Analysis: Rates mean nothing without service

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Throughout my 20 years as a broker, I told clients that rate was not everything and they should look beyond it to see what the provider had to offer.

After years of wishing that lenders’ service levels would improve, it is frustrating that my experience on the other side of the fence has not seen many of them fulfil that wish. I believe that most clients are disillusioned with the service they get, not just from lenders but from the other stakeholders involved in getting their case to completion as well.

We cannot deny that most service propositions need the support of technology to deliver the final product but providers must be careful not to ignore the human factor. That remains the priority in everyone’s service proposition.

Most service awards are given to providers that deliver across six categories: new business application, product support, personal contact with all stakeholders, central processing, flexibility (with all it entails) and electronic business. To be successful, lenders need to recruit the right people for each category. Those people must have a natural approach to service, no matter what their individual role is, and understand that, while not necessarily coalface workers, they will be vital in generating the repeat and referral opportunities.

The short-term lending sector’s reputation is growing and we, along with many fellow members of the Association of Short Term Lenders, are working hard to ensure that reputation is based on quality service.