5 ways technology can help the commercial lending process

Michael Budinger, Cullen Hunter
5 ways technology can help the commercial lending process

Does your current technology contribute to great experiences for your borrowers – and your lending teams?

Businesses today have more options than ever to secure a commercial loan, so lenders can’t afford to ignore the borrower experience in their commercial lending process.

If financial services organizations alienate borrowers with a convoluted or frustrating process, those borrowers will jump ship at the first sign of a better rate or a smoother experience. But when organizations craft a process that delivers great experiences, lending teams can build loyalty and become trusted allies who come right to mind whenever borrowers have lending needs.

Part of crafting that ideal experience involves using technology strategically. Following are five specific ways technology can enhance and transform the commercial lending process.

Finally: A relationship-first digital commercial lending solution that delivers outstanding borrower experiences

1. Implement a borrower portal to improve communication and reduce turnaround times

5 ways technology can help the commercial lending process

Consumer and small business lending have long led in automation and self-service options for borrowers, and commercial lending is the next frontier. Multiweek timeframes to close a typical loan simply won’t cut it amid current competition. To appreciate the mindset and expectations of commercial lending borrowers today, organizations need to think in terms of days, not weeks.

To meet these rising expectations, organizations should enhance their commercial lending tools. A borrower portal that organizes necessary information can speed up every step in the commercial lending process and make sure that borrowers never get asked for information they’ve already provided, which can make them feel forgotten and overlooked.

By using a borrower portal, lenders can provide clear and consistent requirements for information, and borrowers can upload information quickly and securely. With tailored notifications, borrowers can receive alerts about any additional requests for information and stay updated throughout the entire loan process.

2. Strengthen borrower relationships through smoother, more consistent communication and interactions

Implement a borrower portal to improve communication and reduce information collection turnaround times

Even the most skilled and motivated lending team members need days off. So what happens to their borrowers if they go on vacation – or, unthinkably, leave the organization? Are borrowers left in limbo? How will the rest of the organization pick up the pieces and find a smooth way to hand off those relationships?

A centralized communication management platform gives the organization a clear view of all team members’ work assignments, which helps lending teams keep track of documents received and allows them to communicate with borrowers through the portal on an individual team member’s behalf. Because technology can deliver a seamless experience for borrowers at every touch point, the organization can build borrower loyalty that transcends any one individual or relationship.

And if the technology platform can also provide streamlined, centralized communication with borrowers, team members can be even more empowered to do their best work and build great relationships – and to hit the beach once in a while without worrying about their inboxes.

3. Provide a helpful, transparent loan tracker within the borrower portal

Provide a loan tracker within the borrower portal to give borrowers transparency into the commercial lending process

One mistake commercial lending organizations sometimes make is to evaluate their technology experience only against other commercial lenders. But borrowers don’t live in a vacuum where all they do is apply for loans. They interact with different types of businesses and technologies, and each of those interactions shapes their expectations for how a smooth transaction should look and feel.

Think about the experience customers have when they order pizza for delivery. Not only can they start the process and submit an order online, but they can also use an app to confirm the restaurant accepted their order, get an estimate of the delivery time, and get an alert when it’s sent out for delivery. If it’s an especially busy time and delivery takes longer than usual, customers don’t need to call the restaurant for a status – they can already see exactly what’s going on.

Can commercial lending borrower experiences stack up against this kind of visibility?

The answer is yes. With a loan tracker and notifications built into the borrower portal, organizations can provide detailed transparency into the commercial lending process. Borrowers can see exactly where their loan is in the process with just a few clicks.

4. Gather insights so lending teams can proactively identify and address customer needs

Draw insights from borrower information and activity so lending teams can proactively identify and address needs

A commercial lending technology platform should at least be able to provide notifications and reminders to connect with borrowers within set time frames. Lending teams can set up a commercial lending platform to provide an alert when the annual review time frame of the borrower draws near. Then, when the lending team receives an alert, it can reach out to initiate a check-in conversation and gather information from the borrower about any relevant developments.

With these kind of interactions, lending teams are not just maintaining relationships with borrowers. They’re identifying opportunities for potential engagement and approaching borrowers with proactive solutions. That type of support from a commercial lender can instill a deep loyalty that leads to strengthened, mutually beneficial relationships between borrowers and lenders.

5. Streamline communication to transform lending teams’ experiences

Streamline communication to transform lending teams’ experience and pave the way for future improvements

The experience and loyalty of an organization’s commercial lending team is just as important to the health of the business as borrower experience and loyalty. How can technology help deliver outstanding experiences?

Lending teams need a reliable, seamless technology platform that organizes and centralizes the critical information, documents, and communication they need to make lending decisions. A technology platform can also help teams perform remote or hybrid work with no loss of productivity or access. When such a platform is easy to implement and build on the Microsoft Dynamics 365™ platform, it can integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft tools and apps lending teams likely already use – and the ones they might need in the future.

Microsoft and Dynamics 365 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Everything your team needs, in one streamlined view

Improved transparency, communication, and customer relationships are just part of the experience your organization can get with Crowe CX for Commercial Lending. This solution delivers all the necessary commercial lending information in one easy view – for your lending teams and borrowers alike.

Get in touch today, and let’s schedule a demo.

We’re here to learn about your needs, answer questions, and provide a live product demo that will walk you through Crowe CX for Commercial Lending. Let us show you exactly how this solution can transform your commercial lending process.
Michael Budinger - Large
Michael Budinger
Principal, Financial Services Consulting
Cullen Hunter
Cullen Hunter
Financial Services Consulting