There’s a common misconception amongst lenders and loan officers that positive feelings towards loan originators will translate into customer referrals. When in actuality, borrowers give references when they have a pleasant experience from beginning to end.It’s easy for a borrower's overall experience to be tainted by one unpleasant incident during the borrowing process. Therefore, loan originators must do everything to ensure that a borrower’s experience is pleasant from start to finish.
A recent Borrower Satisfaction Program conducted by the STRATMOR Mortgage Group sheds light on some easy tactics that can improve overall borrower satisfaction and reduce the number of unhappy borrowers.
Within this article, I will be summarizing the seven commandments for optimizing the customer experience, which was created by the STRATMOR Group. These rules are based around the most impactful aspects of the loan process. Loan officers and lenders can follow these commandments to increase a borrower’s likelihood to refer to your business.
The Seven Rules:
1. Give the borrower an upfront checklist of the information they will need to provide you.
First impressions matter, by providing borrowers with an initial checklist of the necessary documents allows you to set expectations. Also, being upfront makes a borrower feel comfortable, informed, safe, and reassured. Alternatively, if you fail to provide a borrower with an upfront checklist, a borrower is likely to feel confused and upset, thus decreasing their customer experience. To take the customer experience one step further, a loan originator can follow-up with the customer after sending the checklist to ensure that they have received their list and that they understand what they need to provide.
2. Contact the borrower before closing to review numbers.
Borrowers are happy when they are sure that they have the right amount of funds needed before closing. Calling the borrower before closing shows that you are considerate of a borrowers’ time and that you are taking the time to fulfill customer expectations or to address any problems or concerns.
3. Avoid asking the borrower to provide documents that they have already given you.
Assembling the necessary documents to acquire a loan can be a very stressful experience for a borrower. Therefore, asking a borrower to provide you with material that they have already supplied you with can lead to annoyance or frustration, which can taint the overall customer experience.
4. Always keep borrowers informed about the status of their loan.
Borrowers want to be informed by their lender about the status of their loan, whether they are notified by email, text message, or a phone call. If a borrower has to reach out to their lender to receive updates, this will taint their customer experience. It should be a top primary of a loan originator to inform customers about their loan.
5. A lender should close loans in the pre-established time frame.
Closing on-time will save a borrower a lot of stress, especially in cases where not meeting a deadline can prevent the borrower from having other potential buyers make a higher offer. Closing a loan in the expected time frame leads to a better borrower experience. However, encountering problems that can delay closing is something that can happen, which is not the fault of a loan originator. Discussing this possibility with a borrower at the beginning of the relationship has the potential to decrease the chance of customer dissatisfaction.
6. When a problem arises, make every effort to resolve the issue.
It’s not uncommon to encounter problems when obtaining a loan, whether it’s an issue with appraisal, verification, or changes in circumstance. These problems can cause delays or alterations in specific rates and payments. However, solving these problems quickly and swiftly can prevent them from influencing the satisfaction of the borrower. If an issue cannot resolve, showing consideration and care for your client through a phone call can impact a borrower's experience and potential referral.
7. Start the closing process on time.
The closing day often requires borrowers to make sacrifices and changes to their daily routine, whether it’s taking the day off from work, hiring a babysitter, or re-arranging appointments. Therefore, it’s essential not to make them wait. When the closing starts on time, borrowers are generally pleased with their experience.
How NestReady Can Help Lenders Increase the Customer Experience
In a world where information about borrowers’ experiences is so readily accessible and available to other potential borrowers, lenders and loan originators should follow these rules to ensure better overall customer experience and, in turn, increase customer referral rates.
At NestReady, our white-label solutions integrate all aspects of the home-buying journey, providing a simple, seamless way for lenders, buyers and agents to interact throughout every stage if the process. The result is an experience that’s richer, easier, faster and, perhaps most importantly, more satisfying for everyone. If you’re ready to learn how our digital platform can help you grow your lending business, visit our site to schedule your free demo today.