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As long-term interest rates fell to record lows in late 2001, refinancing existing mortgages became a priority with many customers. ABN AMRO Mortgage recognized in 2000, before the dramatic fall in interest rates, that it needed to improve its service and cost-effectiveness to retain customers as well as generate new loans.
"Mortgage refinancing demand can be very unpredictable, and is typically driven by short-term interest rate fluctuations," according to Garth Graham, First Vice President, Customer Acquisition and Relationship Management at ABN AMRO Mortgage. "When short term rates show a substantial drop, customers are immediately on the phone asking us how much they can save by refinancing their mortgage. If we can’t handle their calls instantly and give them an answer right away, we risk losing their business."
Customers wanting to know how much they can save by refinancing create a huge demand on ABN AMRO Mortgage call center resources that is almost impossible to predict, Graham explained. To help manage this demand, Graham saw that ABN AMRO Mortgage had two main objectives. "We were looking for ways to give customers an immediate answer to the big refinance question: ‘Can I save money?’ And we wanted those who could save money to provide us with information through a speech-driven application that would speed up the entire refinancing process." This application would help to free loan agents from having to spend valuable time separating customers that can benefit from those that can’t, and allow them to concentrate on closing loans instead of performing routine calculations and handling repetitive questions. And all customers wait times are reduced, providing better customer service.
Initially, Graham was attracted to TuVox’s hosted and managed services model since it allowed ABN AMRO to use voice self-service on a pay-per-call basis. TuVox’s track record of deploying applications in a matter of weeks without requiring large upfront purchase costs or IT infrastructure changes, made it a unique contender. As Graham delved deeper, he recalled discovering several distinct advantages ABN AMRO would gain from working with TuVox.
Those who meet the qualification criteria have the opportunity to use the voice response system to begin the refinance process immediately. The speech application has a natural, friendly and polite conversational manner that leads callers through the information collection process. The TuVox voice application is dynamic so questions can be based on caller responses (e.g., if no co-borrower, then there is no need to ask any co-borrower questions). Depending on call type, a customer is routed directly to a live agent or is handled entirely by the voice response system.
"One of the main reasons for our success with voice self-service is ABN AMRO Mortgage’s willingness to trade information with the customer so there is value in the transaction for both parties," Graham emphasized. "With TuVox’s Loan Capture application, our customers learn immediately if they can save with a refinance through us, and within half a minute know how much they can save."
Customers who understand how much they can save are then willing to hold for a live agent, or use the speech application to provide more information that will help speed the processing of their refinance loan transaction.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Looking To Expand Voice Self-service
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Looking To Expand Voice Self-Service
About ABN AMRO:
ABN AMRO is an international bank with European roots. We have a clear focus on consumer and commercial clients in our local markets and focus globally on select multinational corporations and financial institutions, as well as private clients. We implement our strategy through a number of Business Units (BUs). These units are responsible for managing a distinct region, client segment or product segment.
Published: Friday, December 29, 2006
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