Five-star service should be the minimum offering across the board in the mortgage industry, but the fact is it’s often inconsistent — and that’s something lenders need to be paying more attention to.
“Service isn’t missing entirely, but the challenge is that it doesn’t become table stakes all the time,” said Grant Armstrong, director, national sales at Community Trust. “Broker partners want responsiveness, they want accountability. In the alt space you’ve got brokers that will choose service over products when deciding which lender to work with.”
Even allowing for the fact that service can be affected by changes in the market, it fluctuates across companies and generally lacks an industry standard. While it’s clear service is important to every lender and a top-tier approach is something everyone strives for, “sometimes it can slip,” Armstrong noted.
Delivering stellar service is something that lenders need to focus on, prioritize and plan for because meeting the service expectations of business partners is only becoming more critical. Community Trust has spent the last year and half “really defining and improving its arsenal of products and services for clients and brokers,” Armstrong said, adding now’s the time to turn that focus on delivering five-star service to match. Tackling that objective is at the head of its 2021 plans to match the demand from brokers who want to be able to pick up the phone, send an email or log into Community Trust’s portal and get live, current information without playing telephone or email tag.
Brokers are managing clients that are calling them, asking what’s going on with their file, or what the status of things are, or what’s the solution to any number or questions or concerns. Lenders need to ensure they have systems in place to support the brokers by providing those answers back, Armstrong said.
“Having the resources to keep business partners and clients up to date is just as important as having the resources to make credit decisions and instruct and complete files,” he noted, adding even at the best restaurants in the world if the service is not fantastic, no matter how good the food is, you’re not going back — and Community Trust wants its business partners to come back.
Community Trust aims to change the industry’s expectations when it comes to this pillar of business, “so everybody gets a great level of service, everyone experiences something spectacular and all acknowledge that service is table stakes,” said Armstrong.
“We want people to walk away — whether it’s their first time working with us or their fiftieth — and say, ‘Hey, that was an unbelievable experience. I love working with them.’”