Overcoming the Challenges of Providing Customer Support for Mortgage Lenders
The mortgage industry is ever-changing with the enhanced regulatory requirements that are proposed and should be applied. With pre-underwriting taking much of the mortgage lenders’ time, customer support is there to accept the load of answering customer queries. Outsourcing customer support has been the answer to maximize business growth.
But behind all the success of providing customer service for clients of mortgage lenders, the customer support team faces certain challenges in providing a consistently excellent service. It is not easy being a middleman as there are language and cultural barriers that you might face for those customers who are not fluent in the universal language. Consider as well the time zone differences and dealing with not just angry and frustrated customers but also those who are desperate about extending their dues because they can’t bear to have their property on foreclosure notice.
The Importance of Exceptional Customer Support
Customer support contributes to the successful transactions of a mortgage firm. They help the client understand by answering the questions that are too difficult for the clients to comprehend. After all, what is a business without customer support?
Customers prefer a mortgage company with customer support that they can get a hold whenever they have a question. A study shows that 63% of the customers would switch mortgage services for better customer service.
A team of customer support representatives assists the borrowers and prepares them for the application process. They answer client questions such as mortgage payments and rates. They ensure that the entire process is clear on the side of the customers. That the customers understand the breakdown of their mortgage payments, the term of the loan and when their payments are due. It is important for borrowers to have a clear knowledge about the process to avoid misunderstandings and complications in the future.
Customer Support for Mortgage Lenders
Someone who hasn’t worked in customer support might think the job seems easy enough. But no. The work goes beyond answering someone’s questions and handling requests from the other end of the line. There are many bumps for you to master the art of customer support. In the mortgage industry, there are challenges most outsourced agents are having a difficult time.
1. Language and cultural barriers
The Center for Immigration finds that 67.3 million residents in the United States speak foreign languages at home, and 38 percent of them speak English less than very well. As of 2018, about 44.7 million immigrants are residing in the U.S. The majority of the immigrants are Hispanic or Latino and Asians.
Non-English speakers represent the growing population of the U.S and they are facing difficulties in accessing financial products and services like in housing and mortgage. The policies are prepared in English format and there is no oral interpretation service provided. Left with no choice, these borrowers often rely on someone who’s more proficient in English to act as their interpreters. However, these self-provided interpreters are most of the time without the necessary understanding of how the mortgage process works. As a result, a misunderstanding about mortgage payments or on whether the interest rate is either fixed or adjustable will likely turn up.
Another problem is that outsourced customer representatives are mostly English speakers. It may turn out challenging for a customer with limited English terms to understand what the representative is trying to emphasize. Customers may also have a tough time explaining what they want. That limits the capability of a representative in extending help to customers when both can’t understand what the other person is trying to say.
2. Time zone differences
There is a challenge in communication when there is a difference in time zones. For instance, the customer support team should reach out to clients after 8 in the morning and before 9 pm. Outsourced customer supports may work around 9 pm to 6 am to serve customers during business hours in their area.
For smooth business operations, it’s best that you outsource the work to a customer support team who can guarantee quality service at a rate that you can afford. Most outsourcing agreements allow for a shared services arrangement wherein customer service is paired with after-hours support, such as email and chat, which allows for round-the-clock inbound customer support.
3. Dealing with obsolete information
Exceptional customer service demands the right tools and accessible resources are made available to customer support agents. Obsolete information leads to misguided decisions and confusion for both customers and the support team. Agents cannot give confident answers to customers because there’s doubt as to the accuracy of data. Also, the time spent in checking the supporting documents just to answer a question forces customers to wait, which aggravates an already explosive situation.
To reduce friction and ultimately resolve whatever conflict that may arise, make sure that you provide updated information to your customer support team. If you had to hire a data entry team to help update customer information as well as corporate data, then do so. With these teams working together, your consumers are assured that they’re served with accurate information that will aid them in making informed decisions. In this way, your customer service quality will not suffer, and your customer will be grateful for it.
4. Emotional challenges from customers
While serving your customers, your support team will frequently encounter angry customers. When providing customer support for mortgage lenders, you will receive calls of frustrated and angry homeowners. Some individuals will be asking desperately to extend their dues as they cannot pay for their mortgage and can’t afford to lose their home or property to foreclosure.
Empathize with the customer no matter how angry they get. Make them feel that you understand their frustrations. Then, resolve the issue by offering available options that are suited to their problems. If what they are requesting is not possible, firmly say no and think of other solutions for you to be able to help them.
If this is something you’d like to explore in your mortgage lending business, click the button below to schedule a meeting with our consultant. Ask about how you, too, can take advantage of outsourcing to provide excellent customer service. Increase customer satisfaction, enrich and protect your customer data, and scale up or down your operations as needed.