Convenience is the name of the game in today’s connected world. Consumers expect the services they need when they need them and on their preferred devices. With this evolution of customer preferences comes the need for digital transformation — especially in banking and loan origination.
Yet, without the proper infrastructure and agile core systems, financial institutions (FIs) are left scraping together point solutions to support “digital” offerings. The result is a poor customer experience like the one Diane experienced in Part II of this series . This happens due to internal working silos on the back-end and complex loan servicing arrangements that not only make it difficult for FIs to manage lending but that impede a streamlined customer experience.
Customer Application Experiences, Interrupted
In our last piece, we described Diane’s experience applying for a mortgage. Not only was she unable to complete the application online, but she was also bounced around between relationship managers. Instead of having a cohesive experience from end-to-end, she was met with friction at every turn. Much of this was due to silos across business lines and product integration.
While it’s common FIs to have separate departments and business partners across different loans and other financial services, lack of communication and collaboration (business line silos) add friction to the customer experience. Instead of working together and anticipating a cross-section of customer needs, each department acts separately, leading to additional hurdles for customers to overcome when their needs change.
Customers find it tedious to deal with bouncing from one department to the next to handle tasks that appear related. Many modern FIs try to encourage collaboration between their back-office departments. This behind-the-scenes teamwork helps streamline service, increases productivity, and ensures that each member or customer has a seamless experience no matter which department with which they interface.
Modern systems must also accommodate the complexities of processing and servicing mortgage loans, including for lenders that hand-off loans to sub-servicers. These scenarios present an opportunity for an optimized, streamlined customer experience — or a friction-laden, subpar one.
Easing Digital Friction
On the digital front, silos lead to a discombobulated experience across the board. Without self-service support that helps customers resolve their issues quickly and easily, the customer experience suffers. In Diane’s experience, she had to jump from a failed mobile attempt to a failed laptop attempt to an awkward call where she was bounced between departments. This is the type of fractured experience that leads to customers permanently jumping ship for a more convenient option.
Information must be easy to find across all digital channels — whether via live chat, chatbots, intuitive navigation, easy-to-use search functionality, or contextual FAQ widgets. Taking it one step further, FIs must have the infrastructure and internal training to support a contextual, action-focused digital experience that anticipates each customer’s next steps and provides the necessary guidance to help them get where they need to be.
Perhaps most importantly, FIs must be equipped to deliver a consistent experience across mobile and online — and these channels should be a priority. Modern, digital banking platforms should enable a cohesive experience along every touchpoint in the customer journey and support streamlined cross-selling without adding friction.
With the right platform like MeridianLink One, FIs can make account opening, loan origination and mortgage lending a hassle-free experience for both consumers and FI staff. In an era of convenience, having these simple procedures is no longer a “bonus” but a necessity to keep up with the competition.
Diane’s Saga Continues…
Diane just wanted a fast, seamless experience -- and to expand her relationship with Big Little Bank. Rather than taking advantage of the opportunity to deliver a great customer experience and cross-sell, Big Little Bank dropped the ball and lost a customer.
In our next blog, we’ll find out what happens at the end of Diane’s journey, and how next-gen FIs can prepare for the digital economy this year and beyond.