At our last count, we found over 200 loan apps in Nigeria and without a doubt, many more lenders are still building behind the scenes, getting ready to launch. Even though the wide credit gap means there are many potential customers available for the taking, now more than ever is the best time to discover the most effective ways to differentiate your lending business as there are also many other lenders.
Lenders often worry about borrowers not paying back and it may be easy to forget to treat customers as more than future defaulters. Every lender is fighting for their own chunk of the market and trying to get borrowers’ attention. Creating an awesome customer experience that lets your business stand out from the crowd can be exactly the game changer you need.
It’s equally important to be able to keep the customers you already have even as you try to snatch up new ones knowing fully well they can be taken away by other lenders who offer a better experience.
These are some of the ways you can enhance your customers’ experience to drive retention and grow your customer base:
Expand your loan distribution channels
There’s strength in numbers. You are more likely to reach more potential customers if you operate on multiple loan distribution channels. This also ensures that your existing customers enjoy the convenience of being able to access your loans from multiple places.
If you already have a mobile app, setting up distribution via USSD can grow your customer base exponentially. Although MTN’s 2021 financial report shows that smartphone penetration is rapidly growing and about 50% of their customers now own smartphones, making your loans available via USSD will allow you to reach the equally significant customer segment of those who still rely more on the traditional phones. You’d do well to also consider that some customers who do have mobile phones are more sensitive to the cost of data subscription usage than others. A web app allows you to cater to these customers as well. They would rather not increase their data subscription and storage costs by downloading a mobile app but rather prefer to access loans online at their convenience.
You don’t need to have a mobile app before setting up a web app or your USSD channel. The sequence in which you decide to do this is dependent on your needs and resources at your disposal. If you’d like to get started with a web app right away, get a web app for free and start lending in 5 mins when you sign up on Lendsqr.
Have an effective system for customer support
Trust us when we say that setting up a top-notch customer support system is an undefeated way to establish a relationship of trust between you and your customers. When your customers know that they can reach you without hassle and you’re always available to solve their problems, they are less likely to just disappear on you if something isn’t quite right with their loan or they find themselves unable to meet up with the loan terms.
Encourage customers to reach out to you and be available on multiple channels to make this easier to do. This helps you stay apprised of customers’ issues through their loan journey and can dramatically reduce that agitation you feel when customers’ loan due dates are approaching.
Supporting customers can get overwhelming and messy without the right tools, which can be quite expensive, and this is why Lendsqr has partnered with Freshworks to give every new lender up to $10,000 credit to use on their support channel through Lendsqr’s platform. Here are some of the best tools on Freshworks to transform your customer support.
You can set up and manage multiple support channels; in-app chat, social media messaging, emails and even WhatsApp and manage them all from one place without hopping from one app to the other. You can even automate messages and manual processes. No more lost or neglected messages from customers or time lost to mundane and repetitive tasks.
Make use of customer feedback
You might have built your lending business with the best technology and designed the most sophisticated features to impress your customers.
But what happens when they’re not impressed but rather confused and put off?
This is why your customer support approach must go beyond reacting to customers’ issues and fixing the immediate problems. You have to get proactive. What is the root cause of that commonly reported issue? How can you eliminate this pain point for good? What will it take to ensure customers are never unhappy about this again?
Listen to customers. They’re the ones who actually use your product and are the best resource for understanding how effective it is.
Fix that bug that is responsible for the issues they keep experiencing. Create that feature that will improve their experience. Remove that feature that worsens their experience. Use the reported issues to improve your proposition and make your business more appealing to customers. Let customers see that their feedback matters. This is also a great way to boost your lending app rating to stay active and become more visible in the app stores.
Use responsible and ethical loan collection and recovery practices
Some lenders have already given the industry a bad name. Harassing, threatening and violating borrowers and their data privacy. No matter how pressed you are to recover your loans, upholding borrowers’ rights to privacy is non-negotiable.
Granted, borrowers shouldn’t be allowed to get away with non-repayment but this is more of an indication that you need to improve your loan recovery system rather than chasing borrowers distastefully .. and still not getting your money back. You can recover loans ethically and be even more effective.
Lendsqr has all you need to differentiate your lending business
Lendsqr comes with all the tools you need to let your lending business stand out. Sign up for free to begin your journey to improving your customers’ experience and your customer retention. The lending stack is configurable and your offerings can easily be adjusted to fit your customer base.