The power of poor service – Keith Sangwin

At UTB we take broker service extremely seriously. When all said and done it remains the key reason why brokers who’ve used us keep coming back. We don’t have an online application portal and we don’t have the lowest rates in the market or the absolute highest commissions. What we do have though, is what I believe to be one of the best broker and customer service propositions of any funder in the industry. That’s a bold claim but I’m happy to be challenged on it.

The interesting thing about customer service though is that you’re more likely to hear about bad customer service experiences than you are good ones. A study carried out by American Express discovered that an average consumer will tell nine people about a good customer service experience but sixteen about a bad one. So, although we like to hear brokers talking about us, we’re quite happy that we’re not being talked about all the time!

Interestingly, the power of a bad experience to influence future behaviour is far greater than that of a good experience. Various studies from around the globe by the likes of Lee Resources and Zendesk have identified the following:

  • When customers are unhappy, there’s a 91% chance they won’t do business with the company again.
  • Whereas a good customer experience will influence 42% of consumers to transact with that company in the future.

The bottom line; bad customer experiences pack twice as much punch as good ones and just one bad experience drastically reduces the chance of someone becoming a repeat customer.

Although I’ve set this in the context of UTB committing to delivering outstanding broker service, in every deal we complete there are at least two customers – the broker and their client. And in every deal our service is likely to not only affect the broker’s future choices but their clients’ too.

If a broker receives terrible service from a funder they will of course do all they can to shield their customer from any fallout. However, try as they might, there are occurrences when this will affect their customer and they may be very disappointed at not being able to complete a purchase or refinance when and how they wanted to.

Now although the broker will quite rightly make sure their customer knows the funder’s service was poor, it’s inevitable that the broker will themselves get at least some of the blame for providing a less than ideal service. After all, it was almost certainly the broker who recommended the lender in the first place so from a customer’s perspective they will also be complicit in the failure. Unless the broker/customer relationship is very strong, the poor service will not only cause the broker to think twice about using that funder again, their customer may look elsewhere for help when they next need it.

The other impact of a poor customer experience for a client may not only be in their future broker selection but in their willingness to even attempt to obtain asset finance again. According to figures from the FLA, growth in asset finance lending has petered out in some key sectors. Of course, outside influences such as Brexit may be partially to blame, but the industry still has work to do in raising awareness of asset finance as a quick, flexible and competitive means for companies to acquire assets and release capital from their existing ones. If a first time asset finance customer has a less than positive experience, the likelihood is they may not come back for a second go. Not only that, their negative experience may influence peers and colleagues not to give it a try either. Even the very best advertising campaigns are unlikely to carry more weight that one trusted friend saying ‘been there, done that, wouldn’t do it again’.

At UTB we’ve taken several steps to make life easier for brokers and their customers. We’ve streamlined our processes, removed unnecessary admin hurdles and we continuously review the assets we’re happy to fund and refinance. Most importantly though, we’ve recruited and retained exceptional people in sales, underwriting and administration to ensure that every customer, broker and borrower, receives the very best service.

 “Great service I have to say and a pleasure to do business! Hopefully we can get more deals over to you in future off the back of your superb service.”

Jon Sanders – UK Asset Solutions

“The service DJB provides to its customers is only as good as the service it receives from its funders. The team at United Trust Bank were able to approve and then process this proposal very quickly which left a great impression on the customer and demonstrated that our funder recommendation had been the right one.”

Jason Bailey, Managing Director of DJB Finance & Leasing Ltd commented


“The customer had been trying with his bank for a week or two to get the £60K,

without success, despite him having huge credit balances in his account for

the last 3 years. When he heard that UTB had agreed it within 2 hours from

not even knowing him, he was amazed and delighted.”

Mike Robinson – Mulberry Asset Finance

“UTB’s professional attitude gives us confidence to discuss those proposals which, sometimes, are not straightforward and need a little more investigation. This often gives VAFL the edge in providing finance in a competitive market and it’s good to have UTB as one of our main finance partners.”

Stuart Bowes – Director – Vehicle and Asset Finance Ltd

“In the highly competitive field of tier two funding, United Trust bank have established themselves as one of the leaders in the market place. This is evident with the understanding they have developed in our particular specialist sector of the Bus and Coach Industry.

UTB have clearly demonstrated this with the attention given by the field force backed up by the flexibility and understanding of the underwriting and administration teams in providing a fast and efficient service which is vital to our business.”

Ron Telford – Landmark Finance Ltd

“As a customer focused operation where service and specialism remain of paramount importance, we have found UTB to offer exemplary service and exercise reliable and solid knowledge of our specialist sector.”

Jackie Moody, Director – SKM Asset Finance