Customer experience as a competitive advantage in home lending
In the age of Dodd-Frank, mortgage lenders are waking up to a new reality: customer experience isn’t just about addressing practical customer service and compliance issues. exceptional mortgage customer experience can mean the difference between winning and losing business altogether. are no longer driven by the real estate or financial world –consumers have stepped up to own the decision, thanks to the increasing influence of social media and mobile apps. As this trend accelerates, lenders and financial institutions will need to keep pace with consumer expectations if they want to gain competitive edge. We offer a few tips below about how to accomplish this objective.
Mortgage referrals are driven more by consumers, less by real estate professionals
Consumers have the opportunity to publicly share their experiences with any business, with a broad network of friends and colleagues.
The Conversation Group reported that, in the online world, “65% of consumers who receive a recommendation from a contact on their social media sites have purchased a product that was recommended to them.” This is consistent with our prior research findings that 3 out of 4 consumers will recommend companies they trust to a friend. And almost 6 out of 10 shoppers are more likely to buy after receiving opinions from friends.
Today, home loan borrowers seek referrals from their social network before they’ll consider talking with a lender. If lenders want to gain a marketing advantage, it’s in their best interest to deliver experiences worth recommending.
What we’re talking about here is trust – which means lenders have a big job ahead of them when it comes to improving mortgage customer experience.
Mortgage customer experience challenges
Borrowers often experience a range of inconveniences when obtaining a mortgage. These can include delays in processing, with the lender taking a long time to review the borrower’s application, credit score, and other financial information. This can be extremely frustrating and stressful for the borrower, as they need to wait in limbo to find out the outcome of their application.
Furthermore, lenders often require a great deal of paperwork and documentation before they can approve a mortgage, which can be time-consuming and tedious for the borrower. These inconveniences, and more, can cause a great deal of frustration and stress for borrowers. Some lenders may see these issues as necessary evils. However, Rocket Mortgage, Loan Depot, and others have demonstrated the business impact of digital transformation in the mortgage industry.
Building consumer trust through great mortgage customer experience
The mortgage customer experience is a constantly evolving journey. Customers have many experiences as they transition through a lifecycle of interactions with a business. With home loan lending, the customer’s journey takes them from learning about your brand, to engaging in early discussions, to closing a deal, to maintaining a relationship with you for the life of their mortgage. Along the way, at every touch point, they are mentally measuring their experience –and if it’s noticeably good or bad, they’re probably talking about it.
To leverage the power of positive word-of-mouth, lenders should consider a few key best practices to ensure they deliver a customer experience that inspires trust, such as:
Focus on the end-to-end customer experience
Evaluate the mortgage customer experience across all channels to gain a complete picture of how consumers view your business. With all the various players, the mortgage industry can be fragmented, and a mistake made by one party can sour the entire process for a borrower. Designate someone with clear responsibility to keep an eye on the customer journey, who’s available to smooth any bumps in the road and strengthen the customer relationship.
Grow a customer-centric company
Invest in customer experience employee training to help everyone understand how to embody your brand values when they engage with customers. Responding to servicing needs or providing better refinancing rates isn’t enough for consumers. They want experiences that feel good, especially when their money and their home is involved. By building a company culture focused on exceptional customer experience, you increase the likelihood that borrowers will recommend your business to everyone they know.
Delivering a positive mortgage customer experience is good for business. In today’s mortgage lending industry, meeting compliance needs is only the beginning. A winning customer experience can be the key to a much stronger brand and give you a powerful marketing tool.