As a general trend, improving customer experience is the main area of focus for most mortgage lenders. The quality of experience, or loosely speaking, customer satisfaction, can be gauged to create benchmarks in customer service. With increase in the number of tech-savvy borrowers, several opportunities have emerged, making it easier to measure the satisfaction levels or quality of experience.
Customer satisfaction versus customer experience
While customer experience focuses on things like pricing, product, people, and process, customer satisfaction offers a rather bigoted view of what customers actually need. Lenders and banks need to stop looking at customer service as just a mere function. Every industry around the world is investing in customer relationships and treating it like a highly specialized unit.
Customer experience is the one common binding factor that joins the mortgage industry across the world. Other factors like funding methods, business models, and products differ from place to place. Mortgage companies are now changing their operational structures to keep up with the changes in regulations and customer experience. Some of the ways in which they have tried to make more customer-friendly offers are mentioned below.
Channels and communications: To keep up with changing technology, lenders started going digital and offering their clients the latest in technology, using platforms for tablets and mobiles. But as the main focus here was on technology, and not on what more it could do, banks only had a subtly positive effect on customer experience.
Integrating cross-channel experiences for easy access to information: The earlier method of clients interacting with staff changed into a more fruitful experience, whereby customers could have access to a much larger information pool with the help of a few clicks. It not only saved time, but customers could also apply for products through the channels, apart from accessing information. This saw an immense improvement in overall customer experience.
Product and pricing: It was in practice to offer various product features to improve the experience of clients. Things like deferred payments, refinancing, and low interest rates were offered to keep customers happy. In few cases, innovative products like option adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) and interest rate linked with deposits were also introduced.
What made a difference was sophisticated technology to assess risks accurately, so that optimum profits kept coming consistently. Going too far to please the borrowers, even in a competitive market, simply isn’t justified. A transition of mentality on the lender’s part was possible owing to highly connected enterprise systems, which helped assess collateral value and repayment capacity.
Building trust through greater compliance: The process of obtaining a mortgage used to be a lengthy and time-consuming one. It works differently across geographies owing to various rules and regulations. Customizable mortgage software, which was device agnostic and used for multiple roles as per authentication rules, sped up work in spite of those undulations in operation. If a process had to be modified for regulations, the software could take the feeds from the local authorities, helping achieve instantaneously better compliance on quality control, underwriting, and origination.
With cut-throat competition, it is vital to have a holistic approach towards customer experience. On the whole, it is a better practice to connect multiple data feeds to arrive at highly customized financial services for individual borrowers. Fulfilling even the most basic expectations of the client goes a long way to improve experience.
It is the responsibility of lenders and agents to ensure that the processes are seamless and that customers are not left feeling uninformed. If there is any sort of confusion in the customer’s mind, then their experience gets undermined and leaves a gap between the client and the lender. Transparency across systems and processes clears all doubts in the mind of the customers and leaves them with an enriching experience, which generally ensures customer loyalty.