Applying for a loan is now easier and more accessible than ever. Some of the top companies offer incredibly flexible rates to customers and most now offer same-day cash.
Optilead decided to test a number of top websites to see if the level of customer engagement is keeping up with the sector’s rapid growth.
Three separate applications were filled in on 40 loan websites, before being abandoned part way through. Contact details were left as well as a request for a call back from the firm, whenever it was available.
Here are the results:
1. Only 21.7% of abandoned applications were dealt with effectively
This will be grim reading for managers. From 120 applications that we abandoned, only 21 emails and 5 calls were initiated to the customer. Calls quickly resolve issues online, allowing company staff to discuss an application in more depth and overcome any problems customers may have encountered. Despite this, only 4.2% of applications received a call. On top of that only 17.5% of applications received an email; which is considered to be a standard procedure in other sectors. So it’s clear that there’s still a lot more that could be done.
2. 92.5% of companies don’t offer a call back facility
For insurers, call backs offer customers an easy way of getting in touch with a company without the worry of hidden charges. Loans can be complicated, so having somebody to talk to makes sure all customers get the best advice before they complete their application.
3. £360,259 of abandoned loan applications were left without being followed up
Taking this amount out at 20% APR would produce £40,209.92 a year for loan companies. Yet, companies are losing out every day because they don’t have effective systems in place to deal with abandoned applications.
Application values ranged from personal loans of around £200 to business loans of up to £46,250. There was no clear correlation between application value and response from the results. The two highest values did receive follow up calls however, which clearly shows companies believe a phone call is the best way to handle abandoned applications.
4. Average abandonment response time 13 hours 12 minutes
As an average, this meant a considerable number of companies took longer, even days to respond. Optilead specialise in automated marketing solutions so that companies can send communications at any point in the online process. Contacting a customer 13 hours after they drop off a website is far too late, as they have often already found what they are looking on another website.
5. Not one company phoned within 15 minutes
Optilead’s own research shows that when clients contact a customer within 15 minutes, conversion rates rise considerably. This is the optimum window of time for companies to reach customers and will inevitably achieve the best results.
Our research results showed that not one company managed to make contact within this time frame. The closest to this benchmark wasn’t far behind, we received an email 17 minutes after an abandoned application, which is good but still implies that an ad-hoc manual process remains in place.
Many companies are clearly aware that having an engagement strategy is an important part of business, but so far very few have managed to put a reliable system in place.
As specialists, Optilead ensure every lead is contacted through a multi-channel communication network, so that our clients engage with everyone that visits their website. What surprised us most about these results was how many valuable quotes were abandoned without any effort at all to follow them up.
Some applications could be worth thousands of pounds to companies, so a quick phone call should really be dialled as a matter of course. Those that adopt this philosophy will really get a head start in the sector.
For more information on how an automated marketing system could help your company improve customer engagement, contact us.