last Updated 26 September 2022

Customer Language Documents – What Are They and Why Do Mortgage Brokers Need Them?

A customer language document is a really powerful tool that can help make all of your marketing materials more effective, especially if you’re a mortgage broker or financial adviser.

And yet most people I speak to have never heard of a customer language document.

So, in this post, I am going to explain what a customer language document is and run through the main reasons why you need one in your financial services business.

What is a Customer Language Document?

A customer language document (CLD) is something that helps you to speak the same language that your customers or potential customers use.

To be clear, we’re not talking about translating your website into foreign languages. The purpose of a CLD is to make sure that your marketing messages use the same words and phrases that your customers use when they are describing the products and services you offer.

It’s also about ensuring that, when discussing the problems and challenges your customers face and with which they need your help, you use the same kind of language that they themselves use.

There are two reasons why it is so important to observe and use your customers’ own language:

  1.  In any industry, not just mortgages and financial services, customers will often use a very different, and usually more simple, terminology than those who work in that industry. For example, a client might talk about a mortgage for a concrete building rather than saying they need a non-standard construction mortgage. If you use the same words that your customer uses, they will feel that you understand them and they’ll therefore choose to work with you rather than someone who uses official jargon.

  2. Paying careful attention to the precise language your customers and prospects use can help you spot trends and common themes in what they are saying – and that can help you ensure that your marketing addresses customer concerns that you might not otherwise have considered.

I’ve seen in my own business that there are common words and phrases which mortgage brokers tend to use when they are describing the difficulties they have in generating new leads. Things like:

  • I’m struggling to generate high quality leads, or
  • I’m a new broker and I don’t know where to start with marketing, or
  • Social media is really overwhelming.

So the first takeaway from this article is that it is really important to start listening to the words that your prospective customers use when they speak you to you in those initial calls you have with them. Keep an ear open for the phrases they use that start with things like:

  • I’m having a problem with…
  • I’m struggling with….
  • I’m looking for help with…

You will find an absolute goldmine of information in the language and phrasing that your customers use all day, every day to help you in your marketing.

Let’s take an example from the sort of questions that a mortgage broker might hear from a potential client:

“Can I get a mortgage at my age?”  

“Can I get a mortgage if I am a pensioner?”  

“Can I get a mortgage if I am nearing retirement age?”

These are all variations on a theme and, although they’ve not used the exact technical term, all of these might indicate that the client is looking for a retirement interest-only mortgage.

Whenever you spot a client or a prospect describing something differently from how you’d describe it yourself, or if you spot the same phrases coming up in multiple conversations with different people, add them to your customer language document.

Now we’ve established what a customer language document is and how you can start building one, let’s look at why CLDs are so important and explore some of the ways you can use them to improve your marketing and lead generation.

Improve your marketing with a customer language document

A customer language document can help improve all of your marketing in all sorts of ways. Here are three of the biggest benefits you'll get if you put some time into creating one for your business.

1. Resonate with your audience

Using the same language as your customers will help ensure that your adverts, blogs, emails, etc resonate with your audience. This is important because the more your marketing messages resonate with your audience, the more that they will form a connection with you and see you as the go-to person to help them.

2. Stand out in a crowded marketplace

Everyone business owner wants to stand out from their competition and mortgage brokers are no different.

Lots of mortgage brokers struggle with knowing how to stand out in a crowded marketplace. In fact, the phrase “how to stand out in a crowded marketplace” is taken straight form my own customer language document!

And because it appears in my CLD, I’ll use that phrase in my marketing rather than something like “Learn how to differentiate yourself from the competition”.

When I talk about “Standing our in a crowded marketplace,” I find that my audience will nod their heads in approval, either consciously or subconsciously. And it will mean my marketing stands out from what they will have heard my competitors saying.

3. Save money on Google Ads

Using the same language that your customers use can also save you money when it comes to Google Ads.

Let’s take a common example from the mortgage world. If you have tried to use Google Ads to generate remortgage leads, you will know that keywords to do with remortgages are expensive. You can easily end up paying around £10 per click for keywords like remortgage quotes or remortgage advice. And the cost per lead can end up being £70 or more. This is because lots of mortgage brokers prefer remortgage enquiries over purchases, and so there is a lot of competition for these keywords.

However, I was recently able to run a Google Ads campaign for a mortgage broker client where we generated remortgage leads at an average cost of £38.97. We achieved this simply by switching to keywords that were more in line with the non-technical language that the broker’s potential clients were using when searching for help with a remortgage.

customer language documents - Customer Language Documents – What Are They and Why Do Mortgage Brokers Need Them?

How to create a customer language document

As I said earlier, one of the best ways to gather material for your CLD is to keep your ears open when talking to clients and potential clients.

This is very effective, but it can take a while to gather enough data. So, another common technique is to run a survey with your current or past customers. If you do this, make sure you use open questions rather than multiple choice so as you get to see your clients describe things in their own words.

I talked about this in more detail and shared some examples of the kind of survey questions you can use during one of the group coaching calls I ran recently for members of The Predictable Pipeline Programme.

If you’re a member and want to watch a recording of that session you can find it here and if you're not yet a member, click here to join today and get access to all of our past training and coaching calls.

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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