Customer Service in the Title Industry
We’ve talked quite a bit in this space about the importance of customer service in a competitive purchase market. We’ve discussed how important it is for title agents to win (and keep) the business of real estate agents and brokers, who often hold the key to purchase mortgage referrals and title orders. We’ve even talked about the fact that the macro-trend in our industry is edging toward a more aggressive regulatory enforcement environment, which will eventually include pressure for greater transparency and consistent communications with consumers in the mortgage transaction.
There’s another reason title agents should be finding ways to more consistently communicate with REALTORS, loan officers and consumers, and it’s not really dependent on the economy, the market, politics or even the weather. It’s just Good Service 101.
Good businesses, regardless of what those businesses do, speak to their customers in the way their customers prefer. That’s why some industries make it very easy to shop or even conduct a transaction from the comfort and convenience of one’s browser or iPhone. It’s why some industries have found that chat bots are vastly preferred to phone calls and emails when a potential client is shopping. It’s why some industries no longer make you come into a brick-and-mortar store to purchase something; and why many industries no longer use the ancient technique of hiding a product’s price until the very last second.
It’s because that’s what those industries have learned their customers want.
So why do we, as an industry, still rely on things like faxes and voice mails to convey information? Chances are that the same person sending the fax will be checking her texts for personal or even other business messages within seconds of sending that fax.
There aren’t many successful REALTORS out there who don’t spend a lot of time in their cars or in venues preferred by their clients for meetings (e.g. clients’ homes, coffee shops or restaurants, etc.). They’re certainly not plugged into their laptops 24/7. Can you imagine determining whether you’ll work with a REALTOR or not as that professional spends half the meeting staring down at a laptop?
In 2021, the vast majority of people in America use text as a primary form of communication. It’s simply more convenient. And while buying a home is absolutely an important undertaking that merits stopping what one is doing to attend a closing, finding out how much longer one has to wait for the clear-to-close should not take the same effort.
That information should come in a text. Not through a fax. Not by telegram. Certainly not by logging into an app one will likely only use once or twice, searching for one’s password, awaiting multi-factor authentication and then navigating the app…all to see that the closing has not yet been scheduled.
Odds are that you get text updates and alerts from your bank, your grocery store, your auto dealer or mechanic and the retailers you shop with just about every day. So why should consumers and REALTORS have to navigate a phone directory or Voicemail Hell just to get a simple update on the title insurance they didn’t even know they needed until a few weeks ago?
We don’t know either. But we do happen to have a pretty good alternative available!