Earlier this month, the Speedpay team traveled to Grapevine, Texas, for the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo to learn more about what’s top-of-mind for mortgage loan servicers. Jam-packed with informative panels, breakout sessions, networking opportunities and keynote speakers, this year’s conference left us feeling more tuned in to our mortgage clients’ needs than ever before. Here are some of the common themes we heard:
- Natural Disaster Preparedness – From forest fires and mudslides on the West Coast to hurricanes and devastating flooding brought on from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, 2017 was a difficult year from a disaster relief standpoint. As such, a significant portion of the conference was devoted to lessons learned from 2017’s natural disasters. What we took away from these conversations is that it’s so crucial to have a plan with your customers before disaster strikes and to make sure they have a plan too. This plan isn’t just what you do during an emergency – it’s also what you do after the waters recede and the fires die out.
- “Alexa, Pay My Mortgage” – As predicted, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stole the show at MBA Servicing this year. We learned that companies need to recruit people who understand their industry, not just AI tools, because there are certain industry-specific sensitivities that need to be considered. For example, imagine an algorithm that identifies a customer who’s late on their monthly mortgage payment. An automated email could be sent to that individual as a reminder, but it wouldn’t factor in other considerations – like whether the person is in the hospital or otherwise unable to make the payment. Automation can be helpful, but AI needs to be trained to “feel” and “think” as humans do.
- Customizable Customer Service – Another widely discussed topic at this year’s show was customer experience and customer retention, which are topics that always deserve a lot of attention. One of the bigger takeaways from the panels and sessions we attended is that the best experience isn’t the same for every consumer. For example, Gen Xers prefer to speak on the phone to a customer service representative, but for Millennials, speaking to a live person is an absolute last resort. That’s why we believe it’s so important to provide a variety of payment methods and channels, so consumers can pay when, where and how they want.
Of course, we couldn’t leave Texas without having a little fun! After a long day of informative panels and breakout sessions, Speedpay team members, clients and friends visited a few local wineries to get a taste of what Grapevine has to offer.
For more information about how Speedpay can help your customers make their mortgage payments, visit our website.