BLOG VIEW: Under pressure from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), mortgage servicers are placing greater emphasis on improving the customer experience. It's a worthy goal, not just because it will satisfy regulators but also because it can yield measurable savings for the servicer's contact center.
What follows are five things every mortgage servicing contact center can do now to improve customer experience:
1. Get callers to the right agent.
Review your call routing rules, and make sure your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) applications automatically assess loan-level criteria to direct callers to the right agent the first time. Callers at varying levels of delinquency should be routed to different queues. Similarly, borrowers in bankruptcy, foreclosure or who are Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)-qualified should be directed to designated queues. Periodically reviewing your business rules to ensure callers get directly to the agent best able to serve them will reduce caller frustration and deliver significant improvements in call center efficiency.
2. Deliver the borrower's account information to the agent.
For any consumer, nothing is more frustrating than entering your loan number into an IVR system and then being asked for your loan number once again when your call reaches an agent. Not only is it a customer satisfaction killer, the process of re-authenticating the borrower also adds 15 to 20 seconds to every call. By interfacing your IVR application with your phone switch using computer telephony integration (CTI) functionality, you can "pop" the borrower's account information on the agent's desktop when the phone rings. Borrowers will be impressed, and your agents will be able to process more calls per day because of the time saved on each call.
3. Clean up that old IVR script.
You train and retrain your agents to ensure that they are meeting the changing needs of your borrowers. Your IVR script needs the same level of attention. Examine the script to ensure you do not have an endless maze of menus. Clean up the verbiage to ensure it is understandable and succinct. Look for ways to quickly deliver the loan information of greatest value to your callers. If you keep your IVR application well maintained, you will increase its value to your borrowers, and you will reduce the percentage of calls that are transferred to agents.
4. Review your website.
As with your IVR applications, your customer-facing website also requires periodic review. The requests of your borrowers continually change, and you may find that different scripting will be needed from time to time to reduce mouse clicks and make pertinent loan information easy to get to and easy to read. Recognizing that borrowers increasingly access the Web from mobile devices, companies should make sure that their site reads well on all devices and is responsive. Having a website that takes advantage of responsive Web design (RWD) provides an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with minimal resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide array of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets.
5. Use customer satisfaction surveys.
The best way to know how your borrowers feel about your service is to ask them. Brief automated surveys presented at the end of a call can provide a wealth of useful data. By surveying borrowers, you can detect and address issues related to your call center processes and the performance of individual agents.
Of course, it is not enough to survey your borrowers. It is critical that you act on the input you receive. Follow up with borrowers where there is a critical issue. Let your agents know how they scored relative to the overall call center, and quickly address any deficiencies with individual agents.
Today, it is all about the customer experience. By making customer satisfaction a high priority in 2015, servicers will create grateful borrowers and will benefit from the improvement in their call center's efficiency. It will be a win-win scenario.
Barry Hays is co-founder and senior vice president of TeleVoice, a provider of call center solutions to the mortgage servicing industry.