Neal Jannels is managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS)

We can all learn a lot from different voices across different industries, especially when it comes to understanding exactly what customers want. Like many people, I sometimes lose a few hours here and there to the internet. Whether it’s falling down a YouTube wormhole or digging deeper then maybe I initially intended into a topic of interest. There is such a breadth of information available at our fingers that we only scratch the surface but any additional knowledge is better than nothing.

With this in mind I’d like to highlight two short passages which recently captured my interest. The first was from an article on Forbes entitled ‘2022 Customer Experience Predictions: What To Expect In The Rapidly Changing World Of Online Shopping’:

“Global business strategy will be regional. Brands can no longer expect that what works for a customer in one country will work for someone elsewhere. As a result, global brands will tailor each customer’s experience to their region (e.g., speaking to them in their language and designing localised conversational AI experiences). For years, companies created marketing campaigns designed for each of their markets while relying on a one-size-fits-all approach to customer care. In the upcoming year, brands will realise the error of their ways and up-level their international support experience.”

I do understand that the vast majority of firms operating in the intermediary mortgage market are purely UK-centric. For me, the relevance of this passage is to simply outline the importance of ensuring that we treat our customers as individuals, even those who may be operating within the same postcode. We have to realise that each and every one has unique needs, preferred ways of engagement and when it comes to the level and types of support required on a one-off or ongoing basis.

The next snippet is from – ‘How Customer Discovery Can Significantly Enhance Your Product-Market Fit’:

“Successful companies understand that having a great idea isn’t enough to convince consumers to give them money for their product. While the initial feedback you get from friends, family and colleagues may be positive, you could get an entirely different reaction from your target customer. It’s critical to carefully develop your product to ensure you have a good product-market fit.”

What is product-market fit?

Product-market fit is a concept where a product naturally generates strong market demand. In most cases, this demand is a result of a pain point that consumers have that the product can help solve immediately. While this may seem like common sense, it can be difficult to achieve without the proper process in place to evaluate and refine your product or service.

Most companies start small and test their products before expanding. Understanding the product-market fit framework can help you determine if your business or start-up is ready to be scaled up.

Again, there is nothing too complex about this, and you only have to watch one episode of Dragon’s Den to appreciate this, but just because it’s simple advice doesn’t mean that it’s not worth repeating. The pandemic has made customers and businesses rethink many choices and priorities. They are also more conscious about how and where they spend their money. When focusing on the intermediary market, the need for more cost-effective solutions, ever-growing compliance requirements and heightened client expectations are making digital transformation a high priority for a variety of firms.

As a leading tech provider, it’s critical to understand exactly what our customers and their clients really want. Of course this isn’t always easy. There are many layers of complexity across the UK mortgage market and individual firms will be looking for something different from their tech provider of choice. This means that the people behind these solutions need to have an in-depth understand the market. Coming from a mortgage brokerage and packaging background, the senior management team at OMS realise that every broker does things slightly different. When working with distributors and lenders across different sectors of the market, we also need to understand their practices and preferences in order for the platform to deliver exactly what they need, not someone else’s version of this.

In the modern mortgage market, technology needs to be developed with a purpose, experience of the market and a clear picture of what it can deliver for each and every client – large and small. It must have a robust framework but be customisable. Be scalable but also nimble. This is why we spend so much time with new clients as it’s the only way to build a real understanding of their business and how we can best support them going forward.

So, choose your tech provider wisely, make sure they don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to customer care and have a product that fits with your business, your clients and your market.