Recently J.D. Power released the results of their 2021 U.S. Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study.SM The study revealed that the consumer lending industry was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (tell us something we don’t know) and that technology was key to keeping consumers happy.
"The consumer lending landscape shifted dramatically over the past year and consumers need to understand that this shift will be permanent. To attract and retain customers, personal lenders need to deliver easy-to-use technology and adapt communication channels to market demands.”
-Jim Houston, managing director of consumer lending and automotive finance intelligence at J.D. Power
So, what are the major takeaways the financial industry should take from the study? Let’s run through them.
Overall Customer Satisfaction
Slower application approval times and stricter credit criteria made the overall satisfaction scores for FinTech lenders decline five points this year, which shows that those things matter to customers. As homebound consumers flocked to the Internet to obtain loans this past year, online applications became increasingly important. If those applications were clunky or slow or overly rigid, customers were quick to notice. And they didn’t like it.
This year focus on building great customer satisfaction. Provide a way for customers to submit feedback. Go through your own system as if you were a customer and see where you get frustrated. Find the areas where your business could improve and steadily work on improving them. And if your application approval is a little slow, let us help you start approving loans in less than a minute.
Trust is Up
During the pandemic overall trust of the financial industry improved. In a time of uncertainty, lenders were great at providing guidance, putting the customer first, supplying dependable technology, and delivering effective communication.
Now lenders need to keep going. Building relationships is vital. Let customers know that you care about them. Let them know that you care about the things they care about. Communicate effectively and consistently and make sure to continually adapt the way you communicate to meet market demands. Transparency is crucial. Customers need to know they can trust you and that you want to help. Figure out where your customers may need assistance and then proactively give them the guidance that they crave.
“Understand that this shift will be permanent.”
Online is Key
The pandemic brought us remote work, online school, and a plethora of online shopping (I’m looking at you Amazon.). Everyone was forced to become more digital, and lenders were no exception. Consumers relied heavily on mobile applications and their personal computers for all their financial needs. Secure and easy-to-use sites were in high demand.
As we move forward, effortless websites and mobile apps are going to remain a priority. Like it or not, users are going to compare your site and your app to all their other web interactions. Your site isn’t going up against another lender’s site, it’s going up against Apple’s. Your app isn’t being compared to the bank down the street’s clunky app, it’s being compared to Amazon and Instagram. You need to put your best digital foot forward. Allow your customers to electronically sign documents, use texting to communicate, be open to various payment methods, and, most importantly, provide a website and app that is quick and easy to use.
“To attract and retain customers, personal lenders need to deliver easy-to-use technology and adapt communication channels to market demands.”
The pandemic has not been fun, let’s just admit that right now. But we can’t pretend like it never happened. What we can do is learn from it. We can learn what worked and what didn’t. We can learn the value of adaptability. We can learn to be optimistic and move forward. And we can take all the lessons it taught us and become better.
Want to see how GOLDPoint Systems can help your business become better? Request a free Demo or talk to your GOLDPoint Systems account manager today.
The J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study measures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in three factors: offerings and terms, loan management, and application and approval. The study is based on responses from 2,467 personal loan customers and was fielded in December-February 2021. For more information on the J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/financial-services/us-consumer-lending-satisfaction-study.