Drawing on our in-house expertise, Direct Capital will be chatting with segment managers and sales representatives for enlightening looks at what’s going on in the world of finance. Today, we talk retention with Director of Client Services Brian Varney.
In the field of customer retention at Direct Capital, everything seems to be ramping up.
Varney said that business is rising over a year ago both in equipment financing and working capital* sectors, thanks to increasing demand and diligent customer focus. More customers are returning for needed financing than ever before, buoyed by what at least vaguely resembles a U.S. economic recovery.
Here’s two other trends, one in-house and one out there in the wide world of equipment.
Renewed Customer Focus
A piece of the increase is undoubtedly due to a value-driven approach to customer service. In that spirit, the sales team has been “better equipped” to stay in front of customer needs, providing news and having conversations about needs without beating them over the head with a sales message, Varney said.
“We’re more nurturing, ” Varney said. “There’s more focus on the customers’ business objectives for the near and distant future than the focus on what they are doing today.
In addition, Direct Capital has expanded its product offerings and seen bank interest rates rise as the company’s lease rate factors have stayed the same. Coupled with what Varney characterized as a loosening up of underwriting in certain areas.
In an effort to maintain that high level of service, Varney said more customer feedback is being integrated.
Equipment Segment Mixed
Echoing Brian Todd, who we talked to last week, Varney said that some reports indicate the construction field is “popping.” Industry analyst Cat Financial reported a 52 percent increase for new retail financing in the first quarter of 2011, while industry giant Caterpillar reported a 71 percent increase in sales of its equipment.
On the other side of that coin, other reports indicate that construction spending in the U.S. has been more mixed. We’ll probably need another quarter’s worth of data to mold this fundamental disagreement into something more coherent.
For Direct Capital, at least, there isn’t a cloud in the sky at the moment.
“The trend is, things are getting busier,” Varney said. “It’s exciting times.”
That’s our report from our corner of the retention world. We would love to hear your feedback.
Photo credit to Leonardini at http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1237499
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT