First State Bank of St. Charles maximizes value through Blend | Blend

First State Bank of St. Charles maximizes value through Blend

Learn how additional training resulted in a 98% adoption of Blend’s Mortgage Suite from FSB Loan Officers and Processors.

In the competitive landscape of mortgage banking, delivering exceptional experiences to borrowers while simultaneously optimizing operational efficiency is paramount. Executives across the mortgage industry understand the importance of partnering with technology providers to simplify and streamline workflows for their lending teams, but many don’t prioritize the ongoing training and support their teams need to fully utilize the platforms that have been implemented.

For First State Bank of St. Charles (FSB), partnering with Blend’s Customer Enablement Team to enable their mortgage team with the right tools and knowledge has been instrumental in driving business value, boosting customer success, and maintaining a competitive advantage.

Blend’s robust Customer Enablement Program sets us apart from our competitors by focusing on user success, seamless platform adoption, and ongoing support. Our enablement sessions also give us the opportunity to gather valuable feedback that can drive product development based on actual customer needs.

Customer Spotlight: First State Bank of St. Charles

First State Bank of St. Charles’ journey with enablement sessions showcases the transformative impact it can have on organizational success.

Despite facing challenges such as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and a subsequent shift to remote work, FSB remained committed to driving adoption and maximizing the full potential of Blend after becoming a customer in February 2020. By offering online training sessions, Blend was able to ensure continuity in their enablement efforts.

Prior to these sessions, many loan officers viewed Blend merely as an application tool for gathering borrower information. Even with Blend’s LO Toolkit at their disposal, some loan officers didn’t understand how to take advantage of it and continued to push applications to their loan origination system, Encompass.

After the pandemic, hosting enablement sessions for end users in-person in Kansas City and St. Louis proved to be pivotal. With a total of 70-75 loan officers and processors in attendance, the sessions were focused on Blend’s LO Toolkit, LO Mobile, and the Agent App. These sessions provided hands-on training, a format that resonated deeply with the team. The interactive training sessions provided a conducive environment for learning, enabling the team to more effectively explore Blend’s functionalities and ask questions. As a result, they discovered untapped features and realized the full extent of Blend’s functionality beyond basic application processing.

Jody Adray, Vice President of Mortgage Information Systems at First State Bank, recalls: “The transition to in-person training was pivotal for us. It allowed our team to delve deeper into Blend’s capabilities and truly grasp how much more efficient we could be. The hands-on experience facilitated a level of understanding and engagement that simply wasn’t possible with remote training.”

The commitment to ongoing enablement didn’t stop there. First State Bank recognized the importance of regular refreshers and updates, and Blend made plans to conduct training sessions 2-3 times a year for admins and end users alike. Loan officers began to adjust settings based on feedback, leading to a more tailored and efficient workflow. Notably, First State Bank made the decision to turn off Consumer Connect. Now, 98 percent of applications come through Blend, a testament to its central role in First State Bank’s operations.

In addition, Blend’s consistent customer support stood out for First State Bank. Compared to other platforms, Blend’s support system proved invaluable, providing guidance and assistance every step of the way. Looking ahead, First State Bank’s plans to prioritize regular training sessions to ensure continued optimization of Blend’s features and configurations.

FSB’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of enablement. By investing in their team and partners, they not only maximized the value of their platform but also strengthened relationships, improved customer experiences, and gained a competitive edge. As businesses navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, prioritizing enablement will continue to be key to long-term success.

Why Enablement Matters

Enablement isn’t just about training; it’s about empowering individuals and organizations to leverage the Blend platform to its fullest potential. The Customer Enablement team at Blend offers onsite and virtual training opportunities to ensure Loan Officers, Processors, Analysts, and other mortgage professionals know the latest functionality of the Blend Mortgage Suite and feel confident with the technology. Enablement sessions have proven to be a catalyst for:

1. Driving Business Value

  • Faster ROI: Equipped lenders see value quicker, leading to improved return on investment. Blend’s Mortgage Suite eliminates an average of 8 days from the overall loan cycle time – from processing to closing – resulting in $914 in average cost savings per loan, according to a 2023 impact analysis conducted by MarketWise Advisors.
  • Increased Feature Utilization: Understanding the Blend platform’s full potential enables lenders to leverage industry-changing features, reducing workload and enhancing borrower experience.
  • Reduced Support Tickets: Efficient onboarding and training minimize reliance on ongoing support, allowing for organic scalability.

2. Boosting Customer Success

  • Smoother User Experience: Effective enablement reduces frustration and confusion, leading to a more positive journey for end users.
  • Stronger Partnerships: Empowering partners with product knowledge fosters stronger collaborations and mutual success.

Ready to schedule an enablement session for your team? Reach out to your Blend Customer Success Manager for next steps.