In the conversation about lending, empathy isn’t a word that comes up often.
But for lenders that want to knock the borrower experience out of the park, walking in the borrower’s shoes should be a regular practice. If you’re ever stuck on an issue, taking a pause and a fresh look from the end-user perspective will almost always light the best path forward.
Every lender should try walking through their own loan process. As you examine it from the borrower’s perspective, does it live up to the experience you’d want to have?
We think the marriage of empathy and technology is a winning combination. So, let’s walk for a minute in the modern borrower’s shoes, and think about their needs.
Financial guidance. A borrower is coming to your institution because they don’t have immediate access to funds. This means they are likely making a significant financial decision that could be consequential to their finances. To boot, the financial services landscape is full of many different products, each with their own financial impact.
Through that lens, one of the lender’s first tasks is to help the borrower choose the right financial product for their situation. They may have come seeking a personal loan, but does a home equity loan offer a better rate or terms? A trusted lender will help them understand the options available so they can make an informed and confident decision – and then build on that trust with a winning process.
Transparency. Younger generations of borrowers, in particular, came of age during the financial collapse of 2008, and as a result, are entering the financial marketplace with healthy skepticism. They’re also natives in the digital world, and are used to getting the information they need with a click.
These borrowers want full transparency and easy access to information. From start to finish, they want to understand the product, the process and the timeline. If something changes, they expect to be in the loop, in near real-time. Can you deliver that? (If you’re using the LenderClose platform, the answer is an easy “yes.” Up-to-the-minute information is always one click away.)
Responsive. Whether someone walks through your branch door, picks up the phone, or starts a loan application online, will the experience be intuitive, responsive, and efficient? Can a borrower start the loan process in one channel and easily move to another? When they operate in the channel of their preference – and no matter which it is – can you feel confident that their experience will be consistent – and consistently good, for that matter?
An effective omni-channel approach like this has just the right balance of human touch and technology. At the core, it’s powered by technology that is fast and efficient and makes everything feel simple and convenient for the borrower. It also improves and streamlines internal processes – and a happy, less-burdened staff can deliver friendly, responsive service with ease.
So, start with the end in mind. Imagine what will make your borrowers feel valued and happy, and let that be your north star. Then implement the technology that will enable it every time.
You might also like: Meet Trinh Le-Coulter, LenderClose Director of Operations.