For banks and credit unions, loans represent a key opportunity to increase revenue, attract new customers, and increase the lifetime value of existing customers. To reach these goals, organizations are all asking themselves the same question – how can we offer loans online in a way that attracts today’s hyper-connected digital customers?
Last week we talked about making the in-branch loan application experience as quick, easy and personal as possible for your customers. This week we’re sharing a few best practices to take that same exceptional experience online. At Doxim, we help our customers make loan origination simple, a process which requires a crystal-clear sense of what online customers expect, coupled with the right technology.
Here are some ways you can meet the loan application needs of your online customers:
- App or webpage? Both. Let customers and potential customers apply for loans either through an app or through a mobile-enabled web page by providing both access points. Don’t expect new customers to download your app just to initiate a loan application. They don’t yet have the relationship with you to motivate that behaviour. Do offer your current customers the opportunity to apply for a loan through their familiar banking portal, though – it’s a fantastic opportunity for cross-selling.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify. Present an application process with as few steps as possible. For example, for existing customers, this means populating as many fields as possible after they log in to your portal or app. A bonus here is that field pre-population not only improves the customer experience, it also reduces the sky-high error rates which occur when people type things into mobile devices. Mobile ID capture and e-signature technologies are also pieces of this puzzle, as they too prevent errors and minimize data keying.
- Don’t make your customers cross channels. The more integrated your loan origination process is, the more likely customers are to complete their loan application. Make them stop and call your call centre or come into a branch to sign paperwork, and you’ve lost them. Customers “bounce” when they hit these points of confusion or friction.
To offer a great online loan application experience, you’ll need to start by selecting a loan origination solution that supports integration with your banking portal, and with the third parties who make your loans possible. Your loan origination solution can help you maintain a complete paperless audit trail and streamline your approval process, ensuring that loans are processed quickly and efficiently, and high standards of compliance and risk management are maintained.
With the right solution in place to ensure speedy loan processing behind the scenes, you can turn your attention to optimizing your app or mobile-enabled webpage, taking into account the customer needs outlined above. For a bit more detail on this topic, here’s a recent article from Google which we found useful when thinking about digital customer experiences. In the article the Google team remind us to reduce steps wherever possible, use analytics to get smart about customer needs in real time, and above all, watch out for slow load times, as they lead to customer abandonment of the site before the loan application even starts. Keep your website and apps speedy, and your process streamlined, and you’ll be ready to entice those customers looking for loans online.
Want more keys to customer engagement excellence? Tune in next week, when we discuss some best practices around client onboarding, another critical business process which can make or break a customer relationship.