Australian Broker TV

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The changing demands of customers

On this week's Australian Broker TV, NAB Broker's Steve Kane discusses the shifting expectations of consumers and how brokers should respond, as well as other hot topics at this year’s Australian Mortgage Conference.

Video transcript below:

Steve Kane, General Manager, Broker Distribution, NAB Broker
Steve Kane:
 The immediacy and the intimacy of what customers require today is very different from say 5 years ago.  We are all aware of the devices that are available, the hand held devices, the iPads, what’s happening here is customers are looking for instant satisfaction to whatever their query is and that will flow through into the mortgage channel as well.  So it’s that working together hand in hand between the mortgage broker, the bank that we are trying to achieve a fair value and fair outcome for the customer, but at the same time building a long term relationship.  It’s not about transactions.

Reporter:  Last week’s 2014 Australian Mortgage Conference brought together all elements of the industry to discuss current trends and future issues.  NAB Broker, Steve Kane explains that much discussion this year is around how customer service can continue beyond an initial transaction.

Steve Kane:  If you place the customer at the centre of everything, we have got many types of distribution channels.  Now we have digital and direct, we have store networks, we have third party introduction and we have various players in the marketplace, but what the Conference is really about is saying, how well are those integrated players come to provide a service to a customer in the community that’s looking to satisfy financial need.  We talk a lot about legislation and regulation and how’s that’s played to actually strengthen the mortgage broker’s profession because of the need to actually understand the customer better, to not just look at the transaction today, but look at the ongoing needs of the customer, to talk to what is required under NCCP, responsible lending, that meant that the customer now has a full and frank conversation with a broker and that broker has information that leads to a long standing and hopefully fruitful relationship for both parties.

Reporter:  Also on the table was the industries continue to embrace of the digital and how different platforms could be utilised to provide a more holistic experience to customers.

Steve Kane:  Some of the topics we discussed as I said were digital and what was the impact of digital in the future.  We felt that whilst it will always be there, immediately it’s not going to take over from a face to face meeting.  We are still going to require that intimate touch, we have a very complex market, we have complex needs of the customers, so there is always going to be the requirement for a face to face approach.  It was really important as well that we looked at how the mortgage broking fraternity would perhaps use digital to their advantage and how we as banks need to be able to embrace the whole spectrum of an integrated solution to customers.  So I am a customer going to a mortgage broker, that mortgage broker may have a good relationship with a bank and that bank and the mortgage broker will work together to service the needs of the customer.  But it really is about this integrated response, it’s really about the customer today wanting to be able to touch a lending institution in any way that they can to satisfy the needs they have at the time.

Reporter:  Finally Kane notes that there was much discussion around consolidations, both its positives and negatives.

Steve Kane:  I think there was lot of conversation also around consolidation in the industry, was it a good or a bad thing.  I think that the requirement really over, if you take an industry that 10 years ago was about 10% of the mortgage market, to an industry today that’s somewhere between 45 and 50%, the need for capital development, technology, training has really meant that we had serious players coming in to assist and whilst that is being fantastic for the growth of the industry, it is all about the relationship between the individual broker and the customer and then that customer, the individual broker and their lender of choice to ensure that’s it’s professional outcome at all times and that the customer is at the centre of everything we do.