In a move to strengthen its compliance and customer satisfaction performance, award-winning aggregator Loan Market “shadow shopped” brokers against seven key indicators.
The initiative implemented in mid-2017 is run by third-party shadow shopping specialists, Core Data. The company deal directly with genuine home loan customers, who then interact with Loan Market brokers. Cored Data engage the customer for feedback at three different points throughout the process to review brokers performance across seven indices including; assurances, compliance, quality, understanding, intention, reaction, environment.
Shadow shopping is part of the group’s three-pronged customer outcomes strategy which includes internal compliance auditing and customer satisfaction program (NPS) according to Loan Market Chief Operating Officer Stephen Scahill.
“The heart of shadow shopping is we are getting the customer’s perspective. Our brokers are hearing from the most important person in the process,” according to Scahill.
“It provides a deeper lense into how the customer felt throughout the process,” he said, adding that it also improves compliance and provides insight into how brokers are performing and where they can improve for their customers.
According to Mr Scahill, the regular pulse-taking of customer insights is particularly important in the current climate with the Royal Commission probing how brokers achieve positive outcomes for customers.
“Shadow shopping gives us the opportunity to stress test our brokers and helps us understand how effective our systems are and how well we are communicating key information,” he said.
Feedback leads to process insights
The aggregated data Loan Market receives from the shadow shopping process is assisting the brand to develop streamlined processes and identify bottlenecks and pain points in the customer journey.
“One interesting theme to emerge was that customers’ uncertainty levels spike in the period between making an appointment and then having that appointment,” Mr Scahill said, adding that customers are often expecting communications in this period.
“If this is a period of uncertainty, we want to provide greater comfort. So we’ve developed tools to aid in this part of the process - setting expectations around the meeting, so they walk into it more confident.”
The individual feedback that brokers receive also enables them to refine their presentation to ensure critical elements are being understood.
Mr Scahill provided the example of a number of customers saying they did not recall discussing their insurance and protection needs, despite it being a standard part of their broker’s presentations.
“That led us to focus on the effectiveness of their processes and then refine them to ensure messages are appropriately timed and delivered to ensure they are absorbed and retained by customers,” he said.
As well as improving processes, the individual scores across the seven indices enable the group and individual brokers to benchmark themselves across the industry.
Currently, Loan Market is performing well when benchmarked against other financial services brands, which Mr Scahill attributes to the group's strong compliance and customer service focus.
“It is pleasing that Loan Market results are above the industry average in every single category and at or near industry best practice in many of the categories,” he said.
If you want to find out more about how Loan Market supports brokers, start your journey here.