According to Adobe’s 2022 Digital Trends Report, workflow issues are the second most significant barrier to providing excellent client experience (behind poor integration between technology systems). By taking a client-centric approach to building workflows, title agencies can deliver a consistently impressive client experience and earn repeat business.
We recently sat down with Qualia’s Director of Title Strategy, Alex Brown, to discuss how title agencies can quickly and easily evaluate their workflows to ensure they meet the changing needs of their clients. He shared how agencies of all sizes can easily audit their workflows on a regular basis to ensure they evolve with time.
Continuous workflow enhancements to help meet changing client needs
Many organizations assume their work is done as soon as they set up their base workflows. In reality, the work has just begun. In the past, upgrades, such as new features resulting in a net gain of operational tools for agents, were relatively infrequent. However, with increased competition in the title production software space and amongst agents in the market, upgrades are becoming more frequent and feature-rich. As a result, agents operating on the same platform may experience vastly different levels of efficiency depending on how often they revise their processes to include these new features.
Brown recommends that “title agencies adopt a mindset of continuous improvement to ensure that they remain efficient and have the tools to deliver a best-in-class customer service experience. Further, improvements should be accompanied by a verification process to confirm the impact of improvements on customer experience.” He added that this process doesn’t need to be a heavy lift. Instead, smaller optimizations implemented more routinely can contribute to a better client experience.
In order to avoid making workflow updates disruptive, Brown suggests title agencies do the following:
- Design standardized architecture for workflows. Lack of standardization can lead to inconsistent buildouts, more difficult internal training, and a higher likelihood of inconsistent client experiences. Title agencies that standardize how workflows are built ensure a consistent client experience regardless of who is working on an order. Standardization also makes it easier for title agencies to make global changes across workflows for easier and more efficient maintenance.
- Establish an exception management process to identify and remove less common tasks from base workflows. Brown recommends creating an exception management process to avoid complicating workflows with edge cases and infrequent scenarios. Formalizing the definition of an exception and addressing scenarios that fall into that definition can help title agencies avoid adding exceptions to their base workflow.
- Limit the number of workflows to create a more scalable workflow model. Some businesses may use multiple workflows for a single type of transaction, such as a purchase transaction. This type of setup tends to overutilize one system feature (workflows), while underutilizing others (transaction types and smart action groups). Brown encouraged agencies to simplify processes by operating with a scalable workflow model that incorporates a base workflow per type of transaction while leveraging other system features to pull in tasking for variations of that type only when needed. For example, Orchard Title was able to reduce its number of workflows significantly using this method. Simplifying workflows in this manner also helps reduce workflow debt, which is the hidden cost that results from a complex and unmanageable schema of tasks, workflows, and automations.
- Take inventory of integration opportunities. Lack of integrations—especially lender-title integrations—can result in operational bottlenecks. Identifying ways to integrate with partners to avoid delays caused by manual data entry can result in more efficient workflows and improved client experience.
- Collect feedback for insight into client satisfaction. Client feedback can help agencies identify common pain points in their processes to make impactful improvements. One way for title agencies to do this is by setting up a rule-based automation to send out a client survey as soon as each closing is complete. Using responses to gather timely data and listen to client frustrations can help agencies take a client-centric approach when optimizing workflows.
- Cultivate a culture of system usage via report-based management. With actionable reporting, businesses can track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to client experience. These insights can identify opportunities to improve processes for efficiency and quality. For example, title agencies can calculate their team’s closing rate to see how fast they’re executing closings. They can use this KPI to gain insight into workflow efficiency and identify processes that may be slowing down closings.
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