Foundation Updates

You said, we listened… How we have improved our communication with brokers

09 Feb 2022

You told us your preferred channel of communication with your Foundation regional account manager is via the telephone, closely followed by Teams or Zoom calls – Here’s how we have changed our process to meet your needs.

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Historically, the engagement process between a Regional Account Manager (RAM), has tended to revolve around face-to-face meetings and networking events.

However, this ‘norm’ has been challenged many times over the course of the pandemic and we, as individuals and businesses, have had to adapt accordingly.

It’s easy to see how inefficient the ‘standard’ RAM approach was at times. Spending hours in cars between meetings, often in traffic jams where the phone signal kept dropping out when trying to solve a range of broker enquiries; hands-free of course. That’s not to say there’s no place for face-to-face interactions or events, far from it. However, with the technology, data and systems that we now have access to, we are able to work smarter, more cost effectively and reduce our carbon footprint. All whilst offering you greater access to our sales team.

Within this transitional period, feedback from brokers suggested that their preferred channel of communication with their Foundation regional account manager is via the telephone, closely followed by MS Teams or Zoom calls to help extend some degree of facial recognition. These findings were also reflected in Smart Money People’s H2 2021 Mortgage Lender Benchmark research, which asked:

How do brokers want to speak to relationship managers?

  1. Telephone was by far brokers’ preferred channel of contact with their relationship manager (59%)
  2. Virtual channels (e.g. Zoom) the second choice (41%)
  3. Face-to-face was not deemed essential by brokers, but it’s clear that you prefer ‘voice communication’ to non-personal channels with email being the least preferred option. Although, brokers responded that they are happy to use email in combination with telephony.

What factors count for lenders rated highly for RAM contact?

  1. Being able to choose how you contact a RAM was the most common theme
  2. Brokers also want to manage the level of contact, know that their RAM is there to help when required and they appreciate timely, appropriate updates but not being hassled or spammed with emails.
  3. Speed of response was the third key theme highlighted by brokers in the research.

What has Foundation Home Loans done to implement these changes to how do our BDM and RAM teams now operate?

Essentially, we at Foundation have changed our weekly approach for RAMs to one day on the road and four days working from home.

As a result of this shift, we have found that our RAMS are building better relationships with their brokers because they are able to carry out more meetings in a day and are supported by a much larger telephony BDM team to help with case updates.

They can also respond to emails more quickly as they don’t have 2/3 hours of driving in their day.

We have embraced the virtual world, and one RAM can have one-to-one meetings with brokers in Manchester, Leeds, London and Southampton all in one day having not left the house. Whilst we could have done this before by phone, video calling with the ability to share screens has made a significant difference for many people.

Contact your Foundation RAM or the telephony BDM team here

From a managerial standpoint, it’s also important to be aware of how these changes to working practices have impacted our people and be extremely conscious of their wellbeing. Many people move into sales roles because they are social beings who enjoy the human contact and enjoy being out and about. So, our big focus for the year ahead is to be flexible in our engagement process with individual brokers where possible, and facilitating constant, specific dialogue with our own sales team   centred around their wellbeing. And this is a balance we have to keep getting right, so please, keep feeding back to us.

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