This piece originally appeared in the February 2022 edition of DS News magazine, online now.
In 1999, a bright-eyed Jeff Bezos told CNBC: “What matters to me is, do we provide the best customer service?”
Bezos was talking on behalf of his five-year-old company, Amazon, whose market cap had just surpassed $30 billion. He continued: “I believe that if you can focus obsessively enough on customer experience— selection, ease of use, low prices, more information to make purchase decisions with— if you can give customers all of that, plus great customer service … I think you have a good chance.”
As of January 2022, Amazon’s market cap has surpassed $1.6 trillion.
What does Amazon have to do with the mortgage industry? In function, not much. But in terms of how modern consumers make buying choices, Amazon’s obsession with customer service has raised the bar for all companies, in all industries, everywhere.
Like many trends that had emerged pre-COVID-19, the pandemic only compounded modern consumer expectations. When disallowed or unwilling to gather in public, consumers conducted more and more of their lives digitally, in the sanitary havens of their homes. Once making the shift to digital commerce, customers got a taste for it: companies like Adobe and Visa believe new digital shopping and payment habits are permanent.
How Does This Impact the Mortgage Industry?
Low interest rates and surging demand for homes have heated up the mortgage industry since the beginning of the pandemic. While the wave of refinances may have already crested, it has yet to crash, as homeowners continue to take advantage of low rates. And with inventory still lagging demand, prices for new homes remain high.
A McKinsey report estimates a total mortgage industry volume in excess $2.5 trillion for each of the next three years—about 40% higher than the 2010-2019 average. That means huge opportunity for loan originators … if they’re equipped to service today’s customers.
Which, McKinsey reports, most aren’t. “Many origination and servicing processes are still slow, labor intensive, and fragmented.” The impact of outdated servicing mechanisms? “Elevated costs and delayed cycle times,” not to mention dramatically reduced customer satisfaction—by as much as 40%, per ICE Mortgage Technology’s Origination Insight Report.
To take full advantage of a booming purchase market, lenders must obsess over customer service. Robust digital options, prompt response time, good bedside manner, and regulatory scruples have never been more important.
Partner With a Proven Subservicer
TMS Subservicing was built to disrupt an outdated servicing industry, to put an end to sub-par subservicing. Originally an originator, TMS knew the most common pain points—and how to address them. Namely, subservicing was slowed down by old tech and hamstrung by uncaring representatives who left a sour taste in customers’ mouths.
With an overarching goal to Grow Happiness through experience with customers, clients, and employees alike, TMS combines great people with great tech to set subservicing industry standards.
- Data-Driven Insights: SIME, TMS’s proprietary servicing portal, gives clients 24/7/365 access to their portfolios, including customizable dashboards, 90+ standard and customizable reports, customer payment trends, loan-level detail and raw data, and customer call recordings.
- Digital Autonomy: SIME powers TMS’s Happinest app, which lets customers manage all their mortgage affairs—leading to an 80% self-service rate.
- Prompt Service: From less-than-one-minute wait times to 90% first-call resolution rate, TMS’s CAREologists (their fleet of customer care representatives) address customer inquiries quickly and accurately.
- A+ Customer Satisfaction: During the pandemic, TMS hit 98% customer satisfaction—a new organizational record.
Like the nascent Amazon, TMS is obsessed with customer service. The combination of CAREologists and SIME has helped them anticipate payment trends faster and more compassionately than last-gen processes possibly could. As a result, TMS has kept forbearance and delinquency rates well below the market average since the beginning of the pandemic—good news for customers, and great news for clients.
The farther we travel from the dawn of the pandemic, the more consumers expect a gratifying customer experience. If your subservicer provides anything less, it’s probably time to consider a switch.