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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2005

What Happened to ‘Thank You’?

Your clients gave you business; now it’s time to offer something in return

Have you ever pulled up to your local fast-food drive-through, given your order to an impersonal box voice and driven to the window only to receive your food from a smug employee — who immediately slammed the window in your face? If you never bothered complaining about this because you thought your message wouldn’t be enough to harm the multibillion-dollar fast-food company, you were wrong.

Fast-food workers are not the only employees guilty of this kind of behavior. The mortgage industry is full of these culprits, as well. In our field, it raises a question: Whatever happened to the simple act of saying thank you?

Saying thank you is a common courtesy widely overlooked in today’s mar- ketplace. But it is so much more valuable than any gift or closing trinket we can deliver. People want to be shown some appreciation for their business, and it’s time that the mortgage industry steps up and gives customers what they want. You can show your appreciation to customers in two simple ways without emptying your bank account or breaking the law.

Let’s begin with the basics. Just say it: “Thank you.”

Keeping your customers satisfied is about more than approving their loan and giving them their check. It is about making them feel appreciated. Thanking them after a transaction is the least you can offer after they worked hard to provide you with business.

Next, find the right time to say thank you. The minute you feel excited about a deal, respond with an enthusiastic “thanks!” This eliminates the probability of the dreaded fake thank you. Trust me when I say that most people can see right through a fake thank you. Be sincere and show you appreciate that your clients have entrusted you with one of the largest purchases in their lives.

Along these lines, remember to thank your clients as soon as possible and frequently during the transaction. Thank them for their application. Thank them upon approval. Thank them when they close. This is one mortgage term your borrowers will never get sick of hearing.

A sincere thank you need not be merely words. A few sentences on a simple card also can work miracles for repeat business. You can leave a lasting impression by expressing your thanks personally and documenting it. Thank-you cards are the most-effective and most-appreciated form of gratitude, not to mention one of the most cost-effective.

A phone call is another way to show your appreciation. It takes only a few seconds to pick up the phone and make someone’s day. Call your clients and tell them you just called to thank them for doing business with you, or tell them that you appreciate customers like them and look forward to future business. A few minutes of effort will show your clients that their business is important to you. Studies have shown that people like to do business with a company that takes the time to say thanks. Whether you do so in writing or by phone, the main thing is that you do it.

There are more options for creative thank-you givers. One Midwestern loan officer created a CD-ROM presentation and distributed it to all clients that closed a loan with him. The CD simply thanked the customers for their business. It also highlighted home-safety tips for new and existing homeowners. It was such a nice touch that it became a key tool for the company to generate more business.

Finally, a referral is one of the best ways to say thank you to a customer financially. If you know people who might benefit from your clients’ products or services, refer them. Your clients will thank you for this.

Saying thank you can range from two simple words to a creative production. The bottom line is that whatever method you use to show your appreciation, it is imperative to thank the clients who make you successful.


 


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