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A Word from Jim: A Brief History of Borrower Satisfaction

Years ago, while discussing the insights into borrower behavior we were deriving from our borrower feedback, I was encouraging a mortgage company CEO to consider doing his own surveying, and I can still remember his reply. He looked at me, took off his glasses for emphasis, and said: ‘Jim, I am in the mortgage business, not the customer satisfaction business.’

On some level, I understood what he meant. The word “profession” brings to mind descriptors like knowledgeable, trained, and qualified. Working with a mortgage professional is like working with a lawyer, a doctor, or an engineer in the way that people are looking, and paying, for your wisdom. In addition, in the case of the CEO, a result: ‘I give them the lowest rate, so that is how I know they are happy.’

I see things a little differently. 

Not asking our customers about their experience is a missed opportunity. At the very least, you get an opinion, or insight into what you can do better. That is what drove us to start collecting feedback over 20 years ago – we wanted to continually refine our service and help optimize the homeownership experience. In addition, we wanted to gain insight into what would drive borrowers to come back to our customers.

The facts are just the facts. Referral business is a cornerstone of this industry. Word of mouth has always mattered—and word travels fast.

Correction: Good word travels fast. A bad reputation travels at light speed.

Take that and then add in the x-factor that is technology. Social media is an echo chamber and a bad review in the right place can catch on before you even know about it. Word of mouth reaches thousands, millions, billions—with the press of a button. Mortgage professionals rely on it for a good portion of our business, so you can see the importance of every single great customer service experience.

The rise of influencer marketing and user reviews is evident in every other industry. From restaurants, to hotels, to retail—people trust the experiences of their peers. When it comes to customer satisfaction these days, reviews and ratings are not just an option—they are expected! With apps, websites, and other technology, services like Yelp and Amazon offer a trusted, centralized place for that feedback.  

What will customer feedback in the mortgage industry look like 5 years from now? We have some trustworthy directory sites, but maybe the future of “mortgage business” is connected to the “customer satisfaction business”. If there was a centralized, easy-to-use rating system online—how would your service and business stack up? I’m proud to say that we have 20 years’ worth of constructive feedback in the industry to tell us how we would.

Correction: 20 years and counting…

By: Equity National Title   April 11, 2017   Borrowers, Mortgage, Lenders, Consumers, Title, Closing, Feedback, Experience   Why Feedback Matters


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