Borrowing money is an essential part of our lives. It allows us to afford homes and cars, start businesses, get an education, and do many other great things. Without the ability to borrow money, many of us would be living a life that would be difficult to bear. This is why we have banks and other financial institutions. They provide us with the money we need to live a better and more secure life. Today, however, getting people to borrow money from your institution has become a competitive playing field. With the advancement of technology, borrowers are now looking for institutions that will provide a convenient and positive experience, institutions that they can build a relationship with and trust. If your institution doesn’t offer a great customer experience, it’s likely you won’t be bringing in many new customers or even retaining customers.
Below are five steps that we believe will help your institution improve the borrower experience. By following these steps, you’ll provide your borrowers with the essentials they’re looking for when borrowing money.
1. Know your clients and build a real relationship with them.
Local banks have the advantage of being able to develop a personal relationship with borrowers. Their business is obviously what keeps the institution running, so it’s helpful for them to be able to meet with management or have a strong relationship with their personal representative. Customers will want to keep coming back and doing business if they feel that their bank actually knows them and wants to help them succeed.
2. Be readily available to educate and give advice.
Customer service should be a crucial point in your business model. Make sure someone can talk to the borrower right away when they need help, whether in person, online, or by phone. If they place a call and have to navigate through an automated phone menu, they may just hang up and get a loan from a competitor.
3. Be transparent and open with the information you give them.
When someone borrows money, they want to know specific information such as the interest rate, payment amounts, duration, and other important terms. A written summary or representative should be able to explain these things in simple language without using jargon. Keep in mind that most people are not experts in finance, and they will feel cheated if they get surprised by hidden fees or other problems later on.
4. Modernize your institution by updating your technology.
Your bank should use current technology online and in person. Technology is now a necessary part of all things related to banking, including information and financial security, fraud prevention, and tools to monitor accounts or perform basic transactions such as phone apps. Customers will expect that current technology is available to make their borrowing experience convenient and secure.
5. Provide your borrowers with a quick and easy online application.
Most customers dread having to physically go to the bank and fill out a large stack of papers. This is inefficient and obsolete. A better alternative is to have everything available online in simple forms that can be completed in minutes. Easy online applications that can be submitted electronically will ensure that borrowers don't get frustrated and discontinue the application process or contact another bank with a more streamlined borrowing process.
By following these steps, we hope you find great success in your efforts to improve the borrower experience.