In my sales training sessions, every participant seems to understand how important it is to service the customer well in order to get referrals. Originators certainly know that service levels drive the likelihood of repeat business. But, it still surprises me how many salespeople fail to deliver a great customer experience. The devil is in the details. Phone calls not returned promptly; not updating customers on transaction status; and failure to provide insight on what it takes to close the loan are just a few of the things that detract from customer experience.
When speaking to originators, I find that many want the lender to do all these activities. In my view, it is really the salesperson’s job to take the opportunity and initiative to communicate their expertise to the customer and reinforce that relationship. How these touch points are handled is critical in driving an excellent customer experience. While technology can help with some of these activities, the originator’s role is still about building trust with the customer through communication skills.
While a number of salespeople believe that customers always want the lowest price, marketing research confirms that customers really want value and value is largely driven by the expertise of the salesperson and how he or she communicates it.
Here are some historical stats that salespeople should consider regarding their position. These facts are as true today as when they were first published years ago:
• A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related. Bain & Company
• The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%; the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. Marketing Metrics.
• 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain; however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back. 1st Financial Training Services.
• 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. McKinsey.
• 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service. Defaqto Research.
There is no doubt that the quality of the salesperson has a significant impact on customer experience. All the advertising in the world will not make a customer feel positive toward a lender if the salesperson delivers a poor experience. Does your company have performance standards in place including a customer experience scorecard for each originator?