Over the last several years, many of the top mortgage servicing companies (both banks and nonbanks alike) moved some of their customer service operations overseas as part of an effort to cut costs and improve profitability.
But the practice, known as offshoring, proved somewhat problematic for the servicers, as customers frequently complained of issues when dealing with offshore customer service representatives.
Here’s how Fitch Ratings described the issue back in 2014:
“Less experienced offshore staff can lead to ineffective communication with borrowers,” Crowe said. “Even with effective scripting, an offshore call center agent typically does not have the same frame of reference or local knowledge as a U.S. based call center agent. Fitch has found that reliance on scripting works best when calls are predictable and do not deviate from the norm.”
But even with effective scripting, the potential for communication issues is still significant.
Not to mention the regulatory risk that servicers take when using offshore operations, as evidenced by Ocwen Financial being fined last year for using unlicensed offshore operations.
While offshoring has its benefits, one servicer is choosing to listen to its customers and move its customer service operations back onshore.
Nationstar Mortgage (soon to be Mr. Cooper) announced Wednesday that it is bringing its customer service operations back to the U.S.
According to the company, the move is driven by its transition into becoming Mr. Cooper, which first began way back in 2015.
As Nationstar CEO Jay Bray told HousingWire late last year, the company is not just rebranding, it’s reinventing the way it operates, including its customer service operations.
According to Bray, the change to Mr. Cooper is about personalizing the company and ensuring that its servicing customers are happy.
“It’s so simple, in some ways. If you have happy customers, you’re going to have happy employees. If you have happy customers, more than likely, you’re going to have happy shareholders,” Bray told HousingWire in December.
“And so we started reflecting on how do we keep these 2.7 million customers,” Bray said.
“How do we actually put service back into servicing and deliver a better experience? So we said, we need to personalize this. And it has to be an advocate. It has to be something that resonates every day with our employees, like what would Mr. Cooper do for this customer?” Bray said.
“That’s what we’re focused on in 2017: How do you deliver a better customer experience? How do you make people happy to actually be a customer of ours? If you can do that, I think you can conquer the world, right?” Bray added.
Now, the company is moving its customer service operations back to the U.S., saying that the move will help to improve the customer experience.
“Our customers shared with us that speaking to U.S. based representatives would make their service experience better, so we prioritized that feedback and have invested in moving all of our call center operations back to the United States,” Bray said in a release. “Our goal is to deliver unmatched care and service to our customers day in and day out, and we believe this investment will have a meaningful impact on our customers and their home loan experience.”
According to the company, Nationstar began to transition to an U.S.-based customer service call center operation by opening a new call center in Longview, Texas, in 2016. Nationstar also operates customer service call centers in Dallas, Texas, and Chandler, Arizona.
Nationstar also said that while an outside vendor managed its international call center, Nationstar team members manage all of its U.S. call centers.
Nationstar said that the move will create 500 new jobs in the U.S.