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STRATMOR Emphasizes The Importance Of Process Improvement

In STRATMOR Group’s March Insights Report, Principals Jennifer Smith and Jennifer Fortier explore the benefits of regular mortgage process reviews and emphasize the importance of thoughtful planning, execution and ongoing support to ensure successful and sustainable changes in processes. They also identify potential challenges that can derail sustainment of new processes and provide tips on how mortgage lenders can overcome them.

Smith and Fortier discuss the common reluctance among lenders to examine and improve their processes, citing reasons such as perceived cost, lack of expertise and inertia.

“It takes real grit to want to look under the hood with an objective eye and to do so on a regular basis. I see operational reviews as an annual check-up or semi-annual teeth cleaning,” says Smith. “Lenders need to get in front of potential issues before they become a real problem — or discover a problem early enough to easily fix it.”

Drawing from STRATMOR’s extensive MortgageCX data, Smith and Fortier call out seven key process mistakes that can directly impact repeat business and referrals. For example, not calling the borrower prior to closing and repeatedly asking for the same documents make it less likely a borrower will do business with — or refer business to — the same lender.

Smith and Fortier offer suggestions to help lenders get to the heart of these types of breakdowns in process, such as using tools like a fishbone diagram to identify causes of problems. They also emphasize the importance of focusing on user adoption and sustainment when implementing changes in the mortgage process.