You started your title and escrow business with a vision to provide the best real estate closing experience possible for clients. As your business grows however, it inevitably becomes more and more difficult to provide consistency in that experience, because new employees each bring their own well-intended versions of what they want to deliver. The client experience is what differentiates you in your market, and delivering consistent and excellent experiences is a key to continued growth and success.
So, how do you maintain the vision that started it all and get all ships pointing in the same direction? The key to effectively scaling your client experience is standardized client communications and workflows. Standardization results in consistency —an often overlooked principle that can enable your business to build trust and create a predictable experience that your clients will value.
Consistent client communication: the key to solid relationships
As a title and escrow business owner, you serve many clients in each transaction. These clients all require different types of information at various times during the lifecycle of each transaction. Managing all of these expectations can be time consuming—yet if not managed properly, can cost you a valuable business relationship.
Creating a communication plan and integrating that into your workflows not only helps your staff keep clients in the know, it also enables your business to deliver a scalable and consistent client experience. With a standard set of communication procedures, you can ensure that clients receive the same level of attention and communication regardless of which title agent is working with them. This allows you to establish expectations with clients to create a foundation of trust from which a solid relationship is built.
Your staff should work from a common communication playbook with standardized touch points built into workflows. With the right technology, many of these touch points can be automated to ensure consistency—even when a processor is managing a high volume of transactions. For example, client communications can be built into Qualia Core’s smart actions and sent automatically through Qualia Connect, taking the heavy lifting off of your staff and putting the more repetitive and simplistic tasks associated with your client experience on autopilot.
In addition to establishing predictable processes among existing employees, automated communication triggers can also help new employees get up to speed more quickly on your company’s communication standards so that you can maintain your brand integrity.
Standard workflows: the foundation for operational excellence
Your vision for how a real estate transaction should be delivered is the product of much work and many hands. Business processes and workflows are essential elements of designing your ideal client experience and maintaining this experience as your business grows.
Much like standardized communication, the workflows you build help to add a level of predictability to your process that can help you communicate service expectations to clients. Properly constructed workflows that are executed across all teams within your organization ensure every task is completed within a particular timeline that’s been defined in your workflow—regardless of who is working on the order. For example, clients will come to expect that they will receive a timely email from your team after placing an order if your workflow contains a task such as, “Send Welcome Email” to be completed within 24 hours of the receipt of an order. Meanwhile, if your client does not receive this expected email, this will be a reason for them to follow up to make sure their order was received.
A consistent process also creates predictability in the delivery of products and services so you can more easily follow the trail of activities to spot where delays or errors occurred. For example, if you know that “Task A” is completed within a certain timeframe, and that if it is not, “Consequence B” occurs, it is much easier to find where things might have broken down.
5 steps to design and build a consistent client experience
With a well-thought operational plan, you can scale your client experience to many offices and markets. Here are 5 steps you can take to design your ideal client experience and integrate it into your processes.
1) IDENTIFY KEY CLIENT TOUCH POINTS
Successful title agencies understand how, what, and when to communicate with clients. These are your “key client touch points.” Timely communication regarding statuses, delivery of documents, and transparency around key transaction information all contribute to helping clients navigate their way to closing.
Because title agencies are the conduit for much of the cross-functional information exchanged, it is critical that this information be disseminated to the right parties at the right time. When title agencies fail to communicate with their clients in a proactive manner, they tend to see more client escalations and complaints about the service, despite performing well at closings.
2) DEFINE KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIS) THAT DRIVE POSITIVE CLIENT EXPERIENCES
Determining the critical activities in your process that contribute to either success or failure of the transaction is key to understanding what drives your client experiences. More importantly, being able to measure performance of these critical tasks provides you with real insight into how successful you are at delivering on your promises.
Evaluate the lifecycle of a transaction within your organization and flag any tasks that can either make or break a deal. For example, turn times on title production activities, closing statement preparation and delivery, timely closings, or client surveys. These are the key performance indicators that should be monitored for ongoing performance.
3) CREATE WORKFLOWS THAT INTEGRATE KPIS AND CLIENT TOUCH POINTS
Building essential tasks and key client touch points into your workflow is the first step toward gaining actionable insights that will drive performance across your business. Qualia’s workflow features allow you to create dynamic workflows that can be customized by branch, region, or even client preferences. For example, using Qualia’s smart actions, you can build upon a base workflow to create client, region, or transaction-specific actions. For agencies with multi-state operations, or joint ventures, this can help keep consistency across workflows for reporting purposes and add the flexibility you need to serve the specific needs of your clients.
4) AUTOMATE REPETITIVE TASKS AND STANDARD CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS
Repetitive tasks can clutter up a title processor’s pipeline, causing reduced productivity. Additionally, sending updates, requests for information, and documents to customers and transaction partners is time consuming and reduces your team’s ability to focus on completing closings.
Leveraging automation can help reduce the amount of manual work your team is doing to complete standard tasks. For example, Qualia’s task automation features allows you to autocomplete tasks as work is completed on a transaction. You can also create task dependencies that will automatically add next milestones based on specific criteria. With Qualia Connect and the use of Smart Actions, you can further automate key touch points such as sending key communications and information requests, so that your processor can focus on revenue-generating activities and close more transactions.
5) CREATE AND MONITOR REPORTS FOR ONGOING QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
After you have created your workflow and built your automations, it’s time to get the data so you can have better insight and control of your business. With detailed and consistent reporting, you can gain a 360 view of your company’s performance.
For example, with Qualia’s custom reports, you can link to tasks and other data points in your transaction for a global view of how you’re performing with expected turn times and other KPIs that you identified as important to client experience. With these insights, you will be more strategic in how you communicate expectations with clients and then meet those expectations through consistent, well-measured operations.
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