Choice CEO explains why instead of being a threat, digital technologies can play a powerful role in delivering better client experiences
Digital document signing, client identification apps, data capture tools – it can seem as if there is a new technological ‘game-changer’ in the mortgage market almost every other month, and the pace of change for brokers and their clients shows no signs of abating.
The digital and data revolution has already transformed the broking industry beyond recognition over the past two decades, allowing for the outsourcing of key services, improving the flow of information and facilitating more efficient customer service.
In the future, we at Choice expect software platforms to become increasingly important for storing and leveraging customer information and processing loans – and supporting brokers to deliver an enhanced value proposition.
Maintaining the personal touch
While innovations such as electronic documentation and paperless mortgages will continue to enable better performance across the value chain, technology will not replace the need for high-quality face-to-face advice.
The mortgage broking industry was built on personal service and while the majority of today’s consumers are “digital natives”, the sheer volume of loan options in the Australian market, and the rapid pace of market change means they will continue to require the valued advice of an industry expert.
What technology has provided is options for making administrative tasks and communications more efficient. Looking forward, we can also expect technology to increase the opportunity-set for brokers, allowing them to engage with customers earlier in the process – for example, at the start of their home buying journey rather than only the beginning of their home loan journey.
Customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, have become one of the most valuable technological tools for enhancing customer experiences.
As well as being a great way to store and access customer information, CRMs are also enhancing brokers’ marketing and customer service capabilities.
CRMs allow broking businesses to embed their best sales and customer service processes to guide brokers through every customer interaction, enabling brokers to deliver a consistently high level of service.
This technology has also helped to minimise the time and energy it takes to stay in contact with clients. Brokers can now access professionally designed campaigns and articles, which can be automated at key touch points throughout the loan life cycle, such as a settlement date or loan expiry.
With Choice’s Podium technology, for example, our brokers now have access to a range of professional email campaigns, many with SMS capability, which supports them to spend more valuable face time with clients, but continue to build deeper, more rewarding relationships with leads and other clients at the same time.
While there will always be the need for face-to-face service or a congratulatory phone call, CRMs are making it much easier for brokers to maintain constant touchpoints with clients. The challenge for brokers is to ensure they are using a quality CRM and using it to its full potential. Take the time to get to know your CRM system – a quality aggregator will happily provide tutelage to help you maximise its CRM’s capacity.
At Choice we know the pace of technological change can sometimes be daunting. To help brokers to identify and make use of the tools that will be most suitable for their businesses, we have invested heavily in training and development for our members.
From comprehensive one-on-one training to support through webinars, we will continue to focus on helping our members to upskill in digital, to enable their businesses to be competitive into the future.
Stephen Moore has been the CEO of Choice Aggregation and Choice Home Loans since 2010. Choice Aggregation reached its 20th birthday this year, in addition to surpassing $60bn in the value of its trail book and 1500 brokers.