Service has been a key talking point of late in both our own trade press and the wider media.
With undercover investigations on TV looking at the level of service experienced by customers on the high street, and Mortgage Strategy’s Straw Poll asking which lender is currently providing the best service, it’s certainly a popular subject.
Abbey for Intermediaries’ service turnaround has been a topic of debate within the industry, following an independent survey showing a 50% increase in satisfaction levels among business with us.
More than 72% of intermediaries say they are now either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service they receive from Abbey. This is an improvement we are delighted to report following our heavy focus on service during the past 10 months and one we are 100% committed to building upon.
As an industry we have been increasingly moving towards a service based relationship model between intermediaries and lenders, an evolution from the pre-crisis days when rate was king.
While rate clearly remains key, the challenges posed by today’s difficult mortgage market mean that securing the right mortgage for a client’s needs is no longer just about identifying the best rate.
It also means ensuring that the case fits the lender’s criteria, is packaged correctly and successfully and quickly placed.
Business development managers are at the heart of any successful relationship between lender and intermediary.
They have increasingly taken on a proactive role during the past few years in terms of information and education, whether out in the field or as telephone based support.
With one of the largest and most experienced sales forces in the market, Abbey for Intermediaries is passionate about the important role played by BDMs and telephone-BDMs in supporting intermediaries.
During the past six months a number of sales forces have joined the market.
This is an indication of the growing recognition of the value BDMs add to lenders and intermediaries alike, not least commercial value in terms of helping both to place quality business.
This is good news for the industry, reversing the trend of falling BDM numbers seen with the withdrawal of several lenders from the intermediary market during the financial crisis, alongside a fall of two-thirds in the number of intermediaries.
At Abbey for Intermediaries, the service turnaround we have achieved is just the beginning of our journey to become the intermediary lender of choice.
We want to make it as easy as possible for intermediaries to place their business with us.
While our sales force continues to support intermediaries, we’ll be introducing further improvements over the coming months to build upon the wider progress we’ve already made.