?> Customer Contact HELL-Tips to get you through it
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Customer Contact System HELL-Tips to get you through it

fiery-hell“I should have a system. I’ve got to simplify my system. My system isn’t robust enough. What system will be most effective?” These are all common brain-drainers in the life of a solo entrepreneur.

The persistent challenge of keeping in touch with one’s customers, whether at the wooing stage, the in-process stage or after the close, seems to be a fiery purgatory for many Mortgage Professionals.

For those who have not finally surrendered to or fully implemented a “system,” the scale attempting to balance such competing activities as: keeping in touch with and in front of one’s customers vs. generating new ones, tips dramatically up and down from week to week. This teeter-totter motion affects our pipelines, our reputations and our peace of mind.

So why then do the majority of Mortgage Professionals continue to operate without one?

Some of the same old excuses rear their ugly heads…

I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the support. I don’t know how. Money-Time-Support-Knowledge. The fears really never change.

But do you really need A LOT of any of the above to create a system that works for YOU? Heck no! So what DO you need?

  1. Email
  2. Phone
  3. Content
  4. Reminders

Don’t wrinkle up your noses at me…it really IS that simple.

Think about the “Why” behind creating systems.  Generally, we create systems to keep in touch with our customers so that…

We consistently fill their brain-slot for “Mortgage Professional” in an attempt to retain their future business and referrals.

-We separate ourselves from the competition in an attempt to keep our newly found customer from being woo’d or won over by someone else.

-We can focus our attentions on other money-generating activities in an attempt to keep our pipelines filled.

Now let’s fill in the “What” part of the equation.

elephantWhat do you want to do? Do you want to create a system for staying in touch with leads, past customers, in-process customers, business referral partners or some other group? I know, I know, all of the above, right? Wrong!

Tip#1-Pick one group and see it through to completion. You may feel like eating that elephant in one enormous gulp because it has been sitting on your plate for years, but BEWARE…the indigestion will keep you crippled for months and you still won’t have a system in place!

Tip #2-Never fix what isn’t broke. If you find yourself whiling away the hours perfecting email templates, videos or scripts…STOP NOW! If what you have includes your photo/logo, is relevant information, is devoid of editing errors and goes out like clock-work-you’re done. Move on to what you haven’t created.

resources-21

Once you have pin-pointed what group you will focus on, it then becomes a matter of what type of materials you will send.

Will it be industry news via your blog? Will it be a hard mail newsletter? Will you send video updates via email? Does the group you are concentrating on warrant a regularly scheduled phone call, text message or LinkedIn update?

Tip #1-Don’t attempt to figure this out in your head. Look at the resources you already have, pull up a blank Word doc or a note pad and start writing down what you do have at your disposal.

Tip #2-If you have absolutely no collateral materials to work with, nor a marketing department, start researching the web. Of course, there’s always the plethora of information you can tap into by being a member of organizations such as, Top of Mind Networks, Loan Toolbox, Mortgage Girlfriends, Mortgage Coach, Mortgage Quest, etc. All of these companies offer ready-made customer service systems and collateral materials that you can plug into and utilize.

After you have identified the pieces, you can then determine the frequency. When will these items be delivered, dispersed, mailed or communicated?

Tip #1-If working on a touch-point system for your past customers, map out a year’s worth of deliverables. For leads, clients in process & referral partners, map out at least three month’s worth of deliverables.

noteNote from experience: If you attempt to determine what to send from one month to the next or one week from the next, the likelihood is that you won’t make contact at all.

Tip #2-There is always the debate as to what is too much and what is not enough when trying to determine the frequency of one’s touch-point systems. Here is my suggestion, which is based on what the majority of my own coaching clients have followed as a rule of thumb:

  • Past customers=1 x per month
  • Leads=every 2 days until they commit to sending in their application and docs.
  • Customers in process= 1 x per week
  • New business referral partnerships=2 x per month
  • Current business referral partnerships=1 x per month

Finally, and most importantly, how, how, how will you implement the system that you ducks-in-a-rowhave created?

Let’s look at what you have thus far:

  1. You have identified the group that you will focus on.
  2. You have identified your deliverables
  3. You have created a visual map of your deliverables, the vehicle (phone, email, blog, text, video, snail mail, etc.) and the frequency.

Your current capacity must dictate the “how.”

Tip #1-If you are a “one man band” it’s imperative that you utilize a reminder system such as your Outlook calendar, an “activity series” within ACT, an Excel spreadsheet, or you finally cough up a bit of dough and use the contact systems developed by the companies before-mentioned.

Tip #2-If you happen to have a personal assistant, transaction coordinator, marketing assistant, receptionist or some other dedicated soul, than for heaven’s sake, share the tasks, meet once a week on progress and needed system changes and delegate, delegate, delegate!

Putting a system together only becomes Hell when you continue to neglect the fact that you NEED one.

So for all you perfectionists out there who are still trying to locate those perfectly valuable, perfectly aesthetic, perfectly timed contact pieces or for you techno geeks who keep waiting for the CRM that will have it all/do it all, including dialing your customers and talking to them for you, STOP THE MADNESS. I’m giving you one, “Get out of Hell FREE” card, right now!

September 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

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About Victoria

Victoria is Founder of I Can Coaching Company and I CAN Plan. She is a full-time Business Coach, working exclusively with Mortgage and Real Estate professionals, helping them to define and implement winning, business-growth strategies, systems, and habits.

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  1. Mark Green says:

    Hi Victoria, I’ve been in the mortgage CRM game for 6.5 years now and you’re right… most LO’s still do not have theirs systemitized. When they’re slow, many don’t want to spend the money. When they’re busy, many don’t have the time.

    The key is to create a system – preferably one that’s automated. It must incorporate direct mail, email, phone calls, all of which are highly personalized. Tough to do if you’re also running a business and farming for new clients.

    You did such a great job at laying out how LO’s should create their system. Thanks again for writing such great articles for us!

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