The key to adapting to your customers

“Set the expectations with your customer early. They’re chasing the lowest rate - as is everyone else.”

Rockingham-based mortgage broker, Andrew Wilkinson, has been in the game for more than ten years. He’s seen countless customers, he’s paid attention to how they’re different, and he’s learnt how to adapt his style to cater to each of them.

“You need to be a bit of a chameleon in this industry. Knowing your customer is the difference between good service and outstanding service,” he said.

As Andrew explains, once you get to know them, and understand their level of knowledge - you’ll probably find that there are a couple of core customer types.

The novice

“These are the customers that have never had lending experience. And these are the people who need you the most. When you work with them, you’ll need to be a hand holder. You’ll need to give them reassurance, peace of mind and assistance. It’s up to you to make sure they understand everything. It’s a nervy time for them and it's your job to make them feel comfortable with the whole process.”

The seasoned buyer

“In many cases the seasoned buyers are your repeat customers. You know each other, you’ve worked together before and they generally trust you to do your job. It doesn’t mean you can just go about your business without providing them with communication and customer service, but it does mean you can have very open and honest conversations. Often they’ll just leave you to get on with it.”

The seasoned buyer, with a new broker

“When an experienced buyer starts a new relationship with a broker there’s usually a higher expectation for results, and they generally work off a different timeline. Often an existing relationship with a previous broker has either gone sour or there’s been no ongoing contact between client and broker. The most important step is establishing trust with them.

“If you set the expectations with them early, they don’t expect you to be done in a day. Keep the communication up and always let them know where you’re up to. Paint a picture for them and be completely transparent - they know their stuff and they’ll respect your honesty.”

Andrew believes that no matter what customer type you’re working with, the key is to make sure they’re on same page: “If you don’t know how long something will take, tell them. It leaves no room for surprises,” he said.