Written by Inlanta Mortgage Inc. Third Party Originations Manager, Dave Stephan.
Bad customer service is nothing new. I’m sure that as long as there has been an exchange of goods and services among humankind even the first caveman probably muttered something about waiting in line too long to get his share of wooly mammoth.
At times, I feel like we’re resigned to receiving bad service or, at worst, simply grown to expect it. Often, companies are striving to maximize profitability and cut costs where savings can be easily and quickly achieved. Low staffing and training levels lead to high turnover, which leads to increased costs, which leads to lower staffing/training, and the cycle renews itself.
I was treated (yes, treated – more on that later) to one of the most shocking examples of poor service recently at the 2017 Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association’s Spring Real Estate Conference. Imagine a typical conference lunch among your peers. Food is served, water and coffee are poured, and oops! Your server fills your glass (leaning in waaay over your back) until it overflows on the table and you notice it happens to the person next to you, and another, and another. Now, the server is talking on his cell phone while trying to pick up dishes.
He drops a tray and asks a diner to hold some dirty dishes while he picks up some others. Soon, mouths in the room are agape and people are whispering. Cell phones come out to record for several minutes what looks to be a social media worthy disaster in the making. Then, the server begins heckling the lunch speaker! Beyond the worst service ever.
As it turns out (and as you might have guessed), the server, Don Pryor, AKA The World’s Worst Waiter, was the lunch entertainment. The gig was up when the keynote speaker, as he was being heckled, challenged Don to come up to the podium to see if he could do better. Don spoke for several minutes about his experiences doing this skit over the years, recounting reactions ranging from mild annoyance to threats of physical harm. It was one of the most memorable conference experiences I’ve had and it got me thinking.
As bad customer service experiences go, it was fascinating to see how polite and tolerant the audience was, at least until things went way over the top. Perhaps, in a less public setting, things would have been different but I suspect we have indeed lowered our expectations in these kinds of interactions. Given a slightly less outrageous spectacle, I think most would have chalked the experience up to, “what can you expect?”, and hardly given it a second thought.
Mortgage Lending is at its core, a customer service business. We sell an intangible product that through all the technological advances of the last decade or so, still hinges on the interaction between borrower and lender. As such, we’re susceptible to the same lessening of expectations of any customer service business, even something as different as food service.
We can help your institution focus on that customer interaction by leveraging Inlanta’s Third Party Origination program and the expertise that a billion-dollar lender can bring to the table. Your originators can manage the customer experience for all your FHA, VA, USDA, RD, and even conventional loans and we take care of the rest.