Mortgage lending is only one product in a full menu of financial services offerings from credit unions. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of mortgage lending and the significant regulatory oversight that comes with it, home finance typically requires its own department, despite the fact that it may not account for a major portion of the institution’s annual revenue in comparison to other products.
Departmentalizing home finance makes regulatory compliance and delivering a high-quality member experience attainable, but at a price. The negative impact business silos have on marketing automation is perhaps the highest cost the enterprise pays. That price, in part, includes additional overhead, such as salaries and facility-related expenses. But when the mortgage department is placed in its own silo, the expense also comes in the form of lost efficiencies and missed opportunities.
Marketing Automation’s Promise For The Credit Union
The success of any enterprise depends upon its ability to consistently brand itself in the minds of its prospects, demonstrate the value of its offerings, and remain top of mind for when the prospect is ready to buy.
Marketing automation offers many advantages to credit unions that are pursuing growth and that seek to deepen relationships with their members. Banking relationships are not simple, and neither is the consumers’ approach to financial products and services, many of which they may find difficult to fully understand.
Marketing automation is particularly effective here as it increases sales and maximizes efficiency for firms with complex sales cycles, allowing marketing and sales departments to manage all prospect interactions and to create, deploy, and optimize online marketing campaigns from a central platform.
But when member information is bottled up in a silo, it costs the entire institution. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem that don’t involve changing the way the enterprise is structured or managed.
Overcoming The Business Management Silo Quandary
Traditional management structures encourage business silos. You can practically see their outlines on a company’s organizational chart. When efficiency is the goal, this type of chain of command has been a powerful tool used by leaders throughout history.
But in our modern world, it also leads to some serious problems.
Some of the problems associated with business silos are non-aligned priorities, poor or non-existent information flow, and lack of coordinated business decision-making across departments.
When each department is operating in its own isolated environment, it’s very difficult for managers to support each other in the achievement of their objectives or to avoid taking actions that can prevent their peers from succeeding. This can have a marked negative impact on overall member satisfaction in the credit union.
In the case of home mortgage lending, it’s surprisingly easy to render the home finance program ineffective simply by departments failing to share important member information the credit union already owns.
Connecting Home Finance And Marketing For More Efficient Lending
While there are opportunities anytime departments collaborate within a financial institution, certainly one of the most beneficial is connecting home finance to marketing. The benefits increase exponentially when automation is employed to pull information from the marketing department for use in the home and consumer lending departments without the need for human intervention.
Marketing is typically the department that owns the best data about prospects and existing members, and can best determine which members can be pre-approved for special offers. But that data should then be scrubbed by the other departments to determine whether the communication is actually right for that member. It’s counterproductive to make an offer to a member that already has purchased that product from the credit union.
The goal should always be to communicate the right message to the right member at the right time. If the various departments are connected electronically, this becomes much simpler.
Some institutions require department heads to file monthly reports and then share this information between departments. That’s not an effective way to operate and it will not lead to high levels of member satisfaction.
When you consider that a mortgage loan offer will likely only be relevant for about 5% of a credit union’s membership, the more accurate the information the offer is based upon, the better.
But the right technology platform offers other advantages in addition to sharing data. With the right marketing automation, a partially completed application need never become a cold lead. When a member abandons an application before completing it, the system can alert the department for human follow-up or, even better, the system can automatically generate a string of additional offers that will attract the prospective borrower back without requiring any human interaction at all.
This type of automated workflow, powered by good information flowing in from multiple departments, can increase a credit union’s funded loan volume by 20% or more.
A Better Outcome
Many have pointed out the problems associated with departmental silos. Often, their proposed solution is to destroy the silo and reorganize the enterprise, but this rarely serves the company well. There are good business reasons for these management structures and they are not likely to disappear from the corporate landscape anytime soon.
In today’s financial services world, data need never be trapped within a silo and, once freed, can be used by the credit union to reach its objectives, and deliver a much better member experience.
The marketing/CRM technology exists today and operates without requiring the credit union to change anything about the way it manages its people, structures its departments or runs its business. Once the institution taps into the full power of the information it already owns, some very positive changes will inevitably occur.
When marketing automation is built into the credit union’s loan origination system it becomes more than a CRM. In the case of our Origence LOS, our integrated marketing automation platform also serves the credit union as a connected data warehouse that stores member data from all departments, keeping it synchronized and ready for use by any department, with full reporting and analytics capabilities.
The benefits of such a system are clear: it will reduce the expense of compiling and sharing data between departments (or the higher cost of not sharing data), but will also contribute to credit union growth and higher levels of member satisfaction. Credit unions are seeing their Net Promoter Score steadily rise because they have implemented marketing technology that helps them collaborate outside the silos in their institutions.
Business silos are not likely to disappear anytime soon, but credit unions that want to help more of their members meet their home finance needs will adopt technology that will allow their member data to flow easily between them. And as a result, they will find themselves in a position to tap into the mortgage loan marketplace and better serve their members.
About the Author
Ken Burns is Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Origence, a CU Direct Brand. With more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Ken’s focus with Origence is providing automated marketing programs and services to the credit union industry.
Origence, a CU Direct brand, is a financial technology provider dedicated to creating new approaches to the loan origination experience. The company’s enterprise origination solution, the Origence platform, powers mortgage, consumer, indirect, and home equity lending for financial institutions. The platform includes marketing automation and POS (point-of-sale) capabilities to deliver greater sales opportunities. By bringing automation front and center to the digital lending process, Origence makes life easier for lenders and consumers alike.