I visit with many companies throughout the mortgage industry from retail lenders to technology providers and everyone in between and assisting them with their brands and communications strategies. Unfortunately, not enough companies are completely embracing the “decade of mobile,” specifically mobile apps, which compelled me to write this post.
Mobile apps are a significant communications tool with your client, much like the “bat phone” was to Batman & Robin! Plus, they present a great branding advantage for your company. Here are a couple of reasons why…
1) Mobile apps enhance your brand due to the quality and level communication with all parties to a transaction.
2) They present a significant opportunity for your brand to live on in the hearts and minds of your audience…well beyond the close of a transaction.
If a mobile app is not in your short to medium term plan, eventually you will find a gap exists in your ability to communicate with your best customers…so don’t let someone else pick up that slack for you. Soon it will be tantamount to not having an email account.
Here are 5 powerful reasons why a mobile app will assist you in building a loyal brand following…
Brand prominence: The app is on your clients’ phone desktop, with your logo on it, so you are always top of mind to them. Whenever they glance down to select any one of a number of other apps…from their camera to AT&T Nav, iTunes, Safari, mail and Angry Birds…your logo, thus your brand, will always be front and center.
Customer loyalty: Once your app is downloaded, customers tend to become very loyal to your brand! They are much more likely to contact you vs. a competitor in the future due to ease and simplicity, especially if you performed well for them in the past. You’ll likely be their first point of contact for home equity loans/lines, buying a new home, refinances and any advice they may be looking for relating back to their mortgage. The same goes for business referrers who wish to discuss another borrower situation with you. Further, you’ll become their first recommendation to friends, family and co-workers because you live on…on their phone desktops.
Keeping the customer happy: Your mortgagee could be an investor or not. With investors, you can keep them abreast of new loan programs of benefit to them and market movements that could enhance their business decisions. With non-investors, keeping them on top of market activity that could enhance their mortgage standing (like lower interest rates or a new program for their situation) can help you keep the relationship going. You can also alert your audience to other activities of interest whether social or business-related that will further enhance the relationship they have with your company.
As for your business referrer who now has your app, there are a plethora of reasons I’m sure you can find to stay in touch with them.
In all situations, SEGMENT your audience! There’s nothing worse than receiving blanket messages that you have no interest in and wastes peoples’ time. Apps give you a significant advantage to stay in touch over email…so don’t abuse the privilege and then damage your brand as a result.
Load time: Apps load faster than mobile sites. Speed is the name of the game!
Off-line availability: Realtors® and other business referrers love this…they have immediate access to you 24/7…as you do to them.
Clearly an app can give you that added “leg up” on the competition right now with its direct communication capabilities. However, having a mobile app, especially as a retail lender, soon will be as expected of you as a website.