One of the most important takeaways post-recession is the need for financial institutions (FIs) to enhance the Commercial Lending experience for both the borrower and the lender. FIs are being challenged to deliver compelling customer experiences that meet increasingly sophisticated expectations, and without a well-structured, well-defined set of lending processes, modern borrowers can be easily tempted to look elsewhere.
A long wait for a decision is the #2 reason business applicants can be dissatisfied with FI lenders, following a difficult application process.*
Follow these steps to ensure borrowers don't go elsewhere:
Make Applying Easy. When it comes to submitting financial information online, you must make change as easy as possible. Make it so easy they’ll never want to go back to their old paper-based ways – or even to email. Of course Email is the easiest route – but it isn’t safe. A portal for secure digital upload of all financial information ensures their data is safe.
Make it Appealing. We live in a visual world. When you land on a website that is old or outdated, your first instinct is to move to the next site. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a company that has created a user interface that is easy to follow, responsive, and modern.
Increase Automation. By providing a digital platform for your borrowers to submit their documentation, you are in essence letting them do the heavy lifting – without them realizing it. Those documents can be sent right into the loan request without anyone having to scan them, collect them, or move them into your record of file. Automation ensures documents are handled only when questions must be answered, making your life easier too. More loans processed = More profitability. And quick auto-decisioning tools can speed up smaller loans, increasing customer satisfaction.
Manual processes restrict workflows, delay communication and ultimately slow down delivery of a loan decision to the borrower.
Appeal to different business types. Serving the financial needs of growing market segments like Healthcare, Staffing and Transportation generate new customers and more opportunities. Having both traditional and non-traditional loan options to serve businesses in different industries where they have the most need – cash flow for growth and expansion.
Stand out as the leader in your market. By creating a superior lending experience, you will be creating the ultimate customer experience. This can go a long way in terms of attracting new borrowers, repeat business and referrals. Simply sticking with your existing commercial lending approach can mean missed opportunities – and significant risks to your bottom line.
*Federal Reserve's 2015 Small Business Credit Survey