In an age where every other industry is jostling to evolve and stay ahead of the curve, the lending industry has impressively kept up. Slowly and convincingly, lenders continue to prioritize customer experience (CX) in favor of low interest rates. While that’s a good thing, not all players in this budding industry are aware of where to start when it comes to providing a positive customer experience.
In this article, we explore four easy and practical ways to get started.
1. Improve Loan Processing Time
We live in a busy world and people want to get what they want, when they want it. Loans are no exception to this rule. To expedite the loan process, lenders need to embrace automation in its entirety. The good thing about automation is that it can be helpful at every phase of the process — from the loan application and risk evaluation to underwriting and disbursement. In the initial stages, the automated loan processing system ensures data consistency and accuracy in accordance with the laid-down policy. Afterward, it integrates with the lending engine to fast-track credit decisions.
At the very least, automating previously paper-heavy processes can reduce loan processing time from weeks to days. But depending on the number of borrowers a lender receives at any given time, that time frame could be shortened even further. It’s the kind of speed that the modern borrower has come to expect and crave, and lenders have no option but to oblige.
2. Prioritize Embedded Lending
A certified buzzword, embedded lending is a way to provide financing options right inside a customer’s buying journey. That means merchant customers don’t need to empty their virtual carts or leave the website to explore convenient funding options — they can do it right at the point of purchase with just a few clicks. For lenders, embedded lending means an opportunity to be inserted into the moment a merchant customer identifies a funding need. It means being top-of-mind when it matters the most.
This is especially beneficial for lenders looking to offer a truly simplified experience that adds value to their merchant customers — boosting engagement and CLTV in the process. For example, LendingFront has made embedded lending a crucial part of its technology, which is a big win for lenders and customers alike. Lenders can send pre-approved loan offers based on their specific credit policy, while customers can receive capital in under 24 hours.
3. Consistency is the Name of the Game
We couldn’t possibly mention customer experience without throwing omnichannel experience right into the mix; the two concepts are almost inseparable. The thing about today’s savvy borrowers is that they crave to connect with their lenders across all possible channels, both offline and online — think mobile phone, emails, social media, or in-person. They want to have the flexibility to start the interaction on any convenient channel and continue or finish on a different one. And they’re not willing to settle for less. By maintaining consistency across all touchpoints, lenders can greatly reduce churn and build a truly holistic lending experience.
4. Integrate Self Service Capabilities into Existing Workflows
Lenders have evolved with the times, and they’re now hardly ever dependent on customer support personnel. Most would rather seek out information or solve a problem alone than call for help. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, 81% of all customers attempt to take care of issues themselves before reaching out to a live representative — across industries.
Going by that reality, it’s fair to say that leveraging self-service support or interactive chatbots is a no-brainer for the modern lender. Borrowers want more than just access to the requisite product information. They need their queries and concerns answered promptly and conveniently, and the only way to achieve that is to put out relevant, timely content across all their favorite digital platforms. Admittedly, this level of self-service is hard to actualize, but when done right, it can lead to high levels of customer satisfaction.
Behold, The Future of Lending is Here
Above all else, customers want to be valued and understood. Lenders that prioritize providing their customers with an exceptional experience will ultimately enjoy a higher success rate and better retention levels. The customer may not always be right, but helping them feel heard could shift the whole conversation in a lender’s favor. Borrowers need to feel a deep connection to their lender of choice, and improving the customer experience is an important part of that equation.