5 ideas for a better borrower
A better borrower experience
With an increasingly competitive landscape in mortgage origination on the one hand and growing complexity of regulatory compliance on the other, mortgage lenders are more than ever faced with the challenge of transforming their business from an asset centric model to one that centers around the customer. This transformation requires an in depth understanding of each customer and the ability to deliver unique journey for every borrower as a ’demographic of one’ and yields significant benefits in retention and performance rates. Here are five ideas to get you started on improving borrower experience:
Implement effective ‘listeners’ across the borrower’s journey that help you better understand your customer and take action
Track not just what borrowers say but also what they do to predictively detect imminent churn or service escalations
Build in depth profiles of your borrowers to determine better and more relevant ways to service them
ensure that your processes are easy for your borrower and require their lowest effort possible within compliance limitations
Nothing impacts the overall perception a borrower has of your services than the emotional components of the interaction. Consciously develop, use and monitor emotions in interactions.
Real Time & Utility Surveys
‘What can we do?’ is generally a much more productive question to ask borrowers than ‘how did we do?’. While much of the CX field still is rooted in post-service surveys, these offer little opportunity for the business to recover on an incident gone bad. In the eyes of the borrower it is too little, too late. Instead, determine methods of reaching out to the borrower repeatedly and early in their journey, ideally in those ‘moments of truth’ where you can still recover on the incident. With earlier touchpoints, the questioning format also needs to change: ask simple, single and very targeted questions about how you can help instead of a catalogue of questions aimed at how they can help your business. For example: ‘do you have questions about this statement? Click here!’ or if the loan was purchased from a previous lender ask: ‘Which service features did you prior servicer offer you which you would like us to continue?’ Even your surveys need to be …well, customer centric!
Big data escalation management
When actions speak more than words – As useful as surveys can be, only approx. 4%-11% of a company’s customer base typically participates in surveys. In today’s permanently connected environment a customer, however, leaves a much more apparent digital trail that can be mined for intelligence that you would typically receive from surveys: from web navigation, payment patterns, call drops, email opens, nearly every touchpoint reveals hidden data gems about the experience a customer has had. Much of that information can be used to detect distress and trigger pre-emptive support. Consider e.g. one of the least favorite experience of most borrowers: call center hold time. Instead of surveying customers at the end of a call, our solutions also track repeated call drops by a customer, identifying them by their caller Id. Asking such customers about their experience is not only futile, it is entirely unnecessary. Taking action and acting on the data insight (e.g. by calling back) will yield loyalty. There are many more examples: repeated visits to particular section on the help site to indicate unresolved issues or a combination of credit score and linkedin profile changes and payment patterns to indicate changes in personal finances.
Big data profile management
Mining all the data you have on your customer can prove to be highly profitable and beneficial to the customer’s experience. At CX Group we draw on every accessible piece of data to enrich customer profiles in order to deliver a unique experience, tailored to the borrower’s needs and preferences. A loan originating from a website for which we have an opt-in to process a prospect’s facebook credentials can be matched to the most suitable agent with similar interests. Dunning procedures & fees can be optimized to the profile of the borrower’s history. Big data based experience design helps lenders save processing costs by avoiding re-runs and adjustments along every step of the borrower’s journey while delivering a more pleasant experience to the borrower.
Track your effort score
Stop trying to delight your customers. The idea of that companies must ‘delight’ their customers has become so entrenched that managers rarely examine it: according to a HBR research report on loyalty, offering a convenient, low effort process for customers tops trying to exceed expectations to enhance loyalty. While delivering an effortless process may seem a challenge in a as highly regulated industry as the mortgage lending business, the maneuverable margins to deliver satisfying results are often even more restricted than in most other industries (e.g. fee adjustment on a 30y loan vs hassle free returns). In fact, some will go as far as defining their entire competitive strategy around being-easy-to business (QuickenLoans).The emphasis here is on consistently finding easier ways to interact with customers. Does your organization have the team that looks into how you can offer results in half the time? Whose initiative is it to try to drop form requirements and have borrowers interact with you using free format texting?
Emotional awareness & training
It all boils down to people. As obvious as that may seem, here is some hard data that shows just how far making the customer feel good goes: across 10k reviews we have analyzed, we have found emotional aspects of the interaction to influence the borrower’s overall satisfaction nearly twice as much as specific outcomes of the interaction do (73% vs 48%). In other words, if commercial aspects prevent you from delivering a better outcome, great communication skills, good manners and showing customer empathy go a long way in recovering the relationship. The key ingredients to a best possible outcome is… training, training, training.
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