SPECIAL FEATURE: Expo, expo, expo…

Robyn Hall

October 8, 2013

Well, more precisely if you’re a fan of financial services expos. The FSE, MBE and MICE all happen this month and aim to encourage interaction between providers and customers in the sector.

Attending the Financial Services Expo last week provided a great networking opportunity and the chance to catch up with a few old faces and attend some informative seminar sessions.

The venue was good and the show well organised and I really believe that these shows demonstrate that there is a level of interaction and rapport from seeing someone face to face that simply can’t be delivered in a single medium either verbal or visual.

A phone call can be as dry as merely looking at a brochure or viewing a presentation and what the seeming expansion of new shows proves is that communication is most powerful when these two elements are combined.

This obviously leads me into the extolling the virtues of the power of visual communication as you would expect.

After the FSE I visited the call centre expo, yes I am expo tart flitting between shows with scant regard to loyalty or any monogamous bent.

Visiting this show demonstrated the growth of the call centre sector with over a hundred stands and a reputed five thousand visitors.

This isn’t meant to demean our mortgage shows which can look back fondly to those sort of numbers but what was interesting and should be taken on board by the mortgage sector was the unwavering focus at the call centre show on making the most of every single customer interaction.

Whether it was the refinement of call scripts or the better use of technology every stand seemed committed to improving customer engagement and in turn sales conversions and profitability.

In the call centre world often the goal can be customer service rather than sales targets but their passion to improve every element of a customer’s interaction would benefit each and every firm in the mortgage world.

Of course there was a certain focus on getting the basics right such as of a positive telephone manner and saying and doing the right thing.

However, the secondary focus was on how and when added value could be added and even more importantly how to remove any and all breaks in the sale process. Anything that might interrupt the route towards a sale was identified and earmarked for obliteration.

Any time that a document needs to be posted to a client or a firm is compelled to wait for a client to send in information the process enters a state of flux that those in the know fear the most!

Of course we live in a frantic world with many demands on our time and an unprecedented plethora of distractions and so once an adviser begins speaking with a potential customer holding onto them is key.

Our business is focused on enhancing the customer experience which it does in spades but for an advised mortgage sales process the ability to show a client a KFI while on the phone and use electronic signatures to demonstrate compliant acceptance removes any opportunity for the process to end.

Equally, for those advisers who charge fees, using screen sharing for business can make sure that the very first client conversation can include the display and acceptance of your terms of business and fees payable.

I’ll stop now as I feel myself about to start preaching… (not like you ever do – ed).

But I’m looking forward to the remaining expos and chatting with lenders and advisers about how adding a visual element to an auditory process can make the world of difference.

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