2022 was a challenging year for the mortgage industry due to inflation, housing affordability issues, interest rate spikes, and low refinance activity. The general economist consensus is that the housing market will rebound slightly this year, but the outlook is still blurry. Many homebuyers have put their search on hold or can no longer afford to purchase at the current market price. For this reason, it’s essential to prepare for the inevitable influx of future customers and understand the mistakes to avoid with individuals ready to purchase today.
If your team(agents - loan officers, processors, support agents) is using live chat to engage with customers on a regular basis, you may be making these common mistakes which can be detrimental to your reputation and communicative success.
The Overall Chat Experience
Not Finding the Right Balance Between Live and Automated Processes
It’s essential for companies to use automation to complement live interactions, not replace them. A human-first approach will always yield better results when it comes to retention and customer satisfaction. Many companies fall into one of the following two categories:
Not Using Automation at All
While we always encourage live communication with your customers, automation exists to support your agents' efforts. Without it, your team will be missing out on massive efficiency benefits as agents will have to manually complete simple tasks that could be automated. The lack of automation could also hinder availability as agents are not typically online to help 24/7. Customers looking for information after hours could automatically schedule a conversation with your agents for the following day or obtain information provided by the bot.
As you know, your agents can only handle a certain extent of workload - they’re only human, after all! Without automation, your team will lack scalability, as all tasks will fall into the hands of your agents. Instead, automate simple tasks to speed up communication processes and minimize rushed engagement that can result in errors and compliance regulations being violated.
Automation can be a good pre-qualifier or a solid fall-back based on what your scenarios are. As a pre-qualifier it can gather information to determine if an agent should be connected to the chat, as a fall-back it can collect necessary information for an available agent later to reach out to the requester of the chat.
Using Too Much Automation
On the other end of the spectrum, many lenders rely too heavily on automated processes which can cripple customer experience. This method may seem like an attractive option during difficult market conditions as companies believe it is a means of reducing personnel, but instead they make the communication process frustrating and complicated for their customers.
Customers visit your company’s website for information, and if the web chat experience only provides a preset list of options with basic responses, they will turn away. The truth of the matter is that too much automation lacks the versatility that a human approach can provide.
For more information about how Botsplash helps your company balance the perfect mix of live and automated chat, click here.
Improper Lead Distribution and Lead Routing Setup
Botsplash offers custom lead distribution and routing options that can be tailored to almost any business. Customers are extremely time conscious and expect their time to not be wasted. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that all inbound leads reach the correct people and departments. This filtering can be done by automated flows or prior customer history to ensure the “middle man” in the conversation is skipped each time. Few things are more frustrating than reiterating your question multiple times before connecting with the correct person.
Another common blunder to avoid is sending too many inbound messages to one or a few agents, leaving the rest of your team hungry for leads. A proper lead distribution strategy is set up with the customer in mind, ensuring their time isn’t wasted waiting for busy agents to finish their current conversations. Instead, these leads should be distributed evenly to ensure wait times are minimized and customer experience is at its peak.
Botsplash also integrates with your existing LMS/CRM or proprietary
Poor or No Agent Training
While Botsplash is inherently user-friendly and easy to adopt, like anything else, a new platform can seem overwhelming to get familiar with. Whether your company is using Botsplash or another omnichannel provider, the case is the same - your agents should be trained to use it. If active agents don’t properly understand the features available to them, they could be overlooking important time-saving benefits. In return, this lack of agent knowledge leads to diminished customer satisfaction and a drop in revenue that could have been avoided with minimal training.
Beyond features, agents should also have a firm understanding of compliance regulations your team and government authorities set. Botsplash has numerous compliance measures to ensure your team’s safety, but nothing protects them more than proper training. Compliance education for lender communication can save your company and loan officers from hefty fines and legal penalties.
It’s Too Hard to Find Your Chat or the Wrong Chat Type is Employed
As your customers browse your website, it’s important to ensure they can easily connect with your team. Commonly, companies make chat very difficult to locate on their website, leading viewers to resort to other outreach methods or switch to another brand altogether. The chat widget should be in a noticeable location on your website (without blocking content) and properly set up. Botsplash offers its clients the following three different web chat options to best fit the content of the page it’s being displayed on and the engagement goal of the customer.
Suitable for blog or content-heavy pages, inline chat is a fixed form of chat that appears automatically open and is fixed to one location on a web page. This version of chat is useful for collecting form-based information or gathering feedback and suggestions.
As it sounds, movable chat can be moved around the page it’s present on - crazy, right?! This can be useful for data and graphically heavy pages on which content could easily be blocked. If chat is hiding content, the viewer can simply drag and drop it to a different location within the page.
This version of chat is action based and acts as a CTA to initiate a live conversation. Once the widget is clicked, the chat box appears, and an agent from your team can connect. This is useful when you want the customer to pay attention to the content on the page.
To learn more about the different versions of Botsplash web chat and its capabilities, click here.
The Chat is Not Customized for Your Brand
In line with ensuring that the option to initiate a chat is present, it must also be customized to fit your company’s brand. If a chat doesn’t match the theme of your website or is unattractive, it won’t be inviting to engage with. Botsplash allows clients to change the color theme, establish custom flows that represent your service better, and more.
If you are a current client looking to learn more about how to customize your Botsplash chat, click here.
Your Chat is Not Available When Customers Need It
On average, borrowers spend five hours shopping around for a loan online. In an ideal world, your team provides support around the clock, but this isn’t possible for many. Far too many companies lose business after hours due to a “stationary chat”. A lead submits an inquiry, and crickets… there is nobody there to respond, and automated flows lead them in a loop or waiting for an agent to be assigned the following morning.
It’s a wise idea to ensure that your automated processes can pick up the slack when there are no live agents available on your team. Sure, nobody wants to talk to a bot - but it’s better than waiting for an agent who will never connect. To keep customer satisfaction up, ensure automation is taking conversations as far as they can go after hours. Provide an opportunity for the lead to schedule an appointment with a live agent and encourage your team to use the Botsplash mobile app to monitor inbound conversations during slow times when every lead is precious.
Let’s Look for Gaps in Your Web Chat Strategy
Whether you’re a current client looking to ensure that you’re getting the most out of web chat or someone not currently using Botsplash interested in a web chat audit, reach out to us! We would love to review your strategy, suggest improvements, and help you capture new leads.
If you’re interested in the rest of the solutions that Botsplash can provide for you and your team, schedule a demo with us! We would be excited to give you a comprehensive tour of what we offer and help you determine if we’re a good fit for your unique needs.