Are you having a hard time increasing the level of output of your company? Is your company struggling to manage these changes? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you need to first look at the processes you currently have in place.
It amazes me how many brokerages are still focusing on results without fixing the processes required to actually achieve them!
Having processes in place starts from the broker’s first call to the customer, to the broker delegating a task to their support team, to the support team following up on client files, with the lender and support collecting feedback from the customer.
Fantastic customer experience is no longer just about face-to-face contact with the mortgage broker – it’s about what goes on behind the scenes as well. Customers can quickly tell when things aren’t going well, especially if there are big delays in turning around their application.
Most brokers have a fear of delegation, but great processes give brokers the confidence in their support team and allow them to focus on selling.
I believe in taking small steps to achieve massive process improvements. We like to keep our processes as simple as we can – simple for our brokers, support staff, lenders and our customers.
The best way to achieve this is by mapping your processes and identifying customer pain points.
Before taking this step though, always ask yourself: why should this be done, and why do we want to do this? This will give you a clearer picture of how you want things to be done and if it is scalable for your company.
The next step is to form a process team. The proper choice of team members and how they are trained is equally important.
This team will focus on value-added processes and trim unnecessary steps. For example, as part of our process improvement project, we effectively eliminated unnecessary follow-ups for valuation reports – something that was done by the support team in the past.
We also analysed data from missing information requests by lenders and found that most of these requests were due to poor submissions. We are now working on the solution, starting with their initial training on processes.
Let me pinpoint what benefits we have seen through process improvement and how far we have come:
• We have mapped our processes and removed non-value-added tasks. We no longer print and scan a client file several times throughout the process – dark days that we like to forget.
• We created both broker and support manuals for each and every task in the application process. This has made it a lot easier to hold team members accountable and to train new staff.
• The number of applications that support can handle is now higher. Our brokers are hardly ever involved in the process and our customers love the efficiency.
You cannot imagine how practical and easy the process can be when both your brokers and your support team are involved in the improvement process.
Having good processes has a lasting impact on a company and employee morale and the results you can achieve will justify all of the time and effort.
Urika Shrestha is a broker support manager at Home Loan Experts.
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