The head of a leading brokerage has said that borrowers use brokers to feel “safe” in their lending decisions, but warned that brokers need to “be better at how [they] approach the customer experience”.
Jason Back, managing director of The Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC), told The Adviser: “We really need to get better as an industry about how we approach the aspect of customer experience and how we delight customers.
“Borrowers come to brokers because they want to feel safe. Yes, it’s also about ease, price, choice, service or scepticism of banks, etc. But the overarching reason why people use brokers is that they want to feel safe. They feel safe when the process flows smoothly.
“We have a saying: ‘Tell me the time, not how the watch works’. The customer doesn’t care if the credit is five days behind or that documents take x amount of days — they don’t know what certification of documentation is. So, brokers need a good process to ensure they are meeting expectations. Borrowers assume the home loan process is simple and want it to be simple. So, we need to have our processes down to ensure that it seems that way. Because good processes delight clients.”
Top tip for improving customer experience
According to Mr Back, one exercise brokers can undertake to improve customer experience is a time audit, to ensure that they are focusing on the relationship side of the business over the administrative side.
He explained: “A time audit is about holding yourself accountable to what you’re actually doing, the types of activity you are doing. If you have a large client base and you don’t have a number one position in the market, or you aren’t an expert in a specific field, then you really need to be conscious of the activities you are doing.”
Elaborating, the managing director said: “One of the main challenges that our industry faces is that 75 per cent of brokers are a one-man band, so they don’t have anyone holding them accountable for the time they spend and where they spend it.
“So, a time audit is a really good exercise to run over Christmas, so you can have a think about how you spend your time. Because good time management effectively leads to efficiencies and processes deliver results.”
Mr Back suggested that once brokers understand where their time is going, they should put in place processes for doing each of their daily activities.
“You should have a process for everything — a process for marketing, a process for writing content, a process for calling clients on certain days, a process for how you collect your paperwork. Even a process for processing.”
He gave the example that a broker writing 40 loans a year need not be putting all their time into writing free books for lead generation, because “that is just promoting yourself as an author to a very small audience”.
He said: “People spend a lot of time focusing on the one hour in front of the customer and invest a lot of time and emotion into that customer experience. But for a 60-day settlement, there are 1,440 hours, so why are they focused on just one hour? It’s the other 1,439 hours where the process gets away from brokers and the client experience disintegrates.”
Mr Back concluded: “The main excuse I hear is: ‘I’m so busy.’ But my response to that is: ‘Busy doing what?’ And a lot of the time, people can’t pinpoint it. So, I think that’s what brokers should think about: how they utilise their time, where they are wasting or losing their time, and how they can spend their time doing more effective and efficient things.”
Better Business Summit 2018
Jason Back will host a session on how brokers can boost their business at the Better Business Summit 2018, partnered by NAB.
Visiting Brisbane (15 February), Adelaide (22 February), Melbourne (1 March), Sydney (8 March) and Perth (15 March), the award-winning event provides brokers with straight-talking, practical advice to help drive and grow business.
Mr Back’s session will reveal practical tips, tools and strategies that can bring world-class processes to any mortgage broking business and help quickly increase business productivity and exponentially improve the client journey.
Early bird tickets, which are offered at a discounted rate, are available until this Friday (15 December), so make sure you book your tickets now to secure the best rate.
Find out more information on the Better Business Summit and Better Business Awards from the event website.