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Technology: What’s Good for the Homeowner is Good for Our Clients and Cenlar

  • 5 min read
  • Josh Reicher, Cenlar Chief Digital Officer
We live in a world where we are increasingly dependent on technology.

And that means, some days, we find ourselves hammering at a phone keypad and shouting, “Representative!” into a company contact center.

So how do you balance those realities? At Cenlar, we are acutely aware of both the need for technology in the mortgage servicing business and the need to get it right on behalf of every single homeowner we serve.

Without advanced technologies, it would be impossible to service millions of mortgages without sacrificing efficiency, speed and, most important, accuracy. So here, at what we call Cenlar’s Automation Factory, we regularly discuss robotic process automation, workflow, system integration and every sort of advanced automation technology.

In every one of those discussions, it is vital that we understand a homeowner’s willingness to adopt new technologies and their understandable frustration based on real-world negative experiences.

We want automation that allows our employees to do more creative and analytical work. We want to reduce the risk of manual processes, preventing errors and creating a seamless Cenlar experience.

In our contact center, we are well aware of what frustrates homeowners in their routine interaction with technology.

Many of us suffer what is called “menu anxiety” at any list of keypad repeat options that is not comprehensive, intuitive and easily understood. We’ve made the kind of thoughtful investment necessary to make this interaction as seamless as possible.

We know how important your time is, which is why we place such an emphasis on limiting how long homeowners spend on hold, waiting for their call to be answered. Calls at Cenlar are answered considerably sooner than the industry average. We are conscious of frustrations that come when homeowners need to key in information like loan numbers over and over and mitigate that in our process wherever possible with technology fixes.

We’ve also introduced sophisticated chat functions that add another means of communication for homeowners, one that is increasingly being adopted by them. 

One of the great benefits of these technologies is they reduce the need for a common source of homeowner frustration: being shifted from representative to representative.

We know that the technologies we use relate to what is a consumer’s most important financial asset, as well as the place where they live and where they most want to feel secure.

We know, as well, that most of our homeowners have not chosen us but have been assigned to us by a lender with whom they have an established relationship. Our first interaction should not come as a result of a problem but through the careful, reassuring welcome packages we send to homeowners. These welcome materials introduce homeowners to everything they’ll need to start off their relationship with us, including information about programs like autopay and paperless billing.

The good news is that these steps are working. Not long ago, we passed a milestone when the one millionth homeowner decided to adopt an entirely paperless relationship with Cenlar.
More than 90 percent of our clients’ homeowners make payments electronically – because it fast, secure and eliminates the need to put an actual check in the mail.

Our commitment to continuous improvement both internally and externally means that we are not done innovating. We will continue to research and adopt technologies that allow us to best serve our clients’ homeowners — ideally, technologies so advanced that you won’t even notice them.

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