"Try really getting to know them, work out what makes them tick, and use this information to deliver the best possible customer experience and make yourself stand out."
Relationships, as we all know, are so important. They drive human interaction and behaviour in our personal lives, and they are fundamental in the business world too.
And relationships have been brought into sharp focus recently. The pandemic has changed the way we interact and made us rely much more heavily on technology to carry out business dealings.
This is no different in the commercial market. Lenders and brokers alike have had to adapt their way of working to provide the best possible support for their clients in uncertain times, recognising their changing needs. For lenders, this has meant adapting or evolving products and criteria, focussing on service and enhancing communications, to ensure that brokers feel supported and understood. For brokers, its perhaps meant more attention to customer support, and keeping up to speed with product changes or mortgage payment holiday news.
Regardless of how deals are approached, there’s no denying that strong relationships at all levels can drive positive outcomes for clients.
For me, this has meant adopting a very tailored approach. It’s so important to maintain a dedicated personal service - something we were already doing, but ramped up during the pandemic. As the lockdown removed social engagements – usually a great way to build relationships – it’s been even more important to build them in other ways. For example, I always try to review enquiries and applications from my brokers as quickly as possible, often within a few hours if I can. I also make sure I keep them informed as their case progresses, so they don’t have to come looking for an update from me. They appreciate this approach, and so do their clients.
At YBS Commercial Mortgages, customers and brokers speak directly to a single colleague who takes their deal forward at every step – we make ourselves as accessible as possible, and brokers following the same approach can pay dividends to clients.
For anyone looking to build relationships with new or existing customers, try really getting to know them, work out what makes them tick, and use this information to deliver the best possible customer experience and make yourself stand out. As we’ve found, it can also help to have a singular, primary point of contact, so that each customer has access to a familiar face who understands their approach, their business, and ultimately what support they need from brokers and lenders to secure a deal that meets their needs.
Feedback is also incredibly important, as is making sure you respond to it, to shape your offering in a way that meets the current and future needs of your customers.
Looking to the future, I believe the strength of relationships will remain a focus. Trust, openness and understanding are key tools to the success of customer transactions. While much of our interactions have been held remotely in the last year, and proved possible, these are all things that can be better established face-to-face.
So as society reopens, with it will come great opportunities to build good relationships, for both lenders and brokers, to offer a better service to clients.