4 Steps to Amazing Borrower Satisfaction
Sean Zalmanoff, Regional Manager at USA Mortgage
(particularly for Millennials)
Are your customers satisfied with doing business with you? If your answer is anything but yes, today’s post is for you, because I’m going to talk about how to make the borrower experience as smooth and pleasant as possible.
People (young people especially) are getting used to fast and comfortable solutions on their five-inch touch screens, and their customer footprint is extending in all industries, forcing those industries (including ours) to adapt to the “anytime, anywhere” approach. Your job is to fulfill their expectations without lowering your standards or negatively impacting your existing clientele and business plan.
Borrower Experience Matters
Borrower experience is our only quality of our service metric. It’s not the number of loans we close, nor the size of our pipeline. It’s the level of satisfaction of the people we’re dealing with that says everything about how good (or bad) we are at what we do. But more importantly, no advertisement you’ll pay for will ever work as well as a bunch of satisfied client testimonials. You already know that word-of-mouth is the best source of business. The Internet equivalent of that is the testimonials on your webpage, and the praise your clients heap upon your social media profiles. You need to deliver kick-ass experience, so you get the word-of-mouth response that will grow your business better than anything else you can do.
The four steps to amazing borrower satisfaction
No big change has ever been made in a day, so be patient and implement carefully. In the following four steps I’ll show you one of the ways to go about significantly improving your clients’ experience.
1. Prepare your clients for everything that will come
Information, information, information. Getting a mortgage is a stressful experience, and for first-time homebuyers especially a leap into the unknown. If you manage to craft an onboarding process that will a) brief your clients in a simple way about all the steps ahead of them and b) collect the basic information for you to determine their ability to qualify right at the start, you will save everyone a lot of stress, and you’ll get the process moving right away while keeping everyone on the same page.
2. Use technology to keep things fast and simple
You may think that point one might be easier said than done, but that’s just laziness speaking. Technology has made it so much easier to share, collect and sort documents, get them signed, reviewed and stored, as well as to quickly and efficiently conduct a qualification review. Your clients just enter the desired data and that’s it.
The amount of work you’ll save yourself if you keep most of the process “in the cloud” is huge, and there will be far fewer paperwork headaches for you.
3. Tailor each experience
Aside from being stressful and committal, taking a mortgage is also a deeply personal issue. You’re bound to approach each of your clients individually, carefully studying their background and listening to their concerns and demands. Profiling your clients and then tailoring the loan according to what you learned is the most important part of your job.
For even more client convenience, be as flexible as possible with your products. This may be the turning point for many people — not the interest rate, but the quality of service and the freedom to choose what fits best. Selling the product that puts the highest commission in your pocket is short-term thinking. Taking a slightly lower commission to give the client the right product will pay off ten-fold over the year. Think about the options you are able to offer, and offer the right one for them, not for you.
4. Security first
The cloud is a good servant but a bad master. Since you’re dealing with sensitive data of your clients on a daily basis, you also need to gear up against possible hacks and data theft. E-mail encryption, network security measures and secured apps used for communication and file storage will ensure safe data transmission. If nothing else, both you and your clients will sleep better at night, knowing that financial and personal data are protected against third-party intruders.
You may not think that these things contribute to customer satisfaction, but Millennials, while very free with personal information (witness Instagram), are also very sensitive to security. They consistently pick tools that are end-to-end encrypted, and steer away from those that aren’t. In fact, in the generation below Millennials, email is nearly dead. You need to focus on the method of communication that maintains your clients’ confidentiality, but also meshes with their mode of interaction. Staying focused on security will help you stay there. (If you’re still not sure what I mean, ask a high-school kid about the Marco Polo app).