingy, unattended office space, or a lightboard sign with their name on it ($30 from Typo) and a big, warm smile? See the difference?
Did you research the client’s personal situation before your first meeting and get them to complete what you need prior to the meeting, or did you waste valuable time on a checklist of questions?
Loan Market’s Online Fact Find tool allows customers to find out the necessary information ahead of the initial client meeting. The first impression leaves the client energised and confident that they’ve picked the right person for their corner.
From here, the client has clarity and peace of mind to know their limits when bidding at auction and making offers on properties for sale. It’s a big moment that many brokers underestimate in the clients’ journey.
What process do you have in place to wow the client – you’ve done hard-work: running numerous scenarios, negotiating with banks and using your all-round mortgage superpowers.
Don’t send on a proforma email … pick up the phone and share the excitement to deepen the relationship. Send a gif via text message to bring some energy to this moment.
This is the champagne milestone, opening a door for the next chapter of your client’s lifestyle, wealth strategy, or both.
Real estate agents have owned the settlement moment for a long time. But, for brokers, this can be just the beginning.
Settling on a new property and moving is up there on the stress radar. Consider offering your clients a move and home utilities connection service to help take the pain our of comparing and connecting providers. Hot tip, Loan Market’s Home Now service can help – for zip!
The real wow moments come long after the loan has gone unconditional and the client has settled. It’s the value you can bring to a client by being a champion of their financial future.
Annual reviews, repricing, refinancing, helping with renovation or car finance, suggesting financial coaching with a trusted financial advice partner – these are the activities that demonstrate real value to your clients.
Many brokers grumble at the time it takes to maintain relationships post-settlement. They complain that they don’t have time to simultaneously find new business and nurture existing clients.
This is where tech becomes the knight in marketing armour.
At Loan Market, our Stay In Touch program delivers personalised and engaging content to existing customers, helping them make informed decisions over the life of their journey.
It’s super-competitive out there. So why run the risk of the client falling off your list through a poor or non-existent post-settlement experience?
Be the value the client didn’t know they needed.
Why millennials want the ultimate client experience
Facebook undertook a survey of millennials in the United States on their perspectives on finance, recently. Tech has fostered a global society so we can assume the results are representatives of Australian millennials, as well.
The survey delivered several notable points, including:
- Millennials are 1.4 times more likely to move than older generations
- 45% are open to switching banks
- Mobile is their preferred channel for communication (49% of respondents)
But the real game-changing finding for brokers was the fact 86% of millennials save money, yet 53% say they have no one they can trust for financial advice.
Millennials are the generation that’s grown up with the Google search bar as their encyclopedia and turned mobile phones into gateways to the world. They demand immediacy, accuracy and a holistic response – the client experience has never been more relevant to this demographic and they turn to tech to make every part of their life easier (hello, Tinder).
But why all this fuss about millennials?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its population summaries late last year.
Over the last ten years of records, Australia’s population has grown to just short of 25.4 million, representing total growth of 16%.
But the millennial demographic (23-38 year-olds) was the biggest mover over the period, increasing 21% to almost 6 million people. This year, they’ll represent 35% of Australia’s workforce.
Tech is pivotal to winning market share. Automated communications and data-driven outreach campaigns fill your leads funnel while you’re doing what you do best – face-to-face client support.
So, if you ask a millennial to get down to the post office to sign a document (shudder) or drive to your office, you’ve dropped the ball on client experience. Millennials expect digital document signing capabilities. They expect to be able to provide you with their documents digitally, from their couch, and they’re comfortable using apps and tech-extensions submitting their personal details. Why? Because it’s convenient. And convenience is a winner when it comes to customer experience.
In fact, if you don’t have an industry-leading tech solution part of the client experience for millennials, you’re missing out on one in three wage earners in the marketplace.
Transforming your client experience in 2020
If you can transform your client experience in 2020 and win a thumbs up from those savvy millennials, you will have gone a long way to impress your entire leads funnel and loan book.