Making Social CRM Work for Mortgage Bankers
Mortgage bankers can leverage social media to better understand consumer preferences and respond with offers and services that more appropriately serve their needs. Here's how.
Social CRM is the use of social media to converse with customers and learn about their needs. It can help mortgage bankers understand where they need to improve. But to get the most benefit from Social CRM, mortgage bankers must listen carefully to what customers are saying, analyze what they are hearing, and then act on those insights to realize competitive advantage.
Industry under Pressure
No industry has been more under siege over the past few years than mortgage banking. Originators have experienced the “triple whammy” of declining volumes, tighter guidelines and repurchase demands. Servicers are reeling from an explosion in the volume of defaults and are hamstrung by antiquated systems and processes.
New, prospective borrowers are asking for more information on services and products and want feedback before deciding on a mortgage bank. Existing borrowers are unhappy with their existing originator banks due to inadequate disclosure and communication or delays in responding to queries. Customers are unhappy with mortgage servicers for reasons including unclear guidelines on loss mitigation programs, delays in modification processing, poor communication and a general lack of responsiveness.
Social CRM in the Mortgage Industry
The same social media tools (such as Facebook) that customers use to keep in touch with their friends are also being used by companies such as Ford, Visa and Sears to communicate with and understand consumers. This is called Social CRM (or SCRM). It can help companies connect with current and potential customers, get feedback, respond quickly and identify opportunities for cross-selling.
By employing an integrated and comprehensive SCRM approach, mortgage banks can leverage the intelligence they gain to improve consumer perception, quality of service and market share. The main challenge facing such social media initiatives is the lack of long-term support from senior management, a lack of metrics to measure success and attempts to do too many things at the same time. Thus, their social media campaigns often lack the back-end support needed to convert opportunities into profits, or their content is too long or boring, or their marketing lacks punch.
Many payers see the need for “forward” crosswalks so that they can map an ICD-9 coded claim from a provider to ICD-10. But these crosswalks will require significant modeling and testing to ensure they do not affect policy holders' reimbursement and benefits. Moreover, payers are discovering they can't crosswalk between old and new codes as transactions move among systems to the degree they expected. Although adjudication rules are relatively easy to handle via crosswalks, authorizations, referrals, hospital payment rules and analytics for care management should be ICD-10 from day one.
Through our SCRM engagements in the industry, we have identified three critical steps mortgage banks should take to tap social media to boost their bottom lines.
- The first is social community development: Mortgage banks need to create social communities and engage with members to create positive sentiment and build trust. These focused communities with discussion forums, self-help groups and online chat capabilities can support sub-groups such as distressed homeowners, builders, brokers or prospective borrowers. Owned and managed by banks, these communities are a platform for collaboration for agents, brokers, loss mitigation and servicing teams, employees and sales executives. They can also be used to publish news, promote corporate branding, and share PR and other content.
- The second step is social media listening: Using widely available monitoring tools, banks should track conversations at mortgage-related social networking sites (such as loansafe.com, Reuters blogs and bankrate.com) to capture information on products, perceptions and services. Ideas on strategy and implementation should also be gathered from all internal stakeholders through intra-company social media tools such as blogs and wikis, since the best ideas often come from the grassroots level.
- The third step is program development, which begins with feeding consumer sentiments into a strong analytics and BI engine. This raw data can then be converted into opportunities and leads, and used to boost sales and improve perception, products and services. This program development piece should include:
- Services analysis: Leveraging information captured through SCRM tools and infrastructure to identify the process gaps and inefficiencies in customer service and improve processes that will do the most to enhance the customer experience. Banks will be surprised to learn that most of the complaints pivot on a lack of communication and clarity.
- Product/brand analysis: In mortgage originations, loss mitigation and servicing, positive publicity and brand image are as important as process excellence. This is especially true today, when the progress of loan modification programs is under close scrutiny by borrowers, government, analysts and the industry. SCRM can help build positive brand image through the creation of communities and awareness, corporate branding, public relation campaigns and crowdsourcing for new product and service development.
- Sales analysis: Listening to and analyzing customer comments through SCRM platforms can help identify potential customers and the products or services they want. This analysis will help in creating leads, cross-selling and up-selling customers, and identifying new products to develop. Applying SCRM solutions effectively can go a long way to improving market perception, boosting sales, enhancing internal processes and building long-lasting relationships with customers.
Learn more about social CRM in the mortgage banking industry, how Cognizant's Customer Solutions Practice can put SCRM to work for you, and how Cognizant's Sentiment Analyzer applies novel algorithms to quickly identify meaningful customer opinions from social networks, blogs, surveys and news articles.