September/October 2020 Edition

LO Calls And Their Impact On Conversions

Today’s market is flooded with homeowners and potential home buyers interested in taking advantage of unprecedented low rates. Similarly, countless mortgage loan officers are vying for the same business. Even with high demand in the mortgage industry, every lead counts. Qortel is reporting 4x the number of missed and abandoned calls due to long hold times in comparison to Q3 2019. When a caller does connect with a loan officer, Qortel is hearing 4% of customers calling brokers and banks complain that they haven’t receive the follow-up call or email the loan officer committed to. This is up from 2% one year ago. Complaining customers are motivated customers. Most customers that do not receive promised follow-up items move on to other banks.

Disjointed transfers, full voicemail boxes, long hold times, and broken promises – all common pain points – are a stark contrast to the seamless experience made available through innovative technology and engaged employees.

Consider the last time you audited the experience you are providing over the phone. Do customers believe that calling your company is a hassle? Are there processes in place that force customers to jump through hoops? If so, you are likely to have a high volume of callers move on to a competitor searching for a more seamless experience.

Twilio’s recent Customer Communications Report found that 38% of customers switch to a competitor after a poor communication experience, 66% will tell a friend about their experience, and 41% will stop doing business with the company altogether.

If you want to outperform your competition, differentiate yourself in this competitive industry and close more mortgage loans, you need to prioritize a personal customer experience. Start by taking the time to assess where you are today and what the average experience callers have when interacting with you and your company.

Most people struggle with accurately representing their job performance, as objectivity within oneself is difficult. Numerous studies demonstrate that employees and managers are ditching traditional annual performance reviews. In a 2017 study of 1,500 office workers, Adobe – who stopped conventional performance reviews in 2012 – found that 59% of those surveyed agreed that performance reviews “have no impact on how they do their job.”

An increasing number of organizations are moving to a model that encourages continuous feedback between employees and managers. A stand-out call-tracking and monitoring provider will deliver a wealth of data from recordings of inbound calls.  This demonstrates how call recordings for mortgage bankers are a powerful self-training and development tool. Managers can identify performance improvement opportunities by listening to how employees manage the caller experience. Employees can self-assess and improve by listening and scoring their phone calls. Self-assessing calls allow you to reflect on the caller’s experience and adjust future performance. This process provides a platform for training applications and aligns self-accountability with performance.

Mastery comes from self-discipline; consequently, practicing scenarios is paramount. Most of us have a favorite athlete or actor that comes to mind. You can guarantee that whomever likely practices their skills repeatedly until they are as close to perfection as possible. You can do the same to perfect the experience you deliver over the phone. Taking the time to master the components of a great phone process and caller experience is the first step in differentiating yourself as a true expert and trusted advisor in the industry.

Take a moment to review real-time coaching feedback provided to a banker after self-assessing their performance after a phone call:

“The beginning of the call and your introduction of TFSB was a good start. Overall, your script adherence was too standard but has some opportunity to improve how you’re able to pivot to mirror customer cues throughout the call. This caller was patient with a relaxed tone. If I were to guess his DISC style, I’d say he is an S/C. While you tried to create a connection and resonate with the caller, this type of style best connects when met with a methodical approach to the information provided and thorough explanation of details, which you struggled with on this call.”

To the average ear, the beginning of the call may have seemed adequate – the loan officer provided a good first impression and generally adhered to the script Areas of opportunity arise within caller communication style nuances. While we may have one script to follow, there are multiple buyer personas and different communication styles. Not every style resonates with every caller.  Have you ever been in a situation where you felt more like a number than a customer? It’s a poor experience when you’re working with someone who doesn’t see you as an individual and certainly does not inspire you to buy. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, adapt your communication to the caller’s style. Are they speaking with a loud and fast pace-tempo or quiet and subdued? Next, please pay attention to what they’re saying and listen for their level of assertiveness and openness. These small hints can reveal a lot about your caller’s preferences.

The call coaching feedback continues with assessing key skills that motivate customers to share information:

“Probing questions are essential to building value in our programs, especially gathering information about the caller’s debts and whether they need money for improvements, etc. Effective questions you asked uncovered details about plans for home improvements, credit card debt, and multiple automotive loans – Terrific work! When the caller was hesitant about providing his SS#, it didn’t take much to overcome his objection, but I’m not sure your explanation was strong enough to overcome with every prospect because you didn’t connect the benefits he might be entitled to with his situation before asking for information and putting him on a long hold for a review.”

The loan officer was able to gather the necessary information, and the overall tactics weren’t representative of what drives success on most calls (maybe stat in here about credit pull)

To wrap up the feedback on this specific call, unfortunately, it didn’t end with an application, nor an approval:

“Once you returned to the call, you launched right into how much money the caller could get back before you understood the specifics about his mortgage payment allocations and explained what the program would do for him. Then, when you started running more numbers and asking multiple questions about why his home insurance is so high, he became frustrated and abruptly ended the call. This is the primary reason our scores were the same, and we both “disagreed” that you made it easy for the caller to do business with TFSB. In the future, I’d recommend gathering all the information you need to connect the caller’s situation with the program benefits instead of collecting some and then watering down the benefits presentation with additional discovery. This process is all about striving to be the best that we can be, and I look forward to hearing from you nail your next call!”

Download your Call Coaching Form for your Loan Officers