The Value of Repeat Business: 3 Ways We Leverage Total Expert to Create Customers for Life

By Elizabeth Hillestad, Senior Vice President Marketing, CIVIC Financial Services

Winner of Total Expert’s Adopter Expy Award

In my 30-year career, I have deployed nearly every marketing platform out there. And Total Expert is a gamechanger. 

I rolled out Total Expert at a previous company before coming to CIVIC Financial Services, and I made implementing it here one of my biggest priorities. More than two years in, the platform is fully integrated with our other corporate software platforms to give us the ability to not only drive new business but also meaningfully engage with existing customers for repeat business, which represents a sizable portion of our production volume.

Here are three ways we leverage Total Expert to increase customer retention.

1. Improve Outreach by Driving Internal Adoption

More than 90% of our sales team uses Total Expert, and there’s a reason why. It improves conversion rates and repeat business.

We find that strong performers who use Total Expert model success for other account executives (AEs). Let’s say a less-experienced AE is struggling with hitting KPIs. They notice that a senior AE uses Total Expert and routinely exceeds their goals. In response, the inexperienced AE engages with the platform further, boosting their numbers as a result.

But team members need to understand the platform before using it to exceed their goals. That’s why we provide resources, ranging from weekly workshops, playbooks, video tutorials, and 1:1 sessions.

2. Connect with Customers by Using Automation

As an institutional private lender, we work with mortgage brokers and real estate investors. This means our AEs might handle more than 10 loans with the same customer in one calendar year. Sending the right message at the right time in the right channel is critical for us to…

  1. Communicate the status of these loans, maturity, payoffs, etc.
  2. Personalize outreach that adjusts as the customers fund more loans
  3. Get detailed feedback on their satisfaction with each loan

We need automation to enable this personalization.

It’s important that we also use automation to nurture relationships with prospects and potential customers. To meet this need, we created a nuanced, automated nurture Journey that doubled lead conversion within three months of implementation and still boasts open rates higher than 40%. 

As AEs changed lead status in the CRM, the Journey adjusted to ensure that the message the customer received was relevant.

We also use automation to drive customer loyalty with our loyalty program, CIVIC Victory Club. This Journey allows us to automate communication, providing status updates on incentives, rewards, while personalizing messages of gratitude to our best customers as they advance through different program levels.

One way to encourage loyalty is by rewarding it. Total Expert’s automation makes this possible for us.

3. Perfect Journeys with Total Expert’s Reporting

Journeys are an incredibly useful tool. That’s why we approach them with a “nail it, then scale it” strategy. Total Expert’s reporting helps support this technique; it grounds any conversation we have in hard data.

When evaluating a Journey’s success, we request feedback from sales teams across our company. We’ve found that leveraging the insights of our AEs is essential to get their buy in, as they generally use the platform more than others.

It takes time to measure quality. We tinkered with our successful nurture Journey for a full year before integrating elements of it into other Journeys. But it’s well worth the wait.

Customer Experience Is a Company-Wide Priority

It costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to generate repeat business with an existing customer. A critical piece of customer retention is the customer experience. At CIVIC, we take the Golden Rule up a notch with our Platinum Rule: Treat customers how they want to be treated.This means we uncover every possible pain point, personalize messages at scale, and communicate to customers how important they are by offering rebates and gifts. None of this would be possible without Total Expert, and we’re excited to see how Total Expert’s updates coincide with our initiatives heading into 2022.