The companies you partner with are essentially an extension of the customer experience for your contractors, and even for their customers. That impacts the public perception of your business. Your finance partner is no different — it’s important to make sure they reflect the same values you have as a company — such as a passion for putting customers first and going above and beyond to ensure success for all involved.
Working with the right home improvement lender matters to your customers’ experience. It’s pretty easy to tell when you’re the focus of a specialized business, or just another small piece of a much larger business model, kept at arm’s length and managed like another cog in the big wheel.
So, what does the ideal customer experience journey look like?
First, we need to define who the customer is. When you’re a manufacturer of home improvement products that require professional installation, you have a dual-layer of customers. The obvious one is the end user — the homeowners who will eventually be using your products in their home. But a very important middle step involves that network of dealers or contractors who are responsible for actually selling the products to homeowners and getting those products installed and maintained.
What we’ve found to be a time-tested truth is that what’s good for your end users is good for your dealers, and is in turn good for you. So, we need to start by asking what the end user experience looks like. Most of the time, they’re probably meeting with your dealers for an in-home consultation, project design session, and job bid. Once the job is bid, the conversation around how to pay arises. This is where the right financing partner comes in, who either adds or detracts from your customer experience.
Customers expect options to pay for their project with a simple paperless application and approval process, and ongoing support for their loan. Your dealer network is truly an extension of your brand, so when they make homeowners happy, that reflects well on your organization.
Being reminded of the quick and easy option to apply for financing, right in their home with the sales rep, helps the customer feel at ease about pricing, allowing them to focus on getting what they want instead of price. It also builds credibility for the sales rep and, according to independent research, improves close rate.
Now let’s look at the contractor as a customer. When dealers know they’ll make more money (higher close rates, bigger jobs) because of their membership in a loan program customized just for them, that powerful, positive experience can be enough to attract and retain loyal dealers.
But that’s not all.
A loan program from a home improvement-exclusive bank like EnerBank means a contractor support team that speaks their language. It means custom-built marketing materials designed to boost their business without them having to hire a marketing team. It means a dedicated relationship manager to handle all concerns, and it means professional orientation in best practices from our in-house training experts.
With a custom experience like that, you can expect to see your own dealer network grow, prosper, and rave about you. And that is how you maintain a strong brand — through the best partnerships.