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Putting Customer Service Atop Your Vendor Checklist

David Rassmussen
Dec 17, 2013

We all expect stellar customer service, but have been trained over the years through circular phone trees, disconnections, language barriers, and scripted responses by uninformed personnel that customer support calls sometimes provide just the opposite experience. Thankfully, we’ve learned from the culmination of those experiences to check Web sites like Yelp! for reviews, or searching Google for insights before locking ourselves into contracts. So, shouldn’t logic follow that in your search for mortgage technology providers that investigating a vendor’s customer service team should rank highly on your checklist? When investigating a customer support team, there are three key areas to focus on: The on-boarding process, day-to-day maintenance and customization/upgrade needs. Implementing new technology typically comes with a certain learning curve. This is acceptable in the event you have a reliable team to help you quickly manage any necessary integration and train you and your team to confidently operate the tool, thus minimizing any frustration that might be associated with the learning phase. Key questions to have answered before committing to any tool or system include: Is there a customer training program to assist you in learning the technology? Once trained, will the customer support team be dedicated to my account, or do we fall into a pool for the first available operator? Do the support team’s hours match up with your business needs? On the topic of day-to-day maintenance, find out how directly the customer support team is connected to those who provide technical support. Additionally, ask your peers in the industry what the vendor’s reputation is for fully and clearly resolving service issues. Software can claim to offer a number of highly attractive features, but at the end of the day, if the system is down when you need it and you can’t seem to get clear information on why tools aren’t available and when they’ll be back up, then those sleek features won’t amount to much in your daily operations. Strong customer support teams will not only engage directly with you, the client, on a dedicated basis, but will also maintain strong connections to the vendor’s product and technology development teams. These connections make all the difference when you need responsive and timely support in the short-term, but also in the long-term when the often disparate client-customer service conversations can be connected across multiple clients and identify opportunities for product enhancements that can benefit a larger pool of product users. Lastly, on the issue of ongoing support, the truth of the matter is that the mortgage technology that exists today is very good but by its very nature must evolve. The technology that works for you and the industry today will need to be updated to meet new industry requirements and support new data types. We will expect systems to move faster, process more and connect in new ways not imaginable today. By engaging with a vendor with a reputation for reliable, on-time and on-budget customizations, you’ve put your firm in a far better long-term position to remain competitive and grow with a trusted technology partner. David Rasmussen is senior vice president of operations at Veros Real Estate Solutions. For more information, call (714) 415-6300 or visit Veros.com.
Published
Dec 17, 2013