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Financial institutions today are being challenged to deliver compelling customer experiences that meet increasingly sophisticated expectations, thanks to companies like Amazon, Google, Uber and Apple. Business owners, as consumers, are demanding a similar experience. Without a well-structured, well-defined set of lending processes, modern borrowers can be easily tempted to look elsewhere for a best-in-class small business loan experience. 

Follow these key steps to ensure borrowers don't go elsewhere​:

Make Applying Easy. In order to change your customer’s mindset when it comes to submitting financial information, you must make change as easy as possible for them. Make it so easy that they will never want to go back to their bad old paper-based ways – or even to email. Put yourself in their shoes; two years of both business and personal tax returns amongst everything else means a lot of documents to submit for a loan. Do they want to email it? Of course they do! That is the easiest route – but it isn’t safe. And they definitely do not want to hop in the car to bring you that mountain of paper!

A seemingly small shift in how you allow borrowers to submit their financial packages will go a long way toward winning them over. Provide businesses with a portal for secure digital upload of all financial information.

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 When you land on a website that is old or outdated, your first instinct is to move to the next site.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.

The interface affects the borrower’s experience as well. Make submitting information through the platform more appealing than the manual method. Give them an incentive, like a quicker response or a financial discount on their origination fee. Your institution will be saving money on the back end by not having to scan all those documents – pass that savings on to your customers.

Increase automation, not just for your customers but also for you. By providing a digital platform for your borrowers to submit their documentation, you are in essence letting them do the heavy lifting – and they don’t even realize 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. 

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 these 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.
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