Q: You’ve achieved significant growth and buzz in the past year in the highly competitive online lending space. What do you attribute to CommonBond’s growth and appeal?
A: I believe CommonBond’s success comes from its roots. As a company, we’re centered on providing the kind of product and service we wanted as borrowers going into the student loan process. For us that means offering lower rates, great customer service, and a commitment to improving education throughout the world through our Social Promise. Since we were all students in the very recent past, we know that this is what’s important to our members!
Q: What’s your approach to creating and delivering the best customer experience?
A: Own the customer’s experience, one customer at a time. In order to do this, we make sure our borrowers know that we’re real people who are here to help them. We’re former students who helping other students get through the process. We’re familiar with the process and the concerns they’re facing. We do everything we can to simplify and explain every step of the way and strive to provide the same honest advice that we would give to friends or family. That’s why the CommonBond Care Team recently won a Stevie Award for providing great customer service!
Q: You’ve embraced texting as a customer service channel. How does this fit with your overall customer care channels?
A: Texting provides great support and allows us to give our customers options related to the way we communicate with them. With a largely millennial customer base, texting is a great asset for reaching our busy borrowers. Ultimately, texting allows us to proactively reach out to our customers and keep the conversation going in a way that’s easy for them!
Q: What kinds of customer text with you? What kinds of questions do your customers ask via text?
A: The customers that always respond to our texts are those who have questions, but they simply haven’t had a chance to proactively reach out to CommonBond. Sending them a text lets these customers see that we’re really there to help them and make sure they’re able to make it through the whole application process.
Customers often ask questions that they might not have the opportunity to ask otherwise. So customers are texting questions that we don’t usually see via phone or email. When borrowers are still going through our application, their questions often have to do with the rates they’re receiving and how we came to their offer and for a quick status update. Once our borrowers are approved, they ask clarifying questions to make sure everything really is as good as it seems.
Q: What advice do you have for delighting your customers and delivering an amazing customer experience?
A: Answer questions before they have the chance to even think of them! Nothing is better than getting all of the information you need without having to ask for it!
Q: Describe your favorite text message conversation you’ve had with a customer.
A: One of my favorite conversations with a customer was one who just kept coming back. The text conversation initially began with the typical outreach and this particular customer let me know that he had decided to look elsewhere for his refinancing options. He had questions that he needed to be answered and once he saw that we’d be able to answer his questions and go above and beyond to do so, he kept them coming. Due to our continued outreach and availability to answer any questions he had, this customer, who already told us he would be refinancing elsewhere, actually re-evaluated his decision and completed his application with us!