Today’s borrowers demand multiple online and offline channels to use however and whenever they choose. They demand the convenience of borrowing their way, whether it is in person, over the phone, through the Internet, or by using a mobile app. Borrowers want a lending experience that puts them in the driver’s seat.
But as much as borrowers want the convenience of multiple channels, they want something else even more — speed. They want an absolutely seamless experience across all touchpoints so that there are no delays and no surprises. In the study of 1,500 borrowers, 36% cited that it took over 24 hours for their application to be acknowledged as received by the lender.
Acknowledged… As in a simple automated message that confirms receipt of their application, and that someone will be in touch with them immediately to have a chat about their exciting plans to purchase a home.
Acknowledged… As in a telephone call from a friendly voice that congratulates them on completing the first step in a very exciting journey, and that you are there to support and guide them along.
So, when we assess the Borrower Journey Map to better understand what borrowers are thinking, feeling and doing at each touch point, it’s safe to conclude that what borrowers are thinking at this stage of exploring products and rates is, “I wonder who has the best rate?”
What they are feeling is confused on how to compare different products and prices. And in the absence of immediate guidance from a professional who is offering to partner with them, what they are doing is continuing to apply with multiple lenders.
If your people and process aren’t designed to immediately respond to an application, then you’re allowing the borrower to conclude that a relationship isn’t important to you. Conversely, when you respond quickly, provide education and nurture them, the borrower will no longer feel alone, and since feelings are the seeds of loyalty, it makes good business sense that you invest in training your people so that they can deliver an exceptional experience at every touch point, every time.
Digital channels are important to borrowers, and as mobile becomes more commonplace in all facets of banking, it will be essential for lenders to offer their customers a suite of digital lending channels that interact seamlessly with each other as well as with any offline channels.
If lenders want to realize cost savings through their digital channels, they will have to ensure that these channels are highly personalized and in parallel with a human-to-human connection to achieve true customer engagement.
As Mortgage Cadence and Accenture have consistently found in borrower studies, the simplicity borrowers are seeking extends all the way to the closing table where lenders are still not optimizing a safe and efficient piece of technology that is 100% designed to drive borrower satisfaction: eSign and eClose.
Give customers the choice. Although lenders may be anxious to provide customers the option of eClosing, the 2018 survey found that 74% of borrowers would be comfortable with closing with eSign.
Being borrower-centric means providing convenience and designing your solutions around their desires. By contrast, 61% of borrowers were instructed to wet sign their closing documentation, and 16% were instructed to sign both in person and electronically. There isn’t anything about those statistics that serve the satisfaction of a borrower.
Borrowers are ready for more sophisticated digital transactions, but lenders are playing catch up in many cases. By taking steps to ensure the online borrower experience more closely resembles the human-to-human experience — meaning highly personalized — you’ll be delivering an experience that is easy, simple, transparent and maybe even fun. After all, this is an exciting time for the borrower. By playing a greater role in ensuring an exceptional borrower experience, lenders can then work toward upselling and cross selling into other products.