If there’s one process in which a customer rarely enters state of “happy,” it could be dealing with their mortgage servicer. Whether it’s for the transfer of their loan, loan management, payment enquiries or forbearance, there will be some level of customer anxiety during the process.
Although many mortgage servicers may view this activity as “the cost of doing business,” they should be thinking about these customer interactions as an opportunity to nurture their customer to make their relationship stickier.
Let’s face it, for most customers dealing with their servicer is an unpleasant, yet necessary, experience. And it’s clearly depressing customer satisfaction.
Retention by refinancing borrowers remains at record lows, with just 18% being retained by their servicers. According to J.D. Power, only 38% of customers say they found the desired information on their servicer’s website within the first two pages. When customers had to visit more than two pages, overall satisfaction declined 55 points. And the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in May 2021 reported that mortgage consumer complaints have reached a three-year high. 
As a result, mortgage servicers are answering the call to make the customer experience faster, easier, clearer, more productive. Especially when many borrowers still think their mortgage is still being managed by the servicers’ key business partners — loan originators who, by association, also have their brand reputations on the line.
Meanwhile, mortgage servicer costs are skyrocketing, particularly in the contact center area.
Never has the need to start building customer trust — and happiness — been more acute.
Fortunately, we have new technologies and tools to address these issues. This encompasses personalizing the customer experience (particularly in self-serve), conversational AI, full visibility of the customer’s journey, operational insights and augmentation to improve live agent performance and more.
Let’s Begin at the Beginning:
Streamline Manual Mortgage Processing
The first step in any loan decision for a current or potential customer (refinancing or forbearance) is collecting the financial and other vital information. Today this task can be labor-intensive and difficult to complete -- specifically, form filling, collecting and curating electronic or printed documents, and maintaining a physical customer file.
Here is where manual processing triggers bottlenecks. When the information contained in customers’ electronic and paper documents is manually entered and re-keyed into the lender system, it increases the possibility of data being recorded inaccurately.
Get Everyone on the Same Page by Automating Credit Origination
One solution to this problem is an automated credit origination platform that helps multiple teams across departments or locations access the same customer documents electronically, according to need and purpose. This creates a single-source information hub with data on customers and their interactions.
This is just one example of the end-to-end capability that’s essential in boosting the customer “smile quotient.” Automating the lending process from start to finish sharpens accuracy, produces real-time data, increases efficiency and cuts decisioning times.
What’s more, automating key stages of the loan origination process helps ensure that risk data undergoes robust governance and control. Automating to deliver key business insights through a powerful business reporting tool adds more value, all of which happens as automation opens the way to creating a more personalized customer experience.
This Time, It’s Personal. Deploy Conversational AI.
We all know the best time to make a great impression is the first impression. So it’s essential to start building customer rapport and trust immediately from the initial contact, whether it’s online or on the phone.
The perfect way to make that contact is by, well, talking. Deploying Conversational AI-enabled chatbots and voice bots for the initial customer engagement starts making the process more personal and productive right from “hello.”
The customer is offered their choice of self-serve options — chatbot, voice bot, live or a combination — to help make them comfortable during the process. Borrowers can connect instantly via a conversational interface to request information, select the most appropriate experience path and speed resolution, often within minutes.
To Augment Satisfaction, Augment the Agent with AI Assist.
Live agents will always be a key factor in creating customer happiness. Agents typically receive periodic retraining to sharpen their skills. Yet, inevitably, new wrinkles can crop up that agents need to not only be aware of, but also equipped to handle.
Live agent AI can not only assist the agent in real time, but it can also provide the customer with a personalized experience in the fraction of the time, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. And live agent AI augmentation appearing on their screens can assist the agent in real time during calls to offer instant options for immediate resolution.
The same AI technology that helps your agents in action can also provide transparency to all your customer interactions and extract key insights to help you measure agent performance and improve service going forward.
Bots Help Happiness Happen for Borrowers
More and more, borrowers are happy to have a self-serve option when interacting with their mortgage servicers. This has accelerated the deployment of AI-powered chatbots and voice bots to engage customers, determine their needs and then facilitate resolving their requests.
Bots can potentially resolve a large portion of customer requests and increase live agent deflection rates up to 80%.
In addition, an all-encompassing automation process can enable Conversational AI to scan every customer interaction in real time, across all channels. AI can predict which interactions, by bot or agent, are tending toward a negative outcome. This can head off potential problems during live calls before they spin out of control.
It’s part of a digital transformation that uses automated processes integrated with Conversational AI with a single focus — happy, loyal and more profitable customers.
 Black Knight Mortgage Monitor, Q4 2020
 JD Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Survey
 Mortgage Servicing Efforts in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau November 2021