October 3, 2016

Mortgage Company Complaint Calls Leads to Content Update

Role: User Research | Content Audit | Content Creation

Problem:

The loan modification department at a national mortgage company was receiving a high volume of customer complaints about their interest rate modification program. The interest rate modification program was popular because it offered a faster and cheaper alternative than refinance. However, only a small fraction of people were eligible for the interest rate modification because it was limited to borrowers whose loans the company still serviced. Customers were angry and threatening to refinance with other companies when they found out they were not eligible for an interest rate modification. Loan officers who referred the customers were also frustrated and angry.phone-agent

Research:

Key goals of the research to understand what both what employees and customers knew about the interest rate modification program and what documentation existed about the program. The research involved three main steps:

  • Listening to customers calls with company representatives
  • Interviewing customers and loan officers who inquired about the product
  • Conducted content audit of the marketing materials, product documents, and forms related to the program.

Key Findings:

  • Very little program documentation existed. The program description and guidelines came from the original two-page product outline.
  • Misinformation spread because loan officers were tasked with selling a product to customers without understanding the product limitations.
  • The information provided to customers did not clearly explain the program or answer their most pressing questions.

Solution:

Created a multi-layered content update and retraining strategy:

  • Developed training materials for loan officers, which provided detailed explanation of eligibility criteria.
  • Expanded original program outline to include program guidelines and procedures that had been informally implemented.
  • Redesigned the referral form that loan officers used to include ineligibility triggers right on the form.
  • Developed a telephone script for customer service representatives to follow when asked about an interest rate modification.
  • Wrote content for the customer information package that provided answers to the most frequently asked questions.
  • Partnered with Marketing to produce newsletter articles that re-educated employees on the program and its eligibility criteria.

Results:

Complaint calls related to the interest rate modification program were reduced by 50% within the first year. Loan officers and customer service representatives expressed appreciation for having the information they needed to advise customers correctly.