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Conference tackles the big issues

Delegates learnt the best way to balance high demand with quality customer service at last week&#39s Mortgage Strategy on Best Practice in Mortgage Processing conference. Some of the industry&#39s best-known names gave their view on subjects as diverse as improving broker/lender communication and the role of technology. Opening the two-day event last Monday at London&#39s SAS Radisson Hotel, Lynne Peacock, chief executive officer of The Woolwich, promised broker and lender delegates an educational schedule they could apply to their own business. She told the conference: “Over the next two days, we will hear from a range of speakers, who will take us through some of the biggest issues facing mortgage processing across the industry.” Richard Hearn, sales and service director of Britannic Money warned delegates that poor service is proven to halve the value of a business. Quoting figures from the Institute of Customer Service, Hearn revealed average profits per employee in &#39good service&#39 businesses are £72,300 – more than double the £30,500 recorded for &#39poor service&#39 business. Other data shows that some 68% of customer attrition is due to a company&#39s “perceived indifference”. Hearn told delegates: “The UK mortgage market is the most mature in the world. Out of products, price and service, service has the biggest gap between customer expectation and delivery.” Meanwhile, Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, told the floor that reform of the Data Protection Act could speed up the homebuying process for the benefit of lenders, brokers and borrowers. He said: “One area where the government could improve the DPA is to give brokers authority to get credit information from lenders.” After chairing the first day&#39s events, Peacock handed over to Adrian Coles, director-general of The Building Societies Association for Tuesday&#39s concluding session.

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