Customer Experience


5 mins

Choice is the Driver for Experience

When you go to the supermarket, it’s nice having someone ring up and bag your groceries. But, sometimes, you know that going through the self-checkout line would be faster, even though it’s more work for you. Some of these stores also offer the option of ordering your groceries online and picking them up curbside or having them delivered to avoid the store altogether. The bottom line is; people run the gambit from wanting a full-service experience to wanting to serve themselves–it’s up to companies to let them choose for themselves. 

Many companies across various industries realize that by providing more ways for consumers to engage with their products and services, they are more likely to gain and retain loyal customers. However, as more companies begin to offer the same customer experience, it’s the ones who continuously improve CX through analyzing their consumer data that are the most successful.   

Help Homeowners Help You

Data from the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) shows that servicing expenses increased in 2021. Combine that with decreasing servicer productivity; it’s no wonder that net operating and financial income levels are less than desirable. 

Mortgage Bankers Association Servicing Expenditures Graph

Mortgage Bankers Association Servicer Productivity graph.

Mortgage Bankers Association net servicing income graph.

The MBA notes that the top three direct servicing costs are systems, customer service, and loss mitigation. It makes sense for a service-based industry.  But shouldn’t the systems be used to lower the associated costs of customer service and loss mitigation? Better, wouldn’t it be easier if servicing systems and customer service lived on the same line of the balance sheet?

Supplements not Additives

There are surprising parallels between mortgage servicing systems and food. With food, we want it to be free of additives that slow down our bodies, but added supplements that improve our health processes are welcome. It’s the same with servicing systems. Stacking software on top of each other actually creates more work and hinders operational efficiency. What’s needed is a connected digital infrastructure that empowers servicers to work smarter, not harder, and provide a customer experience that consumers have grown accustomed to. 

Like a successful supermarket, when servicers can provide their customers with the accessibility level in a format they prefer, they enable the consumers to self-serve where possible. By offering homeowners the choice to self-serve, servicing support teams can manage the more complex customer issues—which, in turn, boosts operational efficiency and revenue. 

Mortgage Bankers Association top servicing costs graph.

Self-Service Doesn’t Mean They’re on Their Own

White-glove mortgage servicing and consumer-led servicing are not mutually exclusive. Putting on our hospitality hat for a moment, thousands of successful business models like resorts, casinos, and cruise ships provide both and let their guests choose for themselves. 

By providing more pathways to customer success, Servicers reduce the stress teams experience trying to do everything all at once. As organizations shift to an end-to-end digital servicing platform, they discover that the old metric of loans per employee can change to the number of customers helped. After all, isn’t that what’s most important?

Proactive Servicing Begins With Data

When people agree to engage with products digitally, most people are aware (to some degree) that their interactions are being tracked. As long as there’s transparency and the assurance that their data is secure, many people are okay with it, providing it delivers a satisfactory experience. Through digital accessibility, Servicers have many more data points they can use to continually improve the customer experience—which we’ll discuss soon. 

However, the most significant barrier to Servicers consolidating, managing, and analyzing their data (instead of relying on third parties) are the disparate technologies and paper systems they’ve had to use for decades. It’s not to say these processes don’t work at all, but they are highly restrictive due to their reactionary nature and the snail’s pace at which they take place.  

By moving to a connected digital infrastructure, not only can consumers self-serve and speed up servicing processes, but Servicers can also take a more proactive approach to consumer interactions. At a high level, there are four primary metrics Servicers should focus on to provide a proactive servicing experience. 

Customer Issue Resolution Effectiveness

Solving a homeowner’s problem is a primary duty of a mortgage servicer. Understanding if your organization is doing that in a compliant and timely manner that is satisfactory to both investors and regulators is critical. Below are some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that servicers can track to understand that. 

  • How many times did the borrower contact the servicer to resolve their problem?
  • How long did each contact/communication take?
  • Was the 1st resolution offered accepted and effective?

Engagement History By Channel and Consistency

Servicers attempting to provide homeowners with more access points should track and analyze the channels they engage with. Also, understanding consumer payment consistency is crucial to help Servicers engage and assist homeowners that could have encountered hardship. Here are a few examples of KPIs of this type.

  • What channel are customers reaching out via?
  • What times are customers reaching out?
  • Has their engagement changed, including payment schedule/frequency?

Reason for Contacting

A homeowner contacts their Servicers for hundreds of different reasons daily. Understanding the most common ones will help Servicers streamline their processes and deliver a better overall experience. Here are some top KPIs to track.

  • What are the most common issues?
  • Are customers able to quickly discover the answers to their questions?
  • Are issues tied to FEMA disaster-impacted locations?

Understanding Property Location

Knowing where your customers are located can provide valuable insights to help Servicers better assist homeowners. A simple yet frequently overlooked metric tied to location is service time lost based on time zone. Below is a couple of other location-based KPIs to consider.

  • Are they in a FEMA disaster-impacted location?
  • Have property values changed?

“The ability for customers to self-service a FEMA disaster forbearance through this on their own time is a big win.”

~ James Campbell, Executive VP of Flagstar Bank

How to Act on Experience Data

Collecting and analyzing experience data is a fool’s errand unless acted upon. Based on the KPIs above, some ways to improve customer experience with mortgage servicing are as follows. 

Rebalance Communication Channels to Support the Demand

Once Servicers grasp which communication channels homeowners prefer, they can provide more focus on those areas. For example, if customers mostly reach out digitally, they can expand digital support and website self-service.

Create Personalized Digital Outreach Campaigns

Like anything else, mortgage servicing is a business, and businesses need to retain customers. Servicers can keep many more customers by providing the proper assistance at the correct time. Through analyzing the above KPIs, servicers can segment and target customers for personalized outreach instead of a blanket approach. These methods could prevent default scenarios through fast outreach to homeowners impacted by natural disasters or provide assistance education to customers whose payment consistency has changed.

Provide the Right Omni-Channel Communication Experience

Nothing frustrates a customer more than having to wait a long time on hold just to get an answer to a simple question. By knowing the homeowners’ questions before they ask them, Servicers can utilize automation to answer common questions and guide them in the direction of their choice to get help with the tougher ones. 

Early Resolution Customization

Unfortunately, homeowners aren’t always going to be proactive in preventing default. However, that doesn’t mean that Servicers can’t be proactive and offer customized first early resolution offerings to get the ball rolling and attempt to reduce the rollover rates of delinquent loans. 

If you want to learn more about Proactive Mortage Servicing KPIs, download our ebook.