Finding relationship sales treasure buried in the depths of customer dataCindy Heximertips and tools, customer retention, increasing database
There are "intelligence treasures" buried within your customer
data files. Chances are that you are not mining these fertile
sources of profitable relationships sales and service
That treasure chest includes your data about payment histories,
loan types, interest rates and origination dates. This data tells a
story of future customer needs and the timing of those needs that
smart lenders have learned to mine.
Those who understand how to use those treasures productively
have been able to increase their mortgage or home equity sales
volume at approximately one-fifth the cost of a traditional
campaign. They are able to move leads through to funding at a
fraction of the time that they used to and are also able to reduce
annual customer defections by up to 25 percent. The key is using
the analytics as the basis for relationship selling.
Lenders who excel at relationship selling profit do so because
they learn to consistently meet their customers' needs over time.
They use their data to understand what their customers want and
when they want it, not to push products indiscriminately.
Relationship selling is a way of doing business through
conversations and relationship building. It's based upon
information, knowledge and trust. This translates into powerful
selling and long-term relationships with customers.
The value of customer data involves not only developing
additional sales opportunities, but also identifying the warning
signs of impending customer defection. Competition within financial
services is at an all-time high. Today's typical financial services
customer uses 10 or more financial services from four different
institutions, and only three of those services are with what these
consumers consider their primary banks.
You can prevent defections by actively "listening" to your data,
because your data can tell you if and when your customers will be
going elsewhere. It's a critical part of developing a
customer-for-life approach. Lenders who are adept at engraining
this philosophy throughout their organizations are more likely to
excel at the following relationship measures.
Maintaining a positive open/close account ratio is a sign of a
healthy sales and service culture, which is knowledgeable of its
customer base and aligned with its needs.
Stabilizing and growing market share
Creating a healthy sales and service culture gives lenders the
ability to maintain their portfolios while also acquiring new
Increasing cross-sell penetration per
Having a high-performing organization means striving for six or
more services per customer relationship. By the way, this is 100
percent greater than the three services most lenders cultivate.
Minimizing do-not-call requests
Cultivating an environment in which your customers view you as a
partner in their financial success is the sign of a healthy
organization. The size of your do-not-call list is an indication of
how your customers see you. If they give you the message that they
don't want to hear from you, that's a serious problem. It tells you
that your list is not being managed well. Lenders can live with 10
percent of the customers on their lists falling into the
do-not-call category, but keep an eye on how your list is being
managed if it starts to creep up beyond that.
Identifying a customer's future needs or
Establishing a culture based on relationship selling means not only
securing a sale today, but also planting a seed for a future sale.
Our experience has taught us that a "no" response today does not
mean "no forever." By probing behind the "no," you can gather
valuable insight into a customer's future needs and prepare for
them. And, by developing a systematic process to act on those
future needs, you anticipate and respond to them before your
competitors. The key is a robust sales technology platform that
allows you to store and use that data from every customer contact
Improving direct response marketing
Developing tighter, more targeted selection screens for direct mail
campaigns enhances response and sales conversion rates. Lenders
should not be satisfied with the industrys traditional low response
rates. They often come from broad, loosely defined selection
criteria that result in home equity offers to renters, students and
the elderly. In todays information-rich environment, such things
should be unacceptable.
Enhancing branch and call center
Taking advantage of relationship selling and analytics allows
branch and call center staff to be more successful. It helps them
to effectively balance the demands of timely and accurate service
with the need for enhanced sales and referrals.
Here's the bottom line: Your data is only the beginning, not an
end unto itself. Use it to enhance your retention, growth and
acquisition possibilities, and you'll be able to mine the treasure
that's buried in your customer data files.
Cindy Heximer is vice president of business development and
marketing for the relationship selling and analytics business unit
of Fiserv Lending Solutions.
She may be reached at (716) 564-4631 or e-mail email@example.com.