Exceptional customer engagement technology for retail banking | Blend
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May 5, 2021 in Challenges and solutions

3 minutes

Exceptional customer engagement technology for retail banking

Application tools with built-in engagement features create a better experience for everyone.

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New retail banking customer engagement technology is enabling banks and credit unions to hone the way they connect with consumers and build greater loyalty as a result. When financial institutions prioritize their customer experience across every interaction, they can improve customer engagement.

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How do we think about engagement for lenders? We start by focusing on the valuable interactions between your business and customers over time. And efforts to improve engagement can lead to significant rewards. Customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer.

At Blend, our customer engagement technology is bolstered by application tools with built-in features that facilitate seamless customer interactions. Our Digital Lending Platform streamlines the journey from application to close — for every banking product.

Customers of Kentucky-based lender Rural 1st appreciate how easy it is to use Blend’s platform. “We still had customers that were apprehensive of using an online application,” said Tori Sommer, a Rural 1st consumer loan processor. “Blend helps our customers to be more engaged, which saves time, especially with follow-ups.”

3 features of Blend that support customer engagement

Our consumer lending software and mortgage software are powered by the same platform, built with seamless application experiences in mind. Here are three features that specifically support customer engagement:

1) A conversational interface

We’ve built an interface that guides borrowers through the application in clear, easy-to-understand language. As the applicant fills in their answers, the information is used to automatically update upcoming steps so they are only asked relevant questions. Additionally, answers to common questions are built into the interface as helpful tidbits to keep applicants moving through the application without having to stop and call a branch.

2) Co-Pilot capabilities for lending teams

Blend’s Co-Pilot functionality helps loan officers provide real-time assistance at any point during the application process. The Loan Officer mobile app makes Co-Pilot available from anywhere: No matter where they are located, loan officers can access a 1:1 visual match of a consumer’s application form and provide helpful guidance remotely.

With access to trusted advisors whenever and wherever they need them, consumers have a smoother experience. This has helped BMO Harris Bank offer more convenient experiences for LOs and customers alike.

“From miles and hours away, our bankers are able to work with their clients and complete applications using Blend,” says Mark Shulman, BMO Harris Bank head of consumer lending.

3) Embedded data connections

Blend’s platform allows borrowers to import data from their bank accounts and payroll providers to automatically complete parts of the application. This pre-fill functionality can speed up the application process.

At University of Wisconsin Credit Union, this functionality has helped ease a step in the process members previously lamented. “Many of us have always heard [from customers], ‘you’re my primary financial institution, why do I have to provide you data when you should already have it’. Well, this has solved that,” said Julio Rios, the organization’s vice president of mortgage lending.

It’s these key features that, through contributing to an elevated experience, can help banks earn deeper engagement and loyalty with their customers. These tools remove guesswork, minimize manual tasks, and create a much simpler and more navigable application process for customers.

How we built our retail banking customer engagement technology

Creating a better consumer experience has been part of our mission at Blend from the very start. In our original quest to make time-consuming mortgage application processes easier for aspiring homeowners, we made sure that customer engagement functionality played a significant part in our design and development decisions.

Today, we have expanded our mission to bring simplicity and transparency to all parts of consumer banking, including personal loans, credit cards and specialty vehicle loans. By applying that same level of engagement functionality to the application experience for these products, we can enable financial institutions to accelerate engagement across every line of business — and create exceptional consumer-centric experiences as a result.

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