Looking for Solutions

first_img About Author: David Wharton Default Servicing Technology 2019-02-01 David Wharton Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago February 1, 2019 4,270 Views Looking for Solutions  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features, Servicing Home / Daily Dose / Looking for Solutions Previous: Crapo’s 5-Point Plan for Housing Finance Reform Next: Is the Balance of Power Swinging Back Toward Homebuyers?center_img Editor’s Note: This feature originally appeared in the February issue of DS News, out now. In the early months of 2019, default servicing continues on much the same path it’s traveled for some time now, with all corners of the industry continuing to try and find ways to thrive in an ongoing low-volume environment. With the cost of servicing non-performing loans increasing, it behooves servicers, vendors, and their partners to explore their systems and processes in order to ensure they’re working in a smart, streamlined, and efficient manner.“Fewer loans are going to full foreclosure, and therefore infrastructure costs previously set in place from the 2008 crisis are now being spread over fewer loans, making the per-loan cost of foreclosure much more significant,” said Steven Mowers, President, Claims Recovery Financial Services (CRFS).However, Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s SVP, Servicer Relationship and Performance Management told DS News that evolving and innovative technology can help offset those costs. “We understand that, in servicing, we all need to innovate. We must keep up with constant innovation and stay ahead of the technological curve,” Gilmore said. With a dizzying array of new technologies continuing to evolve, businesses have plenty of new opportunities to get the most bang for their buck—but only if approach innovation in the right way.For this month’s edition, DS News spoke to a collection of servicers, vendors, and government representatives to see what lessons they’re learning in the trenches, and what takeaways default servicing professionals can apply to their own day-to-day processes and longer-term plans.MORE WITH LESS In December, Altisource released a “State of the Servicer Industry” report based on their 2018 survey of 200 professionals working in the mortgage default servicing industry. The report touches on several important trends at play in the current servicing landscape—a trend toward consolidation, the importance of compliance management, the ways in which technology can improve efficiencies, but also the crucial nature of interpersonal communication and collaboration.Kristen Estrella, VP, Division Operations, First American Mortgage Solutions, said that one way the industry is adapting is through service providers introducing multi-functional products and technology solutions that enable servicers to do more with less. For example, Estrella said, “Technology solutions now allow servicers to leverage prior title work, which can shorten timelines and lead to quicker decisions for borrowers, as well as potentially increase data integrity.”For servicers looking to take ownership of these issues and improve their processes, there’s a host of financial technology in varying stages of development and applicability. Just one question: where to begin? “You have to invest to support the work that you’re doing, and the default side of servicing is the most complex, labor-intensive piece of the industry,” said Denis Brosnan, CEO, DIMONT. “It’s challenging to maintain the level of investment needed to handle that work with the volume levels that we have.” Brosnan added that these costs were also compounded by compliance issues.Whether it’s a case of choosing single vendors who can provide end-to-end services or simply working to ensure that all points of contact with partners are as efficient as possible, one thread runs through nearly every corner of the default industry today: doing more with less. “Mortgage service companies need to choose a field services partner that has a proven record of providing quality results in a timely manner, and technology plays a key role in this,” said Alan Jaffa, CEO, Safeguard Properties. “Those field services companies that make a major investment in technologies like mobile, geolocation, and automation are more likely to deliver property data more quickly.”Anuj Jain, Head of Loss Mitigation and Default Servicing, Chase Home Lending, told DS News that Chase is working toward several priorities in 2019, including “working alongside HUD and other agencies to make the retention/loss mitigation, property auction, and conveyance process easier.” Jain also emphasized the leveraging of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), optical character recognition (OCR), and robotics to help reduce the need for manual work.NEW TECH, NEW TOOLSTechnology offers the promise of new solutions to even the most stubborn problems. But all that shiny potential demands a measured, deliberate, and strategic approach in order to provide the best results. “Seeking a ‘technology solution’ is similar to developing a ‘better mousetrap,’” Mowers said. “Any new system is only as good as the integrity and structure of the underlying data that supports it. There is a more pressing need for the integration of transactional data and source documentation with the goal of an industry-accepted naming convention, standard, and interface.”Once those pieces are in place, Mowers said, technology gains will become more effective. “From a technology and workflow perspective, we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of what we can do with data in the foreclosure and default process,” Estrella said. “Servicers who recognize the transformative power of data are actively engaging in different integrations and partnerships with software companies.” Estrella cited First American’s own Digital Gateway, which, she explained “enables servicers to flexibly access only the data assets and services they need through APIs.”Steve Butler, General Manager and Founder, AI Foundry, predicts that 2019 will see one long-used technology headed toward increasing obsolescence: optical-character recognition (OCR), the conversion of written or typed characters into a digital medium via scanners or other means. “OCR was invented a century ago and is losing its utility in modern times because it can’t do anything intelligent with the text it scans,” Butler said. He anticipates that OCR will increasingly give way to AI technology that enables machines to ‘read and react’ to content. “This will enable a boom in ‘white collar automation’ where manual document processes (such as mortgage processing) are replaced by software-based robotics processing.”Susan Connally, VP, Surveillance Operations, Radian, said she believes robotic process automation could be hugely helpful in improving the claim-filing process. She told DS News, “There is a push to try to automate that process as best we can in order to pull all of the supporting documents that need to be filed with the claim and automate that process.”One common response among the industry players DS News spoke to for this piece is a need for more efficient ways to handle the volumes of data inherent in default servicing and its related practices—ways to track it, ways to keep it up-to-date, and ways to more effectively share and communicate it between different entities. Technologies such as blockchain, AI, machine learning (ML), and robotic assistants all have enormous potential to help, whether on the data–management front or in streamlining or automating interactions with borrowers or industry partners.As Chase’s Jain told us, it all amounts to improved efficiencies and overall cost savings—in theory, at least.“Intuitively, we can all see and understand the benefits, but servicers must be careful not to fall into a trap,” said Sean Ryan, CEO, Aspen Grove Solutions. “If you don’t invest in gathering the data and creating effective data models, your investment in AI/ML tools will be much more difficult and expensive and may not have the desired outcomes.”Brosnan spotlighted another common industry buzzword in the fintech realm: robotic process automation (RPA). “That’s a fancy term for ‘better workflow,’” Brosnan said. “There’s not going to be an end-to-end workflow system that handles everything. What servicers need to do is to look to their vendors that have their own systems and enable those systems to work with each other.” That can be a challenge, but some industry players are already seeing key benefits from implementing RPA solutions.“We recently took a process in our bankruptcy department that used to take a person about 30 minutes to do,” said Gagan Sharma, President & CEO, BSI Financial. “Through an RPA pilot, we were able to reduce that to about two minutes that effectively requires a human being just to do one click. It saves time, but it also improves compliance. We are minimizing the likelihood of human error in the process.”Debbie Hoffman, CEO and Founder, Symmetry Blockchain Solutions, said that advances within other industries in the areas of AI and data aggregation are beginning to seep into the worlds of mortgage lending and servicing, but there is still a long way to go yet. “AI can be used to assist with the underwriting and loan-processing actions by extracting borrower information,” Hoffman said. “It can be used to verify income, insurance, and assets that would otherwise need to be manually checked.The biggest issue in this area may be the inherent challenge of addressing bias in AI.” First American’s Estrella told DS News that “improvements in workflow software options to include and leverage data, title work, and new document generation functionalities are all innovations that will significantly impact servicing in the next few years, as the industry continues to move towards digital mortgages.”“Machine learning, combined with RPA, could be transformative in our business,” Sharma said. “However, it will be a continuum and an evolution. There’s no one silver bullet.”KEEPING CHANNELS OPEN Navigating the modern default servicing landscape requires constant, efficient communication between one’s own team, other partner vendors, and the various government agencies with which the industry interacts, including the GSEs. Keeping one’s bearings in a twisting maze of regulatory requirements from federal, state, and local levels can be overwhelming.Where technology has perhaps the greatest potential to assist the industry is in not just automating more processes, but in helping ensure that the massive amounts of data inherent in mortgage servicing can pass from one point of contact to another as seamlessly as possible. “Workflow and documentation technologies are not, in and of themselves, all that transformative,” Brosnan said. “What’s transformative is moving data between various systems so that everybody can interact. That continues to be a spotty and frustrating challenge for the industry.”Lori Eshoo, President and CEO, National Tax Search, told DS News that she’s already seen robotic technology giving her company a huge advantage in its ability to keep track of tax payments and impending penalties for their clients. In the past, National Tax Search would have to buy current and delinquent tax files from the various respective states on a monthly basis in order to stay abreast of penalties.Now, with robotic technology that allows the company to access digital versions of those files for states that have put them online, NTS can access that same data on a weekly or even a daily basis. However, that level of automation and technological advance is not consistent across the board, with some states jumping aboard the digitization bandwagon sooner than others. Nevertheless, taking advantage of automating these processes and data pulls as much as possible can result in significant cost savings.Eshoo also emphasized the importance of building and maintaining automated program interfaces that allow external vendors such as NTS to interact with servicer’s systems to share and update data on both sides in a seamless manner. “That’s the future of updating servicing systems on a nightly basis,” Eshoo said, “being able to transfer data from our system to their system without having somebody in the middle.” Aspen Grove’s Sean Ryan told DS News that ensuring more positive outcomes for borrowers will require the facilitation of more “multidirectional interactions,” rather than focusing only on the loan itself.Ryan explained that he has often seen instances where loss mitigation teams are not connected to the inspection/ preservation oversight teams, or there are different teams for different aspects of the default process. “If the loss mitigation team has no access to what is happening with the property at a critical point in time when a decision is required, how can they make the best-informed decision for the borrower?” Ryan asked. “What if the property has just flipped from occupied to vacant as evidenced by the most recent inspection? What if work is ordered on a property and the borrower reinstates the loan but may not actually be in the house? How does the repair work order get canceled to prevent leakage?”Ryan said that these issues can be addressed with a connected property servicing platform, integrated in real time to loan servicers, vendors, and other systems used across default servicing. “The dollars to drive technology initiatives can be found in the savings to be realized by the investment itself,” Ryan said.However, knowing the general shape of a solution doesn’t necessarily make it easy to implement. DIMONT’s Denis Brosnan told DS News that one roadblock is, ironically, that the traditional servicing systems already in place are good at what they do. “Their job is to account for a tremendous number of financial transactions across a huge volume of loans,” Brosnan said. “However, the legacy nature of servicers’ technology frameworks frustrates what we call the ‘ilities’—things like usability, extensibility, and interoperability. That’s a huge roadblock to improving efficiency in a complex supply chain.” The solution to many of these disconnected problems, DIMONT’s Brosnan suggests, is to take a holistic approach—to look at ways to both improve internal processes and experiment with technological solutions in a parallel manner.Brosnan cites as an example work DIMONT has done to help streamline the FHA conveyance process. “By working with the adjacent vendors in the supply chain, we’ve come up with an end-to-end solution that combines many processes related to property preservation, hazard claims, and the FHA claims process,” Brosnan said. “It’s more than just technology. We need ways that we can leverage the commonality of data and try to be multiple parallel processing while we have the opportunity.” As servicers and service providers continue to innovate, so too do the GSEs.Tracy Stephan, VP – Enterprise Innovation, Fannie Mae, pointed to Fannie Mae’s Servicing Marketplace as a key enabler of Fannie’s work toward building greater efficiency within the housing finance sector. “In the past, matchmaking between a seller and servicer has taken several months or more for a seller to identify a servicer, agree on the price, and finalize the transaction,” Stephan said. Servicing Marketplace was developed to help decrease that timeline, providing all parties with transparent pricing, a standardized process, and standardized data requirements.CRFS’ Mowers told DS News that they have seen an abundance of what he called “avoidable errors” that occur during servicers’ loss mitigation actions—often early in the process and which aren’t identified until much later. “Once realized, the cost of these errors can include curtailment of advances or the rejection of the full claim amount within an audit,” Mowers said. “These ‘errors,’ which often result in monetary losses, become more difficult to identify as loan populations are transferred from servicer to servicer.”Ferreting out these mistakes that are lying dormant in a servicer’s inventory can be an enormous challenge, and are something that won’t easily be solved by technological innovation alone. It requires an ongoing commitment to examining those internal processes to identify breakdowns and inefficiencies. Radian’s Susan Connally also hit upon this lack of visibility as an issue that stands out for her. “Many servicers have built robust exception reporting that is available but not necessarily shared,” Connally said. “Making sure you’re getting all of the information that you can so you have a complete picture of what the default activities and challenges of your specific portfolio look like is critical.”Fannie Mae’s Stephan explained that one way the GSE is working to help servicers zero in on these problems sooner is through a strong focus on standardizing data and providing better integration through Application Program Interfaces (APIs). “This allows all mortgage industry participants to identify risks earlier in the loan lifecycle, and helps servicers better identify default risks,” Stephan said. This focus has included the launch of the Fannie Mae Developer Portal, which Stephan said “promises to streamline processes for lenders at a time when they need to improve efficiencies and cut costs within their businesses.”Last year, Fannie also created The Exchange, a free online community designed to allow Fannie to collaborate “with housing innovators across the nation to develop and adopt breakthrough ideas and solutions.” Freddie Mac’s Gilmore told DS News that it was important to recognize that the landscape of default servicing is shifting fundamentally. “Many institutions no longer want to service default loans, resulting in our defaulted loans being serviced by a smaller group of customers, most of them being non-banks,” Gilmore said. How are these new players changing the day-to-day way that default servicing is handled? Gilmore said, “You have people who think differently. They’re faster, more agile, and easier to adapt to change.”Gilmore said this change in the landscape is impacting how Freddie Mac pilots its initiatives. “Freddie Mac is focused on updating our processes and technology, based on direct feedback from our servicers, to provide cutting-edge solutions that are faster, simpler, and more user-friendly.” “The end goal is to be more thoughtful in how Freddie Mac works with servicers in order to implement new tech while disrupting existing processes as little as possible, and Freddie Mac is committed to making the overall mortgage experience easier, more cost effective, and more efficient. We are looking at ways to improve the mortgage servicing experience by leading the way through collaboration with our servicers,” Gilmore said. “The only way we can move the mortgage servicing industry forward is together.” As an example, Gilmore pointed to the area of title. “We knew that we had an issue in being able to market REO properties subsequent to a default, and a lot of it had to do with title,” Gilmore said.As such, Freddie is now piloting a direct-title program. “We’re looking at procuring title differently, working with our servicers, so that we ensure a better outcome,” Gilmore said. “We’re on a collaborative journey with our servicers to improve their overall experience. Our servicing partners are critical to bringing about the positive change that we all will benefit from.” THE NEXT STEPS While technology is presenting ways for servicers and their partners to build better, stronger, and more efficient systems, those solutions will only succeed if the industry invests in that technology while also closely examining what other aspects of their processes need to be rethought as well. Aspen Grove’s Sean Ryan cautions that the pressure of day-to-day operations can often take priority over addressing underlying issues in order to reduce expense and increase efficiency. “Servicers and subservicers are challenged from an expense and overhead perspective, and asset owners struggle to ask the right questions and apply the appropriate pressure,” Ryan said. “Default servicing often operates on a postmortem model and tends to look at the problems that have already happened.At Aspen, we implement solutions that ingest and normalize real-time data from various departments, vendors, and service providers on the property timeline to help manage issues in real time. I’d like to see those concepts take root in the larger industry as a whole, as it will help to change the business, drive efficiency, provide for better outcomes for all stakeholders, and enable implementation of data models that could lead to the next level of business understanding through artificial intelligence and machine learning.”Ryan told DS News that one way to move in the right direction is for the industry to adopt standards around data modeling. “If we can increase the standardization of forms and processes across the industry, then data will be more useful, integrations will become easier, and we can cut down expenses.” “Communication is key to our efforts,” said Freddie Mac’s Gilmore. “Making sure that we all understand who the critical partners are along the entire chain—not just the servicers, but the vendors that they utilize and the different ways they obtain their data.” As Gilmore explained, “More and more, the servicers, the GSEs, and their vendor partners are ultimately pulling data from the same sources.So, it’s really about understanding how our partners are managing their business and plugging into that, versus building something brand new that they may not need.” DIMONT’S Denis Bronsan also emphasized the critical nature of an ongoing dialogue between the various parts of the industry, whether directly on a day-to-day basis or via groups such as the National Mortgage Servicing Association or various industry events that bring different organizations together in one place. “The traditional ‘vendor-vendee’ mentality requires the vendee to say, ‘I don’t want to commit to certain contract terms or volume levels.’ I get that, but that’s illogical, and it’s not how other industries work,” Brosnan said. “Amazon and its vendors, they talk all the time about volumes and delivery and standards because they’re dependent upon each other. It’s time for our industry to recognize those interdependencies.” Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago David Wharton, Managing Editor at the Five Star Institute, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his B.A. in English and minored in Journalism. Wharton has over 16 years’ experience in journalism and previously worked at Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm, as Associate Content Editor, focusing on producing media content related to tax and accounting principles and government rules and regulations for accounting professionals. Wharton has an extensive and diversified portfolio of freelance material, with published contributions in both online and print media publications. Wharton and his family currently reside in Arlington, Texas. He can be reached at [email protected] Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Sign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Default Servicing Technologylast_img read more

When Vets Fall Behind on Mortgage Payments …

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago When Vets Fall Behind on Mortgage Payments … Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Radhika Ojha Previous: Accelerating Blighted Property Foreclosures Next: The Week Ahead: Will the Fed Raise Rates? Tagged with: CFPB Loan Loan Modifications Loss Mitigation mortgage payments Processing Servicemembers Veterans CFPB Loan Loan Modifications Loss Mitigation mortgage payments Processing Servicemembers Veterans 2019-01-25 Radhika Ojha The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Issues relating to loan modifications or collections were among the most common type of mortgage-related complaints by servicemembers, according to an annual report from the Office of Servicemember Affairs and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The report noted that around 40 percent of active duty servicemembers have a mortgage and over 700,000 veterans currently have a VA home loan mortgage.The report also indicated that veterans were 40 percent more likely to be underwater on their homes than non-veterans.Looking at the type of complaints received by servicemembers, the CFPB report said that the highest number of complaints (43 percent) related to troubles during the mortgage process while 31 percent servicemember complains were related to issues when they were struggling to pay their mortgage. When it came to the payment process, someservicemembers stated that “when they called their servicers, they could not get their single point of contact on the telephone.”Complaints suggest that payment application and the management of escrow accounts continue to be a challenge for some servicemembers the report indicated. Additionally, vets also described problems with their automatic payments when escrow shortages and surpluses caused a change in their monthly mortgage payment.When mortgages were transferred to a new company, they tended to cause confusion among servicemembers especially when they received notice about such transfers, the report indicated. Upon the transfer, some servicemembers described having “difficulty reconciling account balances or obtaining information related to their loan terms.They also described a range of challenges while modifying their mortgages, which included problems like servicers requesting the same documentation multiple times throughout the loss mitigation process as well as offering terms that were unaffordable. “In particular, servicemembers continued to experience trouble with effective loss mitigation options when receiving Permanent Change of Station orders,” the report noted.Despite these problems, the report noted that in comparison to non-servicemembers, veterans experienced these problems less frequently than their civilian counterparts.Click here to read the full report. Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Related Articles January 25, 2019 2,611 Views center_img Home / Daily Dose / When Vets Fall Behind on Mortgage Payments … Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Loss Mitigation, News  Print This Post The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agolast_img read more

The Mortgage Customer Connection

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save  Print This Post in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features The Mortgage Customer Connection Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago It is not unusual for the bulk of your client contact to arise only when there is a question or a problem. Even though every company loves positive feedback, it would be rare for a client to call just to give you a high five and say how happy they are with the services. No matter what the exchange, do not let your client hang up the phone thinking, “That was terrible customer service.”Teaching and mentoring client-facing teams to exhibit behaviors where they connect with clients will help your company reach the immeasurable or subjective feedback that everyone strives to see on a satisfaction survey. The customer service representative is the first point of contact, the customer’s connection to your organization. This is why it is imperative that each of your employees connect with the customers and understand their business.There are several tools to ensure your customer service efforts are what you want them to be, including recording calls, score cards and surveys to provide helpful feedback. These tools will help you determine where you might need to further train employees, but nothing will substitute for a well-trained, client-facing employee that can connect with a client. They can make the difference between creating a raving fan or an unhappy one.  Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Kelly Hebert is Director of Sales Operations for Lereta. She is responsible for managing the collaboration between the sales, operations, and account management teams. Her goal is to enhance a client’s experience from every angle and to redefine how teams work together to create the best relationship possible. She can be reached at [email protected] Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Kelly Hebert Customers 2019-10-23 Seth Welborn Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Tagged with: Customers Home / Daily Dose / The Mortgage Customer Connection Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: The Most Recession-Proof States Next: Delinquencies Hit Seasonal Uptick Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the October issue of DS NewsHow many times have you heard the phrase, “We have great customer service?” What does this mean, exactly? Is there a proven formula that shows “empathy + smiling through the phone + knowledge = happy customers”? I’m sure a Silicon Valley startup must be working on an app and an algorithm for this, right? It is difficult to grasp what constitutes great customer service because everyone boasts that they have it. I believe we need to rethink what great customer service is because the phrase has lost its meaning. When I hear that a company has great customer service as a part of their tagline, I am skeptical—I have heard it before, and I have been disappointed. Too often there are complaints about a terrible customer experience, and we hear little about what companies are doing to make sure their customer service is truly awesome.This prompted me to do a little research. I wanted to quantify the immeasurable parts of customer service, so I performed some unofficial Google research on companies that are known to have the best customer service. The findings were fascinating. What people perceive as great customer service may be challenging to measure or replicate, but these were some of the recurring themes:PolitenessProfessionalism and courtesyVariety and centralizationThe feeling of being pamperedReliabilityEmployee happinessAccuracyCaring about customer needsThis is a diverse list to master, and a company may need to hire a psychologist to create a training program for human resources teams to do so. Strong customer service can’t be found in a call rubric, phone metrics, or a customer survey. The attributes uncovered were based upon a customer’s subjective opinion of how they felt after they interacted with the company. How can a company that is seeking an enhanced customer experience train their account managers to leave their clients with this feeling? The answer may be better explored in how to connect with your customers. This allows them to be the recipient of your politeness and professionalism, allows them to feel that your company actually cares about the results that matter to them and how the end product is used.Feeling connected may also allow for second chances. If there is an interruption in service or an error in the product, a customer that feels like the company is connected to their satisfaction and understands their needs may be more understanding of an error and more willing to work through the concern with the company. Customer service is all about connection. No matter the size or type of customer base you have, it is a theme that translates to every business and every industry. Connect with your customers and you can keep them happy and retain them.Connect by Understanding the Effects of Your Service or Product. Account managers and customer service representatives need to understand the effect of the service or product has for your client. If there is a problem on a report, a payment, or a shipment, your customer-facing agent needs to understand how this will affect the client. It’s critical that your employee understand how the client both uses the service and benefits from it. Train your employees to understand the consequences of mistakes, the cost of errors, and the ramifications from different stakeholders, so that a response of “I’m sorry that happened” has more connection and meaning. This lets the client know you are going to do everything you can to correct what happened and work with the appropriate teams to prevent it from happening again. Connect by Understanding the Client’s Business. Many service providers offer products to more than one type of business within an industry. For example, real estate services may cater to banks, credit unions, loan servicers, and property managers. These are all unique businesses that may benefit from the same product. Train your customer-facing employees to understand the differences and track the client type in your CRM software so employees can better connect with lingo and jargon, and maybe even cross sell complementary products. Employees who know how the customer is using the product will be better able to assist with specific solutions for that business and can connect with the clients on a more personal level.Connect by Cross-Training. As companies grow, the need to functionalize forces divisions of people into teams and departments. Naturally, this causes teams to work in silos with little understanding of how their process is connected to the rest of the business, and to the client. There are enormous operational benefits of cross-training your employees, but there is also a benefit to the customer. Cross-training ensures continuity of the customer experience across multiple lines of business. The customer-facing employee should have enough of an understanding of other departments and verticals that they can offer assistance and high-level support, even if the client’s question or concern is outside of their normal role. Connect With Regular Communication. It could be a quarterly phone call, or perhaps a newsletter. Whatever it is, make sure there is consistent outreach and communication with your clients, and be available when they need you. Clients that have regular communication will not be shy about speaking up when there is a problem. Maintaining a strong presence and brand will help them remember your company when they are looking to upgrade or add more services to their business. Without regular communication, you may be forgotten—or worse, they will not think to call you when there is a concern, and they may just silently take their business elsewhere. Any client that has not received communication at least one to two times a year should be flagged for review and should receive a wellness check for their satisfaction.Connect by Embracing Competition. Competition can be healthy; it keeps us sharp and reminds us that there are other options for our client, so we must continue to enhance and improve services. Train account managers to listen closely. Often the client uses multiple vendors or has used your competition in the past. Make note of any experiences they share on the call and share the feedback to identify if there is anything to be learned about how to improve existing offerings and to increase your competitive advantage. Never speak ill of competition to your client, but rather show them your openness to listen and your willingness for improvement.Connect by Showing Empathy. No one likes to feel like their issues are not important. When a client calls to voice a concern about a problem, it is crucial to make sure customer representatives understand how to be empathetic. It can be tiring to hear complaints all day, but that may be the only interaction your customer has that year. Turn the opportunity into a positive experience for the client by showing empathy, connect by understanding that what they are experiencing is inconvenient, and ensure that the customer feels important and valued. Make sure the client leaves the interaction remembering how helpful the company was and what was done to resolve the issue rather than focusing on the mistake and how it was handled.Connect by Showing Appreciation. Say thank you. It sounds so simple, but it is not often practiced. Send a holiday card, recognize how long a client has used your services, or say thank you for their continued trust in your product. October 23, 2019 1,234 Views Subscribelast_img read more

Southern Surge Leads Record Home Sales Forecast

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Southern Surge Leads Record Home Sales Forecast 19 days ago 479 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save A new analysis by Redfin has found that, for the calendar year 2021, a record $2.53 trillion worth of home sales will transact in America—a 17% year-over-year gain and the largest annual increase in percentage terms since 2013.Fueled by record-low rates, strong demand, and a wave of migration made possible by remote work, the market comes into a strong spring season after suffering some weather-related setbacks to start the year. These factors helped March become the hottest month in housing history, with home values, price growth and selling speed all hitting new heights.”We expect 2021 to be an even more active year for the housing market than 2020 because homebuyers have a better sense of what the future looks like,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Employers are providing clarity on permanent remote-work policies, the economy is recovering and mortgage rates remain low. All of these factors mean that we’ll likely see even more buyers enter the market this year and in 2022.”According to Fairweather, home prices could grow more slowly if mortgage rates rise, resulting in a more balanced housing market, which could actually lead to more home sales.The Southern part of the U.S. is expected to lead the charge, with $1.09 trillion of home sales forecast for 2021, followed by the West with $696.3 billion, the Midwest with $422.6 billion, and the Northeast with $322.8 billion.Fairweather noted that the South has consistently held the top spot, but has inched further ahead in recent years, likely because it has more vacant land on which to build, and has attracted scores of out-of-town homebuyers who are in search of affordability and space.And proof of a rising market in the South is evident in markets such as Atlanta, where Redfin Real Estate Agent Andrew Kolodey unprecedented bidding wars.“Offering above a seller’s asking price was never the norm in Atlanta like it was on the West Coast, but now it is. Today, it’s typical for a buyer to bid $50,000 or $70,000 over the list price in order to win,” said Kolodey. “We’ve never experienced this level of competition. A bidding war here used to mean up to five offers. Now it means 15 to 20 offers.” Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Report Reflects Steady, Low Level of Forbearance Requests Next: Ginnie Mae Reports Record MBS Issuance in April  Print This Post About Author: Eric C. Peck in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, Market Studies, News Home / Daily Dose / Southern Surge Leads Record Home Sales Forecast Sign up for DS News Daily Andrew Kolodey Daryl Fairweather Redfin 2021-05-11 Eric C. Peck Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Tagged with: Andrew Kolodey Daryl Fairweather Redfin The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

Foróige calls on older people in Donegal to volunteer

first_img Previous articleCensus shows 10% of Donegal people live aloneNext articleFormer Letterkenny General Doctor guilty of professional misconduct News Highland Google+ Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Facebook By News Highland – September 20, 2012 448 new cases of Covid 19 reported today Pinterest Help sought in search for missing 27 year old in Letterkenny NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORcenter_img Google+ Foróige calls on older people in Donegal to volunteer News WhatsApp WhatsApp Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Pinterest Twitter Retired people in Donegal who still like to keep active are being encouraged to volunteer for Ireland’s largest youth organisation, Foróige.Older people with an interest in art, drama or music or those who simply want to share their life experience are being encouraged to apply.In Donegal, Foróige has 25 clubs, 5,000 young members,141 volunteers and 24 staff.Denis O’Brien is the groups Volunteer Development Manager:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/denisrawFOROIGE.mp3[/podcast] Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector publishedlast_img read more

Over 200 people attend meeting opposing Septic Tank legislation

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest By News Highland – November 20, 2011 WhatsApp Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Google+ Twitter Google+ Over 200 people have attended a public meeting on the proposed Septic Tank charges in Donegal Town.The meeting, which was organised by Senator Brian O’Domnhaill, heard from members of the public who are opposed to the proposed legislation.The meeting was Chaired by Cllr Sean Mc Eniff and a detailed presentation was made by Cllr Paul Canning, an experienced architect and Site assessor.Senator Brian O Domnhaill said those who attended the meeting voiced their concerns….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/bod.mp3[/podcast] Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Pinterest WhatsAppcenter_img Facebook Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Twitter PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Facebook News Over 200 people attend meeting opposing Septic Tank legislation Previous articleShock at news that Flannagan’s Furniture has gone into liquidationNext articleTeenage girl raped in Temple Grove area of Derry News Highland last_img read more

Letterkenny IT could become part of a “Regional Technological University”

first_img Letterkenny IT could become part of a “Regional Technological University” The President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology says discussions are ongoing which could see the college become part of a Regional Technological University.Speaking as the college celebrates its 40th anniversary, Paul Hannigan said they are in ongoing discussions with other institutions, particularly the University of Ulster.He says since it opened as Letterkenny Regional Technical College in 1971, Letterkenny IT has become a central facet of the economy in Donegal, and whatever happens in future discussions, that will remain the case…………..[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/phann1pm.mp3[/podcast] By News Highland – September 15, 2011 HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Pinterest Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Google+ PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Facebookcenter_img Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Previous articleCope seeks appointment of administrator to MFGNext articleMan charged in connection with Letterkenny stabbing back in court today News Highland Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Twitter WhatsApp Newsx Adverts WhatsApp Pinterest Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Twitterlast_img read more

Donegal Deputy says recent controversies are affecting garda morale

first_img Twitter Previous articleYellow weather alert for Donegal with more snow and strong winds forecastNext articleClaims made that some facilities at Aura Leisure Centre discrimate against those with a disability News Highland By News Highland – February 12, 2014 Facebook Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Pinterest WhatsApp Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Google+ Donegal Deputy says recent controversies are affecting garda moralecenter_img Pinterest A Donegal Deputy says recent high profile controversies have had a serious effect on the morale of frontline Gardai and has called on the public to support them.Padraig MacLochlainn, Sinn Fein’s Justice Spokesperson, says the penalty points scandal and claims of bugging at GSOC are not the fault of ordinary gardai who seem to be receiving the brunt of public anger.He has also expressed concern at a number of cases in Donegal recently in which gardai were either assaulted or threatened with assault.Deputy MacLochlainn says the public, now more than ever, need to support the gardai on the streets[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/padMORALE.mp3[/podcast] News 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

Falcaragh public urged to attend sewage scheme consultation

first_img Pinterest 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Facebook By News Highland – February 9, 2011 Google+ Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Falcaragh public urged to attend sewage scheme consultation Pinterest Previous articleSoccer – Coleman & Clark Impress On Senior DebutsNext articleGreen Party to run two candidates in Donegal News Highland center_img The people of Falcarragh are being urged to attend a public consultation meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposed new sewerage treatment plant for the area.It is hope that work on the 2.5 million euro project can begin in 2012.This will be the first phase of the scheme which will alleviate pollution in to Ballyness Bay.Local Councillor Seamus O’Domhnaill says it is important people attend the meeting, in the An Sean Baraic between 4pm and 7pm tomorrow, and have their say:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/seamsewage.mp3[/podcast] WhatsApp Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic News Twitter Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Twitterlast_img read more

Udaras retains enterprise role, but board will no longer be elected

first_img Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th By News Highland – June 3, 2011 Twitter Google+ 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Facebook Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire Google+ Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal center_img Udaras retains enterprise role, but board will no longer be elected Pinterest Udaras na Gaeltachta is to retain its enterprise functions, but budgets are being cut, and the direct election of the board will end.Speaking ahead of the Publication of the Gaeltacht Bill, Junior Minister Dinny Mc Ginley said that contrary to speculation, the Udaras will retain its enterprise function.However, he said the new bill will provide closer ties between Udaras and other agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, and include a provision whereby the minister can direct the board to focus its limited resources towards specific enterprise sectors.Speaking to Highland Radio News a short time ago, Minister Mc GInley confirmed that the number on the board will be cut, and the next board will be nominated rather than elected……….[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/dinnudaras.mp3[/podcast] RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Newsx Adverts Previous articleFunding confirmed for Swilly Ferry – DonagheyNext articleGovernment to introduce bill which will change Gaeltacht identification News Highland Pinterest 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApplast_img read more