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D P R Consulting Ltd

Customer Retention Strategies

As competition in the mortgage market continues to heat up, lenders are increasingly aware of the danger that existing borrowers who are approaching the end of their initial introductory period can so easily take their business elsewhere, and are taking proactive steps to help prevent this from happening.

To the savvy consumer, an attractive switch to a new product from another provider can so easily trump traditional values of brand loyalty, and incumbent lenders can no longer afford to rely on customer inertia to retain those relationships on a long term basis. Just like serial credit card customers who hop from one interest-free offer to the next, mortgage borrowers are more likely than ever to look at refinancing options whenever their existing mortgage deal reverts to SVR, particularly in the midst of a mortgage price war.

An effective retention strategy is typically made up of a number of elements. Firstly, business intelligence tools can be used to segment the customer database and identify those borrowers who meet the desired retention criteria, i.e. they are approaching their end of the introductory period, their loan performance is acceptable and they fall within any demographic categorisation that the lender may choose to apply for each campaign.

Secondly, the lender may design bespoke retention to be made available exclusively for this purpose. These products can be variants on existing offerings, but could be more aggressively priced or have unique and compelling product features.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, lenders need to establish a simple and direct path of action to enable the customer to execute a product switch within minutes and with the least possible friction. For example, customer-specific correspondence can be send to the borrower, containing a direct one-time link that they can use to access their account records online, review the offer and if appropriate carry out the transaction quickly and easily.
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