Like many families, at my house we’re getting ready for the holidays. There’s a process involved: we always kick off the season by making 24 dozen pizzelles. Yes, 288 round, hand-made Italian wafer cookies. It’s a big task, and I designed a process to make these cookies as quickly and painlessly as possible. On a Sunday afternoon, I seat my husband Mike at the kitchen table, turn on a Bronco’s game and place a pizzelle iron, a beer and the first round of batter in front of him.
As he is dolloping dough into the cookie iron, sipping his beer and watching the game, I get the next batch ready. Lemon, peppermint, orange/rum and anisette cookies are processed, two-by-two. I’d argue that it’s almost automated since he really has no idea what’s happening until we finish, and all the cookies are assembled. To ensure an optimum experience, I map out the plan (complete the cookies in one Bronco sitting); identify game times; organize the equipment, ingredients, logistics and my trained resource (Mike); and ensure that the process doesn’t run into glitches along the way. The goal: employee engagement (the cookie maker is committed and delighted with the process), and a great customer experience for my family on Christmas Eve (indulging in delicious, traditional Italian cookies). Our pizzelle process works well because, like implementing technology successfully, we integrate planning and commitment from the start.
ln this month’s InFocus article, “Digital Success: The Power of Process Led Implementation,” STRATMOR Senior Partner Michael Grad shares STRATMOR’s recommended process to implement new Point-of-Sale (POS) and Loan Origination Systems (LOS). Michael describes our 360-degree, voice-of-the customer approach that starts with defining the critical customer moments of truth and continues through designing and implementing the enabling process/technology to deliver success from the lender’s perspective. This is a must-read article for every lender facing technology changes, in 2022 and beyond.
Also, this month, congratulations to Guild Mortgage for taking the number one spot in J.D. Power’s annual Origination Satisfaction Study! Guild and Rocket Mortgage have battled for the top two spots for 11 years, and this year Guild pulled out the win. How? They brought order to the chaos that is CX, and in his Borrower Experience article, STRATMOR Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari discusses the critical parts of the process that helped Guild create an award-winning CX strategy. Check out, “From Chaos to Order: An Award-Winning Mortgage CX Strategy.”
Thank you for joining us this month. Please feel free to reach out to your STRATMOR Partner or Principal with your questions about our Process Led Implementation approach or for help with your strategic planning efforts. We’d be happy to help you through the process.
By Michael Grad November 2021
There was a time when the home finance industry was the poster child for slow technology adoption. It was as if the industry was proud to be ten years behind other industries in the implementation of new automation.
Those days are behind us.
While PGR: MBA and STRATMOR Peer Group Roundtables Program data shows that technology only accounts for about 5.5 percent of the total production cost per loan to originate a loan from the point-of-sale through closing/funding, the last few years have seen lenders go back to market en masse in search of new technologies. Many of these recent investments were driven by new Fintech competitors rushing to the mortgage feeding trough and using innovative digital point-of-sale strategies to improve customer experience and streamline the sales-to-fulfillment hand off. Point-of-sale innovation that conveniently automates sourcing borrower data from trusted repositories has spread to the entire loan process, end-to-end (E2E), with incumbent providers trying to expand their value proposition up or downstream based on their initial offering.
Now, lenders are facing new challenges that will likely send them back again to market in search of new and improved technology. Margin compression and lower volumes will drive lenders to seek out new solutions, while at the same time increased M&A activity will have them investing in technologies that will enable them to make necessary pivots to capitalize on new synergies to improve performance.
Meanwhile, there are still many lenders who are progressing on their own paths to digital lending. Every day, we talk to lenders who have realized that their current technologies are simply not capable of supporting their customer-centric growth strategies.
Given this market cycle, and knowing that a new technology design and implementation can take 6 to 18 months to deploy, a misstep now will put some lenders far behind their competitors.
How can lenders bring order to chaos to create an award-winning customer experience (CX) strategy? Customer Experience Director Mike Seminari discusses the three critical components for lenders in the new battlefield for the mortgage customer’s business.
If you pay attention to the industry news, you likely have a sense that mortgage merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is hot right now. But is that factual or just a fiction told by buyers trying to attract sellers?
Using MortgageSAT Borrower Satisfaction Program data, we’ve pinpointed some relatively easy tactics that provide substantial improvements in overall borrower satisfaction.
The Customer Experience (CX) is the hot topic du jour for mortgage lenders. Sue Woodard unpacks the importance of CX, how to measure and track it and how mortgage lenders can level up their approach.