Does your client retention policy need revisiting?

Neal Jannels

March 8, 2019

Neal Jannels (pictured) is managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS)

With activity levels subdued and Brexit fears hanging over the UK economy we should all batten down the hatches and wait for the winds of uncertainty to blow over, shouldn’t we?

Far from it. This is a time to add clarity and focus to business propositions and commit to actions which make intermediary firms work smarter, not harder. Demands are changing but the need for a good, professional holistic advice process has never been more evident.

We are working in a complex marketplace where client’s needs are constantly changing. I recently saw some data from insurer MetLife UK which found that the average adviser now has more than one in five clients (21%) who are self-employed and 57% said self-employed clients are a potential major growth area. That mirrors government figures showing 4.77 million are self-employed, about 14.7% of the total workforce.

I wonder how many of your existing client base have become self-employed since your first interaction with them? Or if not self-employed, have they changed jobs? Have they had a family? Have they divorced?

It’s impossible to constantly keep track of all your client’s day-to-day changes in circumstance, but a good starting point is asking yourself – when was the last time I contacted them?

If you have to think too hard about this, maybe, just maybe, your client retention policy needs revisiting. That is providing you have one in the first place.

It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of new clients, or even in chasing new clients, that the needs of older clients can go ignored. In the past it was difficult to keep track, filling cabinets were bursting at the seams and many manual systems were not always the most efficient. Nowadays there are far fewer excuses.

The right kind of technology is here to support your business needs and bring clients closer to you, not keep them at arm’s length. There are many cost-effective systems which can automate much of the work. They can provide you with live notifications, including product renewal dates, diarise relevant contact dates/details and automate initial communication so that you can spend more time with your clients – new and old – rather than wading through time-consuming administrative duties.

Embedding technology into your client retention strategy is the most effective way to ensure you better service the needs of existing clients and maximise the long-term value attached to those hard to get new clients. Can you afford to wait?

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