Lenders are under more pressure than ever to provide borrowers with a holistic lending experience in this competitive market. In fact, borrowers have come to expect a more thorough digital experience not only when applying for a loan but also during the closing process. Too often, lenders place a much stronger emphasis on the loan application process than on the post-submission process. Once the loan is approved, originators tend to think the bulk of their work is done and move on, but they must understand that true customer service should occur throughout the entire loan process and is particularly crucial during the days or weeks after borrowers submit their loan applications.
If lenders place too much focus on the loan application process and not enough on the loan approval process, they risk alienating their borrowers and being referred to new customers. Technology, which has made it easier for borrowers to complete loan applications, can also create greater transparency throughout the loan application and post-submission processes.
A Golden Opportunity
During the post-submission period, lenders have the opportunity to communicate with borrowers on status updates and other important information. Typically, borrowers will contact their lender with questions about providing supporting documents and their loan closing. Lenders who proactively provide borrowers with access to loan summary information, with outlines of key loan data points such as rate, loan amount and loan type, in addition to the ability to upload or download documents for reference create an opportunity to enhance their customer service. At this stage in the origination process, borrowers also look to receive details about outstanding items and where the loan is in the process, which might include the underwriting approval status and closing instructions and location.
When improving availability to borrowers in the post-submission phase, lenders can especially leverage technology for efficient and meaningful communications by using a portal or centralized site for improved communications throughout the origination process. Using this site, chatbots, and message centers can help borrowers with real-time requests regardless of the time of day, and if necessary, transfer them to staff to answer more complex questions.
Borrowers typically have common questions and concerns during this period, so having intelligent assistants to help them find the documents they need or show workflows to complete tasks helps free up staff for more difficult expectations and special requests. Using this portal, lenders can have automated workflows that help borrowers stay on track with their to-do lists, and offer value through dashboards that showcase loan summary information, property details, and value-added loan calculators. These portals can be a centralized resource for borrowers to self-service throughout the origination process, and offer them peace of mind that they have all the information they need at their fingertips.
By improving the post-submission experience for borrowers, lenders can improve their conversion rate while freeing staff time. Borrowers, on their part, have access to the information and reminders they need for a simple closing and have better access to real-time responses to their requests. It is important to note that consumers do not always make borrowing decisions solely on rate and payment; rather, many are influenced by trust and reliability, and prefer to give their business to valued lenders as a reward for superior customer service.