Why you must unite online and offline consumer experiences to create a more integrated and digitally enabled customer experience
Mortgage lenders have to consider evolving with consumer needs. Customers — in today’s day and age — demand increased flexibility and on-demand services as part of their modern digital experiences.
What does this change entail for mortgage lenders or service providers who want to provide a seamless experience and place the customer at the center of the transaction?
According to an Unblu blog post, this means lenders provide 24/7 self-guided service and omnichannel interactions. The crux is that today’s customers would rather use self-administered digital services, even for those things they used to do in branches like opening a new bank account. The data reflects these trends as a Capgemini report shows that 76 percent of customers expect an omnichannel experience and most consumers — 59 percent — expect on-demand customer service.
This desire for convenience is especially true for the complex process of mortgage lending. Indeed, buying a home is one of the most overwhelming experiences that individuals have to go through during their lifetimes. This is true even for the most seasoned consumers out there, yet, as OpenClose CRO, Vince Furey, stated on a recent panel at MyCU, “The mortgage process is complicated. [Professionals] all know it because we live it, but consumers don’t. They may get three mortgages in their entire lifetime and each time they get one it’s usually five to seven years since they got the last one. So, what they learned in the first one they already forgot by the second one.”
So, trying to traverse the different phases of purchasing their starter to dream house is never easy; from obtaining financing to finding the right individuals or service providers to help with the buying process.
This is why advisory firm Aite-Novarica Group says 89 percent of consumers are interested in one-stop shopping for the myriad of services involved in purchasing a house.
The omnichannel approach to mortgage lending is a solution because it connects all of a lender’s systems using only one digital platform. What this does — it digitally unites online and offline consumer touch-points, creating a more integrated and constructive customer experience.
What a heavy majority of homebuyers want, as the data above shows is a seamless process that would help them navigate the steps involved in lending starting from account creation and initial onboarding all the way up to paying their mortgage, says Finextra. This approach creates opportunities for lenders and service providers to interact with consumers in every lending phase by utilizing their most favorable channels. The connection options are plenty and real-time connected: mobile phones, phone calls, emails as well as in-person interaction at the brick-and-mortar branch.
To prove this point, an article in Pymnts recently explains how utilizing the omnichannel approach has boosted member satisfaction in credit unions as these organizations have merged the in-branch experience together with personalized, on-brand digital tools so a member can begin the process in a digital channel and finish in a branch or the other way around.
In fact, a Forbes article this month quoted an Omnisend study that said marketers utilizing three or more channels in their campaigns had an 18.96% engagement rate on average, compared to single-channel marketers who had only 5.4% — this means a whopping 250% more engagement from using “pluri-channel campaigns.”
As Finextra notes, customers appreciate that the omnichannel optimization makes use of the borrower’s preferable connection links. Consumers now have the power to choose, at their convenience, how they want to approach the process and to elect which channels to use to connect with their lenders.
Studies demonstrate that these preferences are varied. While up to 60% of customers like a completely online platform and interaction, others prefer a more hybrid approach. Thirty percent of respondents would rather go through the combined route — online lending application together with online and in-person support.
The challenge for mortgage lenders today is to capture all of these fronts as they try to respond to changing consumer expectations. Therefore, the Modern-Day Homebuyer thrives to be digital and not only expects to be in the driver’s seat of an omnichannel mortgage lending experience but also deserves it.