Solution Architecture
December 21, 2022

Digital Customer Journeys: Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Learn how to create smooth, easy-to-follow customer journeys for mortgage borrowers.

Step-by-step Salesforce Automation for Mortgage Lenders

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s only goal is to get home. So the good witch gives her simple directions: “follow the yellow brick road.”

Think of digital customer journeys as a real-life yellow brick road. A customer shopping online might click on a tempting social media ad, then fill out a form to unlock a special deal. Each step of the way, from interest to purchase to brand advocacy, is smooth and easy-to-follow.

As a lender, you can wow mortgage borrowers with digital journeys. The new generation of borrowers expects the mortgage process to be transparent and accessible across their preferred devices. Salesforce can help. When you build digital customer journeys in this system, automation makes your team’s life easier while personalization curries favor with prospects.

Keep reading for a step-by-step picture of a digital journey for aspiring homeowners, all possible via Salesforce. You’ll also get an overview of alternative customer journeys, such as credit education and refinancing. Let’s get started!

The Lending Journey: Fastest Way to Emerald City

Marketing. New leads are often sourced via marketing campaigns (or even third parties). No matter the type of ad, once a potential borrower is engaged and shares contact information, they can be enrolled in automated marketing journeys. Personalized messages across email and SMS encourage these new prospects to move forward.

Sales. Once Dorothy arrived in Oz, she was immediately greeted by Glinda and the Munchkins, so the plot could progress. Unfortunately, when successful marketing campaigns yield new leads, the sales team doesn’t always greet them right away. Follow-ups from sales agents can take hours or even days. These delays often result in lost interest and lost business.

Salesforce helps your team by lead scoring. New leads are prioritized – based on your defined attributes or automated Einstein Lead Scoring – and the first point of contact is programmed, saving time. Plus, the sales team receives notifications to keep them in-the-loop.

Personalization. After initial contact, leads can be sent down various customized paths. For example, a follow-up email will look different if the lead already filled out a web form. Digital-native prospects (individuals who grew up with the Internet) appreciate ongoing communication. Automated messages can be customized across content, timing and even channels (phone, SMS, social, etc) to better grab attention. Such hyper-personalized communication at scale can be achieved with the Journey Builder tool.

With Salesforce, prospects get to express their individual preference for how and when to be contacted. It’s this elevated CX that keeps them moving forward on the journey to a loan.

Application processing. If all goes well, your leads apply for a mortgage loan. Then, those applications must be transferred into the loan origination system. This step can’t be resolved in mere hours or days; processing a loan application might take weeks of back-and-forth communication. By connecting the LOS with Salesforce to create a comprehensive smart system, both your team and the applicants benefit from real-time updates. Hopeful borrowers receive in-process notifications while the team can obtain required documentation faster.

Plus, this automated and connected communication serves to keep referral sources in the loop, strengthening those valuable relationships.

Loan decision. Once an application is processed, it’s either approved or rejected. Unfortunately, approving an application doesn’t guarantee a win for your team, just as an audience with the Wizard doesn’t yield an immediate ride home for Dorothy. If borrowers weren’t happy with the service received up to that point, they won’t move forward with the loan itself. Connecting Salesforce with your LOS system and building automation might seem daunting, but CX is key to profitability.

Here we come to the end of the initial mortgage lending journey. Let’s explore a few options for what happens next.

Alternative Journeys: After Seeing the Wizard

Education. Not all loan applications are approved. Sometimes hopeful borrowers fail to qualify due to poor credit histories. While this news is as unwelcome as a flying monkey, it doesn’t have to be a total loss. Digital journeys allow your team to keep nurturing these prospects sans manual effort.

An educational journey is a long-term campaign – lasting months or even years – that helps prospects understand how to improve their credit scores. Helpful tips are usually shared via email. As prospects from this list eventually become viable candidates for loans, the lender that’s kept in touch all along wins their business.

Retention. Let’s assume a given loan application is approved. The natural next step is getting the loan funded in time for the happy borrower to close on a new home. This represents the beginning of an ongoing communication process. Assuming your team disburses the loan, you must continue to check in with the homeowner, gauging their satisfaction.

Keeping in touch after funding a loan is a years-long endeavor. It’s no wonder automation is a relief. In addition to checking in with homeowners to see if they’re satisfied and to give them important updates, your team may also include surveys. Surveys can offer important clues for how to improve CX during the application process and even how to attract new leads.

Refinance. As time passes, happy homeowners become prospects once again. Your team may choose to run digital campaigns for refinancing or home equity loans.

A digital customer journey – aka the yellow brick road – also helps here. For instance, you might start with an email or SMS letting the existing borrower know they’re eligible for refinancing. Next, the prospect in question could follow a link to a customized landing page.This page details what kind of refinance agreement the borrower could get and even an approximate rate they can expect. By sharing all this information quickly and simply, prospects grasp the value of saving money in the long run. Much like Dorothy’s friends keep her on track, hyper-personalization and automation in Salesforce guide prospects to the end goal.

Once you create this refinance journey, the resulting data is funneled back to Salesforce. Behind the scenes, loan originators are immediately alerted when someone shows interest, so you don’t miss a beat.

The Impact of Digital Journeys

Meaningful journeys – in the Wizard of Oz and beyond – have transformative power. You’ve seen step-by-step examples of digital customer journeys. Adopting this technology has big implications for both borrowers and your team members.

First, automated communication unequivocally saves time. For the prospect, personalization makes getting a home loan less intimidating. Borrowers understand what’s happening and they’re contacted immediately in case they need to provide additional documentation. On the flip side, agents don’t have to manually create messages. Plus, referral sources like real estate agents and realtors are kept in the loop effortlessly.

Meanwhile, Salesforce is continuously capturing data. Think of it as your own version of the witch’s crystal ball. The system compiles records for each step of each digital journey. Your team gains clarity into the ROI of unique journeys as well as timestamps for each step. This attribution model allows agents to pinpoint inefficiencies and understand on which steps to spend more time.

By analyzing data, your team can fine-tune its approach, streamlining internal training and processes to stay competitive.

Of course, the mortgage industry is heavily regulated. There’s a lot of data flying around and many communications have to be sent in a defined timeframe. So the third major impact is that Salesforce and Marketing Cloud can help your team stay compliant.

You can set up the system so security policies are pre-built into automated communication. Happily, Salesforce falls under the required encryption, security and compliance policies for all major banks, lenders and healthcare providers. This not only saves your team time, but serious headaches.

There’s No Place Like Home

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” The mortgage lending business has been around for a long time, but it will never be the same. Digital customer journeys can automate away manual work and personalize communication at scale.

Modern borrowers fully expect a transparent and user-friendly process. They want to contact your team across channels and devices, anytime, anywhere. By taking advantage of Salesforce tools and connecting this system to your LOS, all this becomes possible.

If you’re ready to adventure into your very own journey with Salesforce, you might want a supportive cast of characters by your side. Contact us to get started.