Game Change

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Feature Three Keys to a Better Consumer Experience What would the consumer experience be like in a perfect mortgage world? By Don Kracl, VP of Mortgage Products for Mortech T heoretical physicists like to play mind games. It's a noble pursuit in those circles with even the great Einstein solving some of his toughest problems in this manner. They call them "thought experiments" and the exercise allows them to conjure up the perfect conditions to test whatever they have in mind. Unfortunately, in this complicated world of ours, nothing ever seems to happen easily or without a myriad of other things all happening at the same time and causing so much friction that even the simplest goal easily exceeds our grasp. This is especially true when you are dealing with consumers. It's not necessary to conjure away all of the friction that faces lenders to see this perfect end state. In fact, the lender's process shouldn't really be a focus. All that is needed is for someone to postulate the perfect consumer experience and work backward from there. Elements of a Perfect Consumer Lending Experience I t's very much like the old story that has been passed around from one motivational speaker to the next for so many years. A man is trying to read the evening paper as his young son vies for his attention. In an effort to keep the boy occupied, the man tears off the back page of the paper, which features a large image of the planet Earth as seen from space. He tears it into pieces and asks his son to use tape to put it back together. In this way, he creates a puzzle to occupy his son. In an amazingly short period of time the young boy returns to his father with the page completely restored. Surprised, his father asks how this was accomplished and his son replies that there was a picture of a man on the back of that page. When he "put the man together right, his world came together right." The lesson for motivators is clear, but there is also a lesson here for lenders. No matter how successful they are in navigating the many hurdles they and every other lender must face, they will ultimately measure their success one satisfied borrower at a time. Of course, this means that lenders have to rely on the mental processes that their customers undergo to gage their own success. This seems like a subjective measure over which lenders have very limited control. Or is it? Human beings experience events in very different ways, depending upon the circumstances under which they enter a situation. When people feel empowered by good information, a belief that their business partners share their goals for a successful outcome and feel like they know how the experience will end, they generally leave with a positive view of the experience in memory. In cases where humans are asked to deal with incomplete or inaccurate information, a sense that there are no shared goals among transaction participants and no real understanding of their likely condition after the event, people enter a situation with a high level of anxiety. This typically leads to a negative experience and a bad memory that lingers. In some extreme cases, these The M Report | 27

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