It’s nothing new to offer a survey after completing a task. Most service industries ask customers to complete some sort of survey that helps them gauge how they are doing. In our industry, most lenders have an automated survey sent to members when the process is completed. That’s a great part of being able to understand people helping people: evaluating what and how you did in your service. We’d challenge you, though, to take it a step further. A survey isn’t something that can be one and done and move on, it’s an opportunity to learn the hiccups that happen and make adjustments whenever needed. That’s why one survey won’t cut it.
When working with a member on a mortgage, a survey can be used as a key indicator on your loan processes and tools, and it should happen after significant scenarios. For example, once the member application is complete (whether online, over the phone or in-person), the members should be asked some basic questions about the experience. These survey questions might include: What did you think about the online application? Did you have any questions about the application? What surprised you about the application? These types of inquiries are useful to improve your tools and processes along the way.
To be effective with this survey concept, you must be consistent and exact on the timing and the questions. We suggest you choose specific times in the loan cycle you want to inquire about and then make sure you make it short and direct.
Consistent Intervals, Consistent Questions
First, select the times within your loan process you want to survey and keep it consistent once established to receive a good sample of responses. If you are having a problem with one area, for example your appraisal process, include a survey at the time of appraisal. If you make improvements there and then want to see how the member likes the title company you are working with, next ask questions during the time working with the title company. You have the control to decide what part of the process to survey just by changing when you are asking the questions.
Once you’ve established who or what you will ask questions about, determine what you want to know. It might be that you want to ask about a particular department like processing or a particular tool such as your online mortgage application. The key to being effective with the survey is to ask the same questions to every member and track it. If you ask about your online mortgage application, make sure it’s the same questions each time.
The purpose in consistency is evaluation. By asking the same questions at the same process points again and again, you’ll have the opportunity to collect the data and review it to make changes. If you consistently see that members are telling you the online application has a poorly worded question or they didn’t understand what something meant, you know it’s time to talk with your provider about making some changes on the app. If your members are frustrated with the title process because they don’t understand what is going on, that means somewhere down the line someone didn’t explain things properly. You can’t put too much weight on something when it comes from one person, but when you have 10 people respond in the same way, it’s time to take a deeper look.
Automate Your Efforts
Finally, yes by all means use your automated surveys. In fact, many survey tools are available to do an online mortgage survey that feeds to your social media pages or collects the feedback on a website for a more public review. These are great tools and, yes, you should use them if you can. However, don’t let the automated survey be your only resource. A great deal of valuable information can be found if you take the time and effort to ask the questions.
This article was first published in CUES CU Management.