Mortgage Customer Experience: Are You Looking from the Outside In?

Customer Experience

As an exhibitor at the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference over the past four years, I’ve attended many informative sessions by the leaders in the mortgage servicing industry. At this year’s conference, regulation and the impact of CFPB changes were still forefront, but a focus on mortgage customer experience was top on the list as well. The areas of payments and escrow were the most challenging for all the panelists across the board.

Document redesign, self-service options, creating customer-centric verbiage and developing analytics around the mortgage customer’s experience were all essential parts of one of the panels I attended. The following are key takeaways from that session.

  • A process for analyzing customer service calls is key to finding areas of improvement in product and/or process. Many panelists had the customer complete a survey after a call experience. One panelist said that a poor survey triggers a return call to the customer to ensure they listen to them and properly resolve their issue. It is also important to look at positive comments because focusing on them can help make a shift or uphold the culture in your call center.
  • Revisiting your business process periodically is important. One panelist shared that after the launch of a payment process, they realized what they asked the vendor to set up was no longer ideal. In this ever-changing industry, creating a discipline and timeline for revisiting processes allows you to determine if they still make sense from a customer impact perspective.
  • Statement redesign — especially with Escrow statements — is a focus. Servicers are looking to redesign their statements to make them easier for their customers to understand, thereby reducing calls to customer service. Some of the items discussed were adding color and customizing it for the client. For example, if there is an overage in the escrow statement then there will be no language on the statement that talks about a shortage. The servicing team, in conjunction with the marketing team, is thinking through all aspects including language from a consumer level. As one panelist stated, “Unless the regulation says it has to be exactly like this, we are going to make it more understandable to our customer and make it look nicer.”
  • Self-service options are an ongoing focus. Adding options such as IVRs, FAQs and message centers on websites, mobile apps and videos all were discussed as options to improve customer information and reduce calls in to customer service. One of the panelists mentioned successfully testing and moving forward with using text messages to help work on collections issues. Another panelist allows customers to register for email and SMS alerts to inform them when their property taxes and insurance have been paid. Many on the panel were in the process of redesigning their website and looking at adopting responsive designs that will adapt to various devices. Mobile apps were also a big topic of conversation, but many are still working through resource constraints and questions as to what features to offer on a mobile app versus the website.

All the panelists agreed that these efforts should be continually reviewed on an ongoing basis. Statement redesign, process improvement, and reviewing the overall mortgage customer experience are not one and done situations; they need to continually evolve and improve. And as all panelists noted, the best way to achieve these objectives is to have a trusted vendor partner that is an expert in highly-regulated communications and self-service options.

 

About the author

Marketing Manager

Angela has 20 years of experience in the areas of marketing and product management and product development within the financial services, education, publishing and retail industries. As marketing manager, Angela develops Venture’s marketing plan and executes marketing campaigns for the mortgage, auto and insurance markets. Angela manages Venture’s product marketing and represents the company at various industry conferences and trade shows. Prior to joining Venture Solutions in 2013, Angela was serving as marketing director at Free Spirit Publishing in which she led the marketing strategy, communications and product marketing initiatives. In addition to her experience, Angela holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas.