The Customer Journey: Then and Now

In the past, when our grandparents wanted to buy their first home, they went down to the local bank and sat down face to face with a loan officer. Then when they wanted to buy their vacation home, a rental property or downsize, they went back to the bank and sat down with that loan officer again. 

Loan officers were able to build trust and long-term relationships face to face and they knew the needs of their customers because they truly knew them – their children, their hobbies and their neighborhood. 

Somewhere along the way, large financial transactions became more transaction-focused instead of relationship-focused. You can focus on the transaction and gain a customer for a day or you can focus on the relationship and gain a customer for life.

The Evolution of the Customer Journey

Today, it is increasingly difficult for loan officers to stay front and center with their clients. According to digital marketing experts cited in Forbes, the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 marketing messages per day. Cutting through the noise is hard. Building a meaningful relationship with your customers to the point where they come back to you years later for their next home purchase is even harder. 

To top it all off, profits continue to compress with the cost per mortgage loan hovering around $8,500, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

As we talk to our customers and prospects, loan officers and CMOs around the country, everyone agrees that it is critical to cultivate customers for life – providing so much value that your customers come back to you again and again. 

Repeat customers are less expensive than new customers – five times less expensive according to Invesp. Similarly, increasing customer retention by only five percent can increase a company’s profits by 25 to 95 percent.  

In addition, research shows people want face to face interaction when making complex financial purchases. In the digital age, it’s still critical for loan officers to build relationships face to face.

Creating a customer for life is hard – especially when there are so many times and ways you can lose track of them.

In our example, we have Jenny, our loan officer. She’s at her son’s soccer practice and starts talking with another parent, Max. Max’s family just moved to the area and are renting until they decide about their next steps. Jenny gives Max her card and they go their separate ways. Soccer season ends, snow falls and Max threw away Jenny’s card long ago.

In the spring, Max’s family is ready to buy a house, but he hasn’t heard from Jenny and doesn’t even think about tracking her down. Their real estate agent asks if they want a loan officer referral and they start working with a new loan officer, Bob. 

Bob helps Max’s family close their mortgage loan. He’s great and very helpful, but after they close the loan, Max never hears from Bob – ever. Ten years later, Max wants to buy a rental property in their town, but he doesn’t even think about Bob – or remember his name. 

And so, Max uses a different loan officer referral from his real estate agent. 

A Strategic, Scalable Approach to Cultivating Customers for Life

All throughout the customer journey, loan officers are losing track of leads because they may not be ready to buy or past customers because they may not be ready to buy again – yet. A failure to communicate is losing loan officers money every day. 

This is where Total Expert comes in. We help loan officers not only communicate and stay front and center with prospects and customers, but we also help them personalize and automate their marketing and communications to prospects, customers and partners.

Companies like Amazon and Uber have raised consumer expectations around online commerce. Total Expert helps loan officers meet – and exceed – these expectations. 

The Total Expert Marketing Operating System is the hub for your marketing and sales efforts – the fastest way from lead to customer to customer for life. And, critically, we empower your loan officers to elevate their local marketing programs at scale throughout the enterprise. 

If Jenny, our loan officer from the example we shared, had been using Total Expert, she could have input Max’s contact information and personal details right into Total Expert on her phone as they watched soccer practice that afternoon. She could have started him on a personalized, automated, multi-channel marketing campaign and sent him pertinent and helpful information about the housing market in their area – providing Max with valuable information and keeping her name in his inbox. 

Then, the following spring when Max’s family was ready to buy, he would have thought about Jenny, the valuable insights she’d sent to him and reached out for information and help buying their home. 

Jenny would have been able to help Max secure that first home loan – and then continued to market to him, continually adding value and providing insights on the housing market – personalized to Max, his family and their needs. Then, no doubt, Max would have come back to Jenny ten years and lots of personalized marketing later, for help buying their rental property. 

It’s critical for loan officers to market and communicate to prospects and clients – to keep their name at the top of their inbox and provide ongoing value and insights through educational marketing. 

It’s even more critical that your marketing and communications efforts are personalized to the individual. The last thing any loan officer wants to do is waste time, money and effort marketing to a new college graduate about buying a vacation home. And – as we all know, this new college graduate would immediately feel like the loan officer didn’t “get” him and his needs, so the loan officer would lose his business before he was even ready to buy his first home.

Right Message, Right Person, Right Time – Always

Personalized marketing and communications can take a lot of time – unless it’s automated. The Total Expert MOS removes the burden from relationship managers with multi-channel marketing and communication automation: email, web, social, text, video and even loan status updates can all be sent through Total Expert. Total Expert enables loan officers to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person – providing incredible value and creating customers for life. 

Total Expert empowers relationship managers to market and communicate to prospects and clients in a very personalized manner that is automated to save them time and money, which they can then pour into building relationships face to face.