Client retention has to improve
Hemel Shah (pictured), sales director at Eligible.
Over the past two years, Eligible has conducted in-depth research with clients and advisers to understand how technology can enhance the client relationship.
We realised that in a rush to speed up applications, optimise fact finds and create client portals, the retention of the end client has been neglected. A great example of this: advisers talk to their clients once every two years! As a result, the client has mostly forgotten the things they had learned from their adviser.
The client journey is broken – clients remain scared by jargon and lack understanding when it comes to their mortgage.
The financial services sector has created its own barriers to entry with technical language that alienates the very people we want to help. Many clients are anxious about talking to their broker because they feel out of their depth.
Our conclusion is that what the industry needs and clients want is relevance in communication. One size does not fit all and for too long, people have acted in this manner and expected results to improve. We must learn to relay complex concepts in simple, relevant and personalised ways to each individual client. The good news is that technology has become more accessible to enable firms to do this.
Our focus is on bringing the idea of nurturing client relationships to the mortgage industry. This is fundamental to creating a lifetime relationship with your clients where you are advising them for 10, 20 – even 30 years!
In our research, it was clear that improving financial literacy for the end client was important for the health and viability of a long-term client relationship. This can only be done by contacting and engaging the client with information that is relevant to them at that point in their life. Once you can communicate effectively with your client, you are best-positioned to be their trusted adviser for life.
How does technology fit into the client relationship?
It allows advisers to turn their existing customer data into personalised journeys to nurture the client relationship and lead that client back to their adviser when it is time to remortgage. We want to make sure that more phone calls and F2F meetings take place between clients and their advisers. Our experience and studies have shown such interactions lead to happier customers and more revenue, and nothing can replace them in either the eyes of the client or the adviser.
Some food for thought – replace the words “big data” with the words “big understanding.” Data allows you to understand your clients better but only if you learn to act on what it teaches us.