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Technology and the advice process: what customers really want – Bawa

by: Ahmed Bawa, CEO of Rosemount Financial Solutions (IFA)
  • 08/07/2024
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Technology and the advice process: what customers really want – Bawa
In this digital age, it’s reasonable to presume that homebuyers will generally expect their mortgage adviser to use technology as part of the service.

Recent data from Finder shows that 86% of UK adults – around 46 million people – use a form of digital or remote banking and more than half use mobile banking. Just over a third of Brits (36%) now have a digital-only bank account, up from 24% at the start of 2023. 

So it’s highly likely that the majority of these tech-savvy consumers wouldn’t expect to sit for hours with their broker rifling through stacks of paper, filling in form after form, then waiting weeks for all the various copies of signed documents, along with physical copies of their ID, to be sent here and there in the post. 

For the most part, those days are thankfully long gone. Forms can be filled in online, identity can be digitally verified, signatures electronically processed and so on. 

It’s not just a case of providing a digital service, or ‘going digital’ in itself, though. All the customer really wants is a process that’s as simple and stress-free as possible – yet ‘digital’ doesn’t always mean straightforward. 

If systems are clunky and not talking to each other, digital can quickly become counterintuitive and no easier than the old-fashioned paper processes.

Take emails, for example; trying to keep track of conversations and case progression can be quite frustrating via this digital method, especially if a customer doesn’t have their own system in place for filing emails and tasks. 

The digital solutions utilised by brokers therefore need to focus on creating a smooth customer journey, with as little room for error and delay as possible. 

 

Creating easier customer journeys 

At Rosemount, all our advisers have access to a complete client relationship management (CRM) system, powered by Twenty7Tec, which includes a whole host of benefits including bespoke electronic fact-finding documents, a full reporting suite, mortgage and protection sourcing, an easy-to-use client portal, and much more. 

The client portal removes the need to track emails, as all documents and communications can be managed through one central platform.

From the adviser point of view, the sourcing system is integrated into the CRM, resulting in less re-keying and a more streamlined, efficient process. It means advisers can quickly and compliantly source for mortgages, produce documents and even progress to a decision in principle (DIP) or full application. 

Thanks to strong lender relationships, our ID verification system is accepted for client verification, so there is no need to certify any paper ID documents. 

It’s not just these direct benefits for the customer that are important. The processes happening in the back end can also indirectly result in an improved customer experience. This includes the data and automations that have become fundamental to the advice process. 

When you have the support of a decent CRM system, you can see where leads are coming from, track cases through progression, monitor your pipeline and commission and run reports to see what deals are coming to an end in the coming months. 

This sort of data is vital for the successful adviser, especially one that is looking to generate a consistent income and grow their business. The customer, in turn, benefits from dealing with a reliable and organised adviser, who is ready to support them at every stage of their homebuying journey. 

 

Improving processes across the industry 

It’s not just about providing tools to speed up and enhance the customer journey, though; we’re also working constantly on behalf of advisers to improve industry-wide processes. 

There’s currently a lack of standardisation across the sector, which can prove challenging at times, particularly when it means advisers have to re-key information several times. We need to get more systems integrated and talking to each other and, where possible, remove the need for manual inputting of data from one source to another. 

In an ideal world, key client information would only have to be entered once, via the sourcing system, and this is something we know Twenty7Tec is working on with lenders. This kind of seamless integration at the back end will further improve the advice and application process for advisers and their customers.

We are constantly working to simplify processes even further, both here at Rosemount and across the industry, to help brokers give their customers the best possible service. 

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