“The only asset that can be kept safe from every threat and made to appreciate in value year after year is the relationship you have with your customers.” – Dan Kennedy
I’d go so far as to say that any business that has a trailing or recurring income from its clients must invest in Post Sales Marketing. Brokers have a huge advantage over a lot of other businesses because by simply looking at our trail statements each month we know who our current clients are and who has left our business. We don’t have to monitor our clients and record who is and isn’t purchasing from us because we get sent a free report each month telling us.
Most businesses have it much harder. Your local clothing store or restaurant would have to track and record each client to determine if they haven’t been in for a longer time than the normal buying cycle for their industry. And they don’t get an enduring income from their client’s purchases like we do in the form of our trails to pay for the post-sales marketing, plus their revenue per new transaction is likely a lot lower than ours, albeit more frequent.
Also, we collect so much information about our clients, starting with their contact details, that unlike most businesses we don’t need to awkwardly ask for their email, phone numbers and address to keep in touch with them — we get it all as part of doing our service. Alternatively, if you haven’t done their loan but have helped them in another way, which by my definition still makes them your client, offer to send them something to get their postal and email address.
Using a system like SMART is the minimum that every Broker should be doing. You need to have regular educational content going out to your clients constantly reinforcing your services and educating them about when repeat loans should happen and how they should refer their friends to you. All the feel-good stuff like Birthday and Christmas cards are important too. The most basic advertising principles dictate that you must be repeatedly presented to your clients for them to remember you when you they need your services.
As well as a system like that, to really stand out from the crowd these are the other things I recommend:
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Every Broker should survey their clients and try and extract areas for improvement from them. AFG’s SMART system includes an automatic emailed survey to clients and a competition, such as winning an iPad or something similar, to incentivise responses.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what you did wrong. Your goal is to continually improve. Your clients know you are only human and it leaves people with a good impression to show them that you want to hear about how you could have done things better.You can’t know for certain the things others will pick up on, positive and negative, about how you did unless you ask.
At the very least, if you did a bad job it allows them to believe that you may be on a path to learning and improving and may do better for them next time. You may retain a client you could have otherwise lost if they believe it won’t be as bad as last time. Once again, people don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do respect people who are willing to learn from their mistakes.
As I discussed in the chapter on social media, where possible, if you get a good result on your customer satisfaction survey, send them to your social media pages to leave the same review for you there. As I write this,
AFG is working on automating this process as part of the client doing the initial customer survey to make it even simpler.