Choosing the right mortgage can be a daunting, yet rewarding process, especially for first time buyers. They’ll have likely been looking at houses for years and saving for a deposit for even longer. Indeed, first-time buyers typically save for eight years to afford a deposit to buy a home.
However, when prospective buyers realise just how complicated and convoluted mortgage application processes can be, then purchasing a dream home can very quickly turn into a nightmare.
Buying a house is likely to be the most expensive purchase anybody ever makes, meaning, for the majority of people, the corresponding mortgage will probably be the biggest loan [maximum of four times a salary] they’ll ever take. This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be the worst customer experience they’ll ever have to endure though.
Granted, if your customer doesn’t know their PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) from their ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) or what the very best LTV (Loan to Value) they can hope for is, then they’d be forgiven for thinking they should perhaps prepare for the worse. Indeed, there are countless other acronyms and confusing mortgage terms that can make the applicant feel in the dark and disconnected to the experience before they even begin.
[Journey] Breaks and [Property] Ladders
A typical mortgage application journey involves over 60 sheets of paper, three or four instances of post and at least one visit to a branch. That is, of course, if everything goes according to plan, and there are no so-called breaks in the process.
A ‘journey break’ can occur when a customer is forced to abandon their chosen customer channel [online, telephony, in-branch] because they are unable to proceed along their customer journey. For example, when a customer needs to stop their online journey to proceed offline in order to take ID into a branch. Another potential break in a mortgage customer journey occurs when customers need to wait for documents to be delivered or received before the journey can continue.
Applying for mortgages can be a confusing and complicated process, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be. Are you equipping your mortgage advisors with the industry’s most innovative tools to be able to offer their customers the very best customer experience? Banks should be doing all they can to help customers on the property ladder.
Importance of In-person Interactions
Many of the problems around mortgage customer journeys revolve around the need for complex and important agreements to be explained by agents and signed and verified by customers. When done in person, mortgage applications can be lengthy and involve multiple visits to branch. This so-called ‘high touch’ approach can often be inconvenient for the customer and, considering they must ensure there are sufficient numbers of mortgage advisors in branch when customers want to visit, also not the most cost-efficient approach for the bank.
Remote Channels Can Leave Customers Feeling Distant and Disconnected
While certain banks have invested in their digital offerings to allow their customers to do some of the mortgage application steps, for example, upload documents, remotely, the problem with the so-called high-tech approach is that many banks’ online self-service channels lack the benefits of human interactions. Being able to ask questions and see specific products and services, while feeling reassured throughout a customer journey is crucial for complicated and important processes, which is why customers often end up reverting to offline channels.
High Tech Meets High Touch
Vizolution technology enables banks to offer a unique combination of high tech and high touch, effectively allowing customers and agents interacting remotely, over the phone or online, to share, display, exchange, complete, verify and sign documents as if face to face.
Our solutions supercharge customer contact centre agents and allow them to add a visual component to the call, providing more transparency to the process. This allows the agent to not only explain the intricacies of applying for a mortgage, but show and share what is needed, with the same level of detail and personability as in person.
Giving Your Customers a Leg up on the Property Ladder
A more streamlined mortgage customer journey can reduce the average time from application to offer by half; remove the need to visit branches; and eliminate paper usage, which will, in turn, lead to improved customer satisfaction rates. A CX tech approach that combines the high touch qualities of face-to-face interactions with high tech convenience and costs can also improve business efficiency and has enabled one of our clients to eliminate paper usage, leading to a saving on millions of documents printed and posted per year.
Shorter customer journey times reduce the potential for journey breaks and means less FTE (Full Time Equivalent) dedicated to one case, which allows mortgage advisors to provide more applicants with mortgages, and ultimately help more people buy their dream homes.