for these free STRATMOR
Reach out to us to discuss
your specific needs.
Not long ago, my wife let me know she was having a particularly challenging day with our one- and three-year-old daughters. The former had emptied her smoothie all over the floor and the other was refusing to eat her Cheerios because, and I quote, “They’re too round.” In true clueless-husband fashion, my response was to simply suggest that she make the smoothie-spiller help her clean up the mess and tell the Cheerio-critic that she could just try eating them again for lunch…then dinner if need be. Anyone know what I missed here? If you didn’t immediately think, “Empathy!” then this article is for you.
It’s been a tough year, and we’re not even halfway through. Borrowers and lenders are facing the same challenging environment, just in different ways. Our question this month: How can originators empathize with their borrowers to deepen relationships through the struggles of 2022?
If you’re employed in the mortgage industry in any way right now, it’s pretty easy to throw yourself a pity party. In fact, it might even be justified.
To call it volatile or to say the future is uncertain would be an understatement. So, it’s understandable if there’s a bit of a “woe is me” attitude floating around out there. Last year may have been all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s HARD now. Know that the struggle is real. Even more so, know it’s worth it. Whether it is helping people pursue the American Dream of homeownership, helping them find financial peace through refinancing, or helping them tap their equity to build their dream kitchen, these are all noble and worthy reasons to keep getting out of bed every morning and fighting through the hard times. It’s a fight, but it’s one worth fighting. And you are not alone — we will get through this together.
Let’s pause for a second: When you read all of that just now, did any of it resonate with you? How did it make you feel? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Perhaps seen? Understood? Encouraged? Did it make you feel like you’re not alone in the struggle? Did you feel anything?
When we take in information, we have two conversations that happen inside our brains: a logical one and a visceral one. Our logic tests the information and connects it to other ideas and either accepts or rejects it. Our “gut” on the other hand, tells us how to feel about it. If you’re like most people, both processes were activated just now.
With lower volumes and tightening margins, lenders have to compete not just on the technical offering of their product (product and price) but also on the emotional elements on the offering. They must look to differentiate themselves based on customer experience. The ability to foster deep relationships with both their new and existing customers and their referral partners will be the defining sink-or-swim factor that separates the winners from the losers over the coming months, and perhaps years. Teaching empathy should be part of every lender’s Customer Experience strategy, and it starts with practicing what you preach. If you want your employees to display empathy with customers, you need to first model it by listening to and understanding your employees. STRATMOR Sr. Advisor Sue Woodard just penned a great article on this topic.
Sometimes the best medicine we can take is to look outside ourselves and to help others. Sure, this year has been a bear for mortgage industry professionals, but we need to remember that we’re not the only ones being affected by the current harsh environment. We’re not the only ones feeling the pain.
Put yourself into a borrower’s shoes for a minute:
That’s a lot of weight to be carrying on top of the already stressful, giant-sized financial transaction that is a mortgage. Borrowers need someone to remind them of the big picture, the long game, the value of real estate investment. They need empathy, a listening ear, affirmation.
Here’s a simple pneumonic device you can use to remember how to use empathy to deepen your borrower relationships — a triple-A approach to empathy:
Find out more about STRATMOR Group’s CX services and how transparency into the loan process can help your company. Contact Mike Seminari at email@example.com.
Reach out to us to discuss your specific needs.
Start receiving monthly Customer Experience Tips