It’s time to automate mortgage applications. Buying a house is one of the most exciting – and fear-inducing – times in a person’s life. Beyond finding the right property, most buyers must enter into a 30-year loan agreement – and they must do so with little independent guidance or support. The list of mortgage lenders working on improving this experience is long, indeed.
Offering an outstanding customer experience is critical to maximizing success for banks and other lenders. Mortgage applications tend to be complex, and many use jargon and terminology unfamiliar to most buyers. So, how can lenders lessen the stress and create long-term relationships with home buyers?
Digital CX and automation are at the heart of creating a better customer experience for mortgage applicants. There are various ways that digital customer experiences can streamline the process and eliminate buyer friction. Some of those ways relate to delivering a better customer-facing experience, while others are a byproduct of internal business process automation. Let’s explore some of those approaches now.
Customer Self-Service to Automate Mortgage Applications
A growing number of people prefer digital self-service engagements over in-person or phone-based interactions. These individuals have grown accustomed to forms-based, digitally delivered application processes, and like that they can complete documents on their own time and across devices. Here are some ways digital CX for banks and lending institutions can create and enhance these digital customer service experiences for a mortgage lender.
Many mortgage industry lenders still use paper and PDF-based processes for mortgage collateral, brochures, and applications. This is unacceptable to a growing number of customers. Digital forms can replace these manual and broken processes and offer the cost advantage of having customers do their own data entry. Customers often prefer to enter some data themselves versus repeating a street name or phone number multiple times over a phone call. Further, if a customer fills in a digital form instead of a PDF, they can get immediate feedback and faster overall follow-up. Since banks that deliver approvals faster consistently generate higher close rates, this can be a boon for your firm.
Dynamic capabilities can be incorporated into a forms-based lending process — capabilities that personalize an experience to the individual, their location, credit score, or any other measurable dimension. For example, a bank might vary forms across state lines or ask different questions based on the value of the loan sought or the percentage of the down payment available.
Related to dynamic experiences, pre-fill enables the financial institution to simplify the application process by pre-filling information once an individual’s identity is established. Particularly for existing customers, pre-fill dramatically lowers the time and effort required to complete a mortgage lending process.
While some states and regions still require wet signatures for documents, others readily accept e-signature, which cuts the customer effort required significantly. Signatures can be collected digitally or by sending documents via text links or push notifications.
You can also automate the preparation of loan documents that include the information provided by the customer.
Loan Officer-Assisted Interactions That Automate Mortgage Applications
While some customers may love the idea of an all-digital buying process, others will not be comfortable without interacting with a human being before they buy. For these sorts of engagements, digital CX can be leveraged to enhance trust or make it easier to complete forms and critical process steps.
Video Chat with Sellers
Whether your organization sells for itself or uses mortgage brokers to find new business, video chat can be a great tool to improve customer understanding and close rates. Particularly given COVID-19, any technology that helps us create a more personalized experience across the miles can yield significant benefits.
With co-browsing, the borrower and lender agent can review documents and web pages, sharing the same view. This can be very helpful for sellers to guide buyers to specific content, help them fill out forms, etc. They can also follow along and explain terms and terminology so that buyers can be more secure in their decisions.
Offering a visual alternative to endless audio menus can be a great way to have customers complete some buying process steps before the loan officer engages. Visual IVR can collect information during the wait time before a call or reduce call volumes throughout the extended loan process. Identity verification is an excellent example of a well-delivered process via visual IVR. By verifying identity before the caller connects to an agent, their needs are met quicker, the company enjoys lower costs, and overall satisfaction rises.
Digitize Internal Processes to Automate Mortgage Applications
We’ve placed a lot of attention on what the customer sees in his post. Now let’s move to how digital can automate the underlying internal processes required for a loan application to be considered, approved, and funded. This is a critical part of mortgage automation that needs to be considered.
Many legacy banks, lenders, and financial services companies use processes developed years or decades earlier to process a mortgage. The data gets collected in a form, transcribed, and delivered to an ERP platform. Then manually emailed to an underwriter for consideration, etc. What if we could eliminate most or all of the manual work required for routing and approvals while delivering better security and far faster average process completion times?
There’s no reason why an individual should email or otherwise route a document in a modern loan origination process. Digital automation can automatically deliver the application to the next step or individual in an existing process without delays and other forms of friction. Further, the mortgage process can be automatically tracked in the ERP, account management, or other internal systems.
For steps that do not require human analysis, you can use digital CX to connect to decisioning systems, thereby eliminating process delays for these steps. This can dramatically reduce mortgage processing timelines, or, if additional information is required from the customer or seller, it can be requested automatically. We also adapt to many AI-based solutions that you may be using or considering.
Many mortgage lenders still have gaps and silos in their data infrastructure that prevent the free flow of information in real-time from one platform to another. Digital CX can make data available across your organization in real-time, improving coordination, tracking, security, and data integrity.
Consider FICX for CX Automation
The FICX No-Code CX Automation Platform and solutions help many banks, lenders, and other financial institutions develop and deploy digital CX experiences without taxing their dev teams. With FICX, anyone can create powerful CX automation experiences that seamlessly integrate with their existing processes and platforms. Our digital CX solutions deliver a host of benefits to:
- Innovation Teams
- Customer Experience Teams
- Customer Care Teams
- Contact Center Teams
- Development Teams
- Digital Teams
- Sales Teams
Point solution mortgage application software is available to address many of the opportunities we’ve outlined above. But the FICX platform is designed to address ANY digital CX use cases for financial institutions – any use case that will help with sales or customer service automation. Instead of finding multiple platforms for different use cases, you can utilize FICX across all products and use cases. This drives increased efficiency and can help improve data security. FICX is PCI, HIPAA, CCPA< and GDPR compliant, meeting or exceeding the security standards of some of the largest banks and other companies globally.
Our revolutionary no-code platform empowers the full range of customer collaboration capabilities to be developed without the assistance of dev teams or coders. Using our platform, leading companies experience better acquisition rates, higher customer retention, and enhanced customer loyalty.
Further, our built-in analytics produce actionable insight to inform customer experience improvement on an ongoing basis. In this way, customer data drives enhanced customer experience management.