Now that you know how to collect quantitative data from your existing customer database, your next step in creating your marketing persona is to interact with your customers and take a deeper look at their stories. Collecting qualitative data is all about learning what the numbers can’t tell you. By scheduling quick phone calls or communicating via email, you will have the opportunity to better understand the reason your clients chose to apply for a small-balance commercial mortgage loan. After speaking to multiple clients, you will likely have recognized patterns in the goals, behavior, and actions of your clientele. As an added bonus, you can use this time to improve your existing relationships clients as well!
Before interacting with your borrower, take the time to prepare a list of questions for them. While making your list, think about what you as a commercial mortgage broker would really like to know. Your borrowers’ responses to your questions should answer a problem you are trying to solve, such as how to improve client communication. To answer this question, you may ask your borrower, “What is your preferred method of communication?” and present options such as email, call, or text message. You are creating a marketing persona to learn about your customers’ business habits so that you may attract even more customers in the future. Questions asking what influenced their decision to take out their first small-balance commercial mortgage, how they heard about your company, and their professional backgrounds may be a good place to start.
You might also consider questions about your borrowers’ past experiences in obtaining small-balance commercial mortgage loans. Asking your borrowers what has worked for them in the past, along with any obstacles or challenges they may have faced, will help you improve your customer experience and provide the services future clients may desire. Additionally, ask your borrowers about their goals — understanding why your customers are pursuing the product that you are selling will help you immediately identify potential new clients when you meet them.
Keep the list limited (4-5 questions) as you don’t want to take up too much of your customer’s time. Make sure your questions are broad enough that your customer can easily think of a response, but narrow enough that their reply can sufficiently give you the information you desire. Try to keep your questions open-ended; multiple choice or yes/no type of questions can be risky, as your borrower may give a one- or two-word reply and not explain their reasoning behind the answer. If you are providing options, make sure you will get the info you need from a brief answer. Also be careful with the phrasing of your question. Similar to in an interview, your questions should be unbiased and make your customer think. You want their answer to be as honest and genuine as possible, so make sure you present questions that let them do just that!
Don’t write off the importance of personalized qualitative information in creating your marketing persona. Remember – it is called a marketing persona because you are creating an identity that embodies the shared characteristics and requirements of all your customers.