How LendingTree reduced call times, increased leads, and saved $145,000 a year - Business Insider

How LendingTree reduced call times, increased leads, and saved $145,000 a year @ServiceCloud #ad

12/3/2020 10:09:00 PM

How LendingTree reduced call times, increased leads, and saved $145,000 a year ServiceCloud ad

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, a loan comparison website, was growing, it needed to improve its customer data system to support various teams and partners.It implemented Salesforce Service Cloud, which made customer support calls faster, helped capture more leads, and saved the organization money in training new hires.

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This helps LendingTree work more seamlessly with partnering vendors and integrate acquired companies, which is positioning it for even more growth.LendingTree knew it needed to improve information flows as the company experienced fast growth. The business is complex: It's an online broker that allows consumers to do comparison shopping for lenders and offers 16 services ranging from credit cards and car loans to mortgages, insurance, and business loans. The company works with 500 vendor partners who provide the loans.

It has several systems for managing customer information that haven't always worked together smoothly.For example, at the call center, service agents had to access three separate databases while customers were on the line: one for customer profiles, another for online loan applications, and a third for customer actions like submitting a question for a lending partner. Agents often had to place customers on hold, and submitting their information to partners was a slow, manual process.

"Our homegrown applications were limited and siloed, and automation was almost nonexistent," says Jason Stefanacci, LendingTree's director of business enablement. "We needed a way to scale while meeting our revenue targets."Merging three systems into one

LendingTree adopted Salesforce Service Cloud and Mulesoft to unify information. Mulesoft, which adds information from third-party applications to Salesforce, imported data from all three systems and displayed it to agents on a single screen in the Salesforce Service Cloud console. Fewer customers were placed on hold, and call resolution time decreased from an average of 5 minutes and 36 seconds to 3 minutes and 50 seconds.

Prompt service increased satisfaction, and customer dropouts were cut in half. Agents became more efficient. The new system is also easier for them to learn and has cut training time from three-and-a-half weeks to two. Together, these improvements have saved LendingTree $145,000 a year.

Automating processesLendingTree also used Service Cloud to automate business processes. Agents often submit loan applications to multiple lending partners for each customer. Previously they had to review lender criteria, then manually fill out and submit applications one by one. Now, they simply click preprogrammed buttons on the Service Cloud console to send applications to lenders whose criteria align with a customer's needs and qualifications. Lenders receive applications faster.

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LendingTree also integrated lenders' backend processes with Service Cloud, so they can send loan approvals or denials to the company without using multiple systems or keying in data. Speedier processes for both agents and lending partners means increased business volume for LendingTree.

To further assist lenders, LendingTree created a Salesforce Community Cloud where the lenders they work with can define their criteria, access the company's knowledge base, and submit questions, which are automatically routed by issue and sent to the right LendingTree representative.

Better analytics ServiceCloud has given LendingTree better analytics from its call center interactions. "We know what kinds of cases we're getting, whether they get resolved during the call or require further assistance, and whether customers convert," says Tim Stacey, LendingTree's vice president of contact center operations.

Information that used to be lumped together has been segregated into distinct categories, allowing LendingTree to see where it needs to improve. For example, the company was previously unable to separate customer feedback about its agents and its lending partners. "We could never tell if customers were mad or happy or upset with us or with our partner. Now we can unpack those two channels," says Stacey.

A 360-degree customer viewCustomers use LendingTree for many services, providing cross-selling opportunities. But previously, it was hard to take advantage of them because customer data was housed in separate business units.LendingTree used Mulesoft and Salesforce Customer 360 to create unified customer profiles across departments. "We built a full, 360-degree view of the customer that shows how they are interacting with all of our services, and we feed data from one customer journey to the next," Stefanacci says.

For example, if customers are unsuccessful in obtaining a mortgage, their information is passed to the credit services team, which may be able to help them boost their credit scores. Updates are shared with the mortgage team, which can encourage the customer to try again when the financial picture improves.

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Customer information is also integrated with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, where automated messages are triggered to keep people engaged. For example, if someone receives multiple offers from mortgage lenders but doesn't click to follow through, they are offered help.

"The process can be overwhelming, especially for first-time home buyers. Following up is important," Stefanacci says.Scaling with easeAs it grows, LendingTree is acquiring new companies, and it uses Salesforce tools to improve their workflows. For example, it switched a business loan company it acquired from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning, which enabled it to automate some if its business processes, increasing efficiency.

LendingTree also used Salesforce Lightning to analyze the company's business data, leading to important insights. "When we had the data broken out, we were able to learn what in their sales process led to success or failure," Stefanacci says. As a result, the acquired company changed some of its sales processes. With the new sales procedures and automation in place, the company experienced a 200% yearly increase in volume.

Salesforce has also increased LendingTree's flexibility. During COVID-19, when business loans declined but home mortgages went into overdrive, the company was able to shift employees to more popular services without retraining them in a new system — they simply started using different apps in Service Cloud.

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