Mortgages: Five-star winners

While BM Solutions is continually looking at ways of improving its customer service, it is also very interested in creating a consistent customer service experience.

“This year customers said consistency of service was more important so we focused on providing consistent service without making many changes. And that has gone down really well,” said Phil Rickards, head of sales. Listening to intermediaries and what they want, and reacting accordingly is one thing the company does on a day-to-day basis to ensure quality. Mr Rickards said another key to successful customer service has been having a strong and experienced business development team.

“As we are a wholly intermediary-led business, we totally understand what an intermediary wants from a lender operating in that space,” he said. One source of pride in customer service is a change that went completely unnoticed, Mr Rickards said. The company moved an entire processing operation from one city to another without any noticeable change or deterioration in service, he said.

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Pink Home Loans

Given that this is the third consecutive year that Pink Home Loans has maintained its five-star customer service status, the company’s priority this year has been more about keeping a high standard rather than improving, said David Copland, its managing director.

“What we don’t want to do is fix something if it isn’t broken,” he said. Communication is fundamental to good customer service.

“That has been our priority – to engage with the broker. Picking up the phone and talking to people rather than sending a letter or email,” Mr Copland said. “We want to get into a dialogue with them because email can be so impersonal.”

The company also uses online resources to inform clients. With regular updates about product news and a weekly commentary about the market that takes into account larger economic issues, rather than only talking about housing, Mr Copland said.

The company also offers seminars and training concerning mortgage products and specifically regarding the mortgage market review.

Nationwide Building Society and The Mortgage Works

There are four main areas where Nationwide has made improvements that benefited the broker community, said Andy McQueen, its director for mortgages.

Nationwide, and its subsidiary The Mortgage Works, were the first UK lenders to publish its service levels on a weekly basis. The company also introduced a new method of filing paperwork called a “scan and attach” option. Using this option, brokers can scan in a document and attach them to a case electronically.

The company’s online system allows brokers to access case information whenever they want, day or night, he said. And the company can send case updates by email and text message. To maintain a high level of customer service, Nationwide uses an Operational Quality Framework and also an independent operational quality team that takes samples and performs audits of key processes.

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