These days, communicating with clients is easy for mortgage loan officers. You can fire off an email, send a text message or leave a quick comment on any number of social media platforms, all from the comfort of your mobile phone. But did you know that your phone can actually be used to make calls, too?
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While it may be tempting to follow up another way, the old-fashioned phone call can still play a major role in the client experience. In fact, 61 percent of consumers actually prefer receiving assistance over the phone. But knowing how and when to follow up with a client is somewhat of an art form. Here are nine telltale signs that you should pick up the phone and give your client or prospect a call.
1. They call you first.
Not returning a phone call isn’t an option, not if you want to keep your clients happy. True, some calls will end up being more important or profitable than others. But every missed call is a missed opportunity to build your reputation and strengthen client relationships.
Besides, 75 percent of consumers think a phone call is the most effective means of getting a quick response. Why would you want to prove them wrong? If it was important enough for your client to pick up the phone, it should be important enough for you to return the favor.
2. They fill out a contact/information request form.
When a client or prospect reaches out to you, that’s opportunity knocking. Sure, you can respond with a quick email, but email is a limited medium; it requires sitting and waiting.
A phone call, on the other hand, allows for an immediate exchange of ideas. The conversation can flow both ways and develop organically, so you can build personal rapport, gain insight into your client’s situation and form a stronger bond. It’s the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation.
3. They are referred.
Ninety-two percent of consumers trust personal recommendations above all other forms of advertising. So when you receive referral business, the odds are already in your favor. Why wouldn’t you follow up?
Besides, ignoring a referred client isn’t just a missed opportunity; it’s also a slap in the face of the client who made the referral! If they’re willing to put their reputation on the line to recommend you, picking up the phone is the least you can do to earn that recommendation.
4. They have a known issue.
Don’t risk sending an email when dealing with complicated problems or if your client is confused or upset. Tone and intent are often lost in translation with email, and business jargon can be off-putting when emotions are running high.
Forty-six percent of clients actually prefer to discuss complicated issues over the phone anyway, so have a real conversation! Let the client hear the urgency and concern in your voice. Let them know you actually care.
5. They’re waiting for you to follow up.
Don’t wait for the client to call back. She’s already reached out, made a connection and expressed interest. The game’s afoot and the ball is in your court.
Even if you don’t have an answer yet, make the call. It’s better to provide a status update than to let the client feel forgotten. She won’t wait forever, and she doesn’t have to. If you won’t make the call, someone else will — 44 percent of U.S. consumers report switching to a competitor following a poor customer service experience.
6. They’ve opened five consecutive email newsletters.
Did you know you can track your email campaigns to see who is opening your emails, when, how often and on which device? You can even track which links are being clicked.
Without getting too technical, email tracking is accomplished by embedding an invisible image pixel into your email newsletters. The information is gathered automatically, without interruption to your clients.
Knowing when you’ve struck a chord with a specific client allows you to make phone contact while you’re still top of mind. This insight can also be used to further segment your lists, personalize your content and improve your future campaigns.
7. They reply to your newsletters.
If you see a client regularly responding to your email newsletters, seize the moment and make contact via phone. Even if the topics they’re responding to are only tangentially related to the business of a mortgage loan officer, they can be great conversation starters. And you never know where that initial conversation will lead next.
8. They interact with you on social media.
You should already be monitoring your social media channels and responding to comments, questions and reviews. It’s a great way to engage your client base and influence the conversation around your brand.
But it’s also a great way to spot new opportunities. If you see a client consistently liking, retweeting and responding to certain types of content, capitalize on that engagement — make the phone call!
9. They visit the pricing page or FAQ page of your website.
You’re probably familiar with Google Analytics and similar programs that provide insight into total page views, click-throughs, etc. But this data can also be connected to specific users using lead-capture forms. This allows you to gauge customer behavior and determine when to follow up with a phone call or more personalized content.
Be a better loan officer! Keep those lines of communication open at all times, and don’t hesitate to pick up the phone when the time is right.
Updated 8/9/17; Originally published 5/12/16