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By Ashish Shreni, practice lead
for consumer lending, and
Sanjit Bose, senior consultant
Cognizant Business Consulting
Empower and Engage Clients
Better customer involvement delivers increased efficiency and efficacy
In the past, borrowers began their home-loan search by visiting their local broker or bank to explore financing options. Today’s borrowers go
online to scout for the best deals and
check online forums to learn about service quality and products before choosing a lender. With information on loan
products, rates and property information at their fingertips, consumers are
no longer passive observers but active
participants in the mortgage process.
Mortgage bankers and branch operators should embrace this growing trend
in borrower empowerment. Many lenders already offer a variety of basic online
lending features, starting with a loan
search, rate calculators, product-com-parison engines and branch locators.
Some have expanded their online offerings to include guidance on property
search and research news. These borrower enablement features help build
better brand perception by promoting
transparency and attracting customers
with highly user-friendly online features.
In the past few years, many lenders
have realized the power of borrower enablement. By delivering more timely and
precise information and services, you
not only keep borrowers more involved
throughout the mortgage lifecycle but
also deliver more efficient and effective
customer management. Mortgage bankers and branch operators must ensure
that their businesses can engage and
keep these clients by offering their own
tools to empower borrowers.
There are many benefits to having an
empowered customer base. These
• cost savings by reducing workload
• improved lead management
• increased pull-through
• better customer service
Borrower enablement reduces the
workload across the front-, middle-and back-office. Front-office workload
is reduced through automated lead
management, borrower registration,
and conversion from product and offer
comparison to application. The middle-office workload is reduced through
regular status updates on approvals,
document processing, etc. Back-office
workload is reduced through automated payments, borrower updates
and document publishing.
In addition, interacting with borrowers at regular intervals ensures that
processes become more streamlined.
Seamless information flow and communication with borrowers at pivotal
points in the lending process helps
mortgage banks achieve greater cost
savings and efficiencies.
Illustration: Dennis Wunsch
It’s easy to get lost in the variety of possible features available when looking at
online tools for empowering borrowers.
a structured and comprehensive approach is required to lay out a defined
and definitive roadmap. This should
take into account internal resources
and budgetary constraints, the technology landscape, competitive landscape,
current features, feature complexity,
business impact and business drivers.
For example, a lender that originates
mortgages primarily through retail
channels versus one that originates
through wholesale would require a dif-
ferent set of features. an analysis of
the current offerings is required to un-
derstand what is needed and what is
possible to implement. a lender with a
basic Web presence with little descrip-
tions of products and interest rates
might choose to implement just a basic
rate-and-payment calculator and some
alert features, rather than taking a big-
bang approach of embracing a full set
of advanced features.
The complete list should include
features across all process areas, with
details as to what each will offer to the
customer and the corresponding benefits. Determining the business impact
of the feature will be based on benefits, the competitive landscape, the
business model and business drivers.
assessing the implementation effort
should take into account the existing
technology landscape, current features
and feature complexity. The final step
is prioritizing these features based on
business impact, implementation cost,
internal resource constraints and budgetary constraints.
Implementation priority depends on
the trade-off between business impact
and implementation effort. The quick
wins are obviously the ones with high-impact and low-implementation effort. The next set would require deeper
thinking by management, based on
business benefits and budgets.
• • •
Borrower-enablement initiatives help
keep the borrower engaged throughout
the mortgage process. This ensures that
customers remain happy and productive,
which increases confidence in the lender
and fosters a long-lasting relationship.
Satisfied borrowers not only contribute
more revenue themselves, but they also
help generate referral business.
In addition, the cost savings from
these initiatives can significantly contribute to expense-reduction goals,
while freeing resources to boost investment in related strategic initiatives.
at a time when a recovery in the housing industry seems always to be another
year down the road, lenders have to go
the extra mile to be transparent and cus-tomer-oriented, and borrower enablement is a step in the right direction. •
The borrower-enablement roadmap
should begin with identifying a complete list of features, determining the
business impact of each feature and
calculating the corresponding implementation cost to help decisionmakers
prioritize features based on facts.
Ashish Shreni is the practice lead for consumer lending at Cognizant Business Consulting. He has more than 12 years of experience
in banking and financial services with a focus
on the consumer finance space. reach him at
email@example.com. Sanjit Bose
is a senior consultant at Cognizant Business
Consulting. He has more than eight years of
experience in banking and financial services
with a focus on consumer lending. reach him