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Mortgage borrowers are typically anxious about the loan application process. It seems complicated, opaque and uncertain. As an August 2014 article at cio.com cited, consumers see the process as “a mysterious black hole for paperwork.”

Lenders can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by addressing borrowers’ pain points and making the process as seamless as possible. Using a mobile app solution to complement your origination process gives you the tools you need to engage consumers on their preferred device and turn the experience into a positive one.

Here are four ways lenders can thrill their mortgage borrowers using mobile apps:

1.  Make it easy.

The dread many borrowers feel when they approach the mortgage application process is easy to understand. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions people make in their lifetimes, and the process is often confusing. Lenders can simplify the process from the start by using a mobile document capture solution.

Such a platform should support apps that specifically communicate and direct your customer through the origination process. Borrowers would simply snap and submit photos of the documents they need as part of their application process: driver licenses, W-2s, bank statements, etc. Essentially, this enables a customer to simply submit supporting documents through their mobile device. As a benefit to lenders, this eliminates the need to manually process customer data since the data from these images are extracted to complete their mortgage loan.

A mobile solution can give immediate feedback on whether errors were made by the borrower. For example, if a borrower uploaded a tax form for the wrong year, they would get a message to alert them of their mistake. Customers are empowered to quickly fix the problem, a key component of this self-service model.

Because the mobile technology will automatically extract, validate and perfect the data — and even prompt the user to correct it if necessary — the borrower gets instant results and helps to speed up one of the most time consuming parts of the loan transaction. Instead of getting an email or phone call after the lender has reviewed the documents and found problems, then having to respond and wait again to see if the problem is fixed, a mobile solution means borrowers can be part of the solution right away, decreasing their frustration with the process and speeding time to close.

2. Be transparent.

Consumers’ trust of financial institutions took a hit during the financial crisis, and is still at an all-time low. The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer found that financial services are still the least trusted industry globally.

Transparency into the mortgage loan process is sorely missing from the borrower’s point of view, and represents an opportunity for lenders to really shine. A mobile solution is ideal to keep borrowers informed about the progress of their loan, and what they still need to provide.

A mobile solution can let borrowers check their loan status at any time, from any place. Tracking the loan through the process means borrowers have visibility at every point, giving them peace of mind. Mobile allows lenders to give great customer service whenever the borrowers want it.

3. Make it an experience.

Borrowers who are used to a connected world full of social media engagement are unsatisfied with one-sided communication. An Analytic Partners 2014 brand loyalty survey revealed that “48% of people between the ages of 18-44 say that any loyalty they feel toward brands in the future will be determined by the types of experiences brands create for them.”

This echoes the Edelman Trust Barometer, which makes it clear that “engagement and integrity are the path forward to building trust with consumers, employees, regulators, partners and clients.” 

How can lenders engage customers in the mortgage lending process so that it’s a positive experience?

Mobile apps are an important part of consumers’ lives. Apps like Pandora, delivering songs tailored to their specific tastes, RunKeeper, tracking their fitness, or Uber, connecting them to drivers in minutes, have created an expectation in consumers that mobile apps will enrich their lives and give them individualized service.

Engaging consumers on mobile as part of the mortgage application process gives them the experience they’re looking for while providing the kind of service they expect. A mobile app gives borrowers real-time answers and creates another touch point for lenders. An easy, intuitive process that walks them through the application process and lets them check the status of their loans reassures them in the midst of a potentially stressful process.

This self-service model makes borrowers an active participant in each stage of the loan process and in turn helps to improve overall engagement and experience.

4. Exceed expectations.

As technology changes consumer expectations of service, lenders must create a loan process that is no longer complicated and stressful. By having a mobile app solution that engages borrowers when and how they want, lenders can change the conversation and gain customer loyalty.

In our socially connected world, a company’s reputation is shaped by the experience of consumers. A recommendation from a friend — whether face-to-face or posted on social media, is still the most effective advertising. Lenders who make the mortgage loan process easy, transparent and engaging — clearly exceeding their customers’ expectations — will have more clients to thrill in the future.

To watch how Sun Trust, Ditech and Bank of the West use mobile to engage customers, click here