The refi boom is winding down (we hope) and that means that servicers, burdened during the past three years with the heaviest volume of loan boarding, payoff and churning activity ever seen, have a chance to sit down and think about what they would like to do differently. Traditionally, servicers looked to their servicing platform for efficiencies. How can we make loan administration faster, cheaper and easier. While productivity and efficiency remain key goals, lenders are doing more than looking at loans serviced per FTE these days when judging the quality of their servicing shop. In the wake of bad publicity suffered by some lenders over allegations of poor customer service, lenders across the country are renewing their dedication to maintaining high levels of customer care. That doesn't mean doing this less efficiently, but it does mean factoring the customer experience into decisions about staffing and automation.
We expect the trend to continue, not only because lenders want to stay away from negative publicity, but because they want to enhance the profitability of their loan servicing business. With banks looking to increase cross-sales through home-equity lending and other services, deeper penetration of the existing customer base is a key driver of success. Customers who aren't happy with their existing home loan servicer aren't likely to buy new products or services from that company, and that puts pressure on lenders to meet or exceed customer service expectations.
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