Research suggests lengthy applications are a major frustration for consumers

According to recent research by Experian, a lengthy application process proves to be the number one frustration for consumers when applying for financial services or products. The research shows that 51 per cent of people residing in the UK who applied for financial services were left frustrated by a protracted application process.

The nature of the solicitors’ profession, and the heavy regulations, means that the proper formalities and checks over new clients must be continually adhered to. This means a lengthy application process can be difficult to avoid. Furthermore, specifically to conveyancing, it is well established that your average layman has unrealistic expectations of the time taken to complete a conveyancing transaction and will blame the solicitor or conveyancer if they feel the time taken to complete doesn’t fit their often unrealistic expectations. Numerous clients desire a move into their new property as soon as they possibly can, and may therefore be put off by a law firm presenting them a drawn-out application and identification process. It can therefore be a difficult balance for solicitors endeavouring to instigate a consumer’s transaction as soon as possible, while still having to meet the required client due diligence protocols.

The number one reason for abandoning a financial service, rather than just becoming frustrated, was poor customer service and poorly designed customer technology. If any consumer finds the initial stages of contact between them and a solicitor as comprising poor service or using out of date or lacklustre procedures, they are likely to look elsewhere. It seems understandable that clients are unlikely to tie themselves up with a solicitor or conveyancer they initially have a bad impression of, for likely the most expensive and emotional purchase they will make.

The research gathered by Experian, specifically looks at the reasons why consumers pull out of an application and lists some of the other frustrations as:

  • Being asked to provide further information or documents on top of those already provided
  • Lengthy application forms
  • Waiting too long for the application form or payment to be processed.

Nick Mothershaw, director of fraud and Identity Solutions at Experian, stated of the research: “The latest research highlights the challenges faced by financial services providers when it comes to online transactions. Many organisations have processes in place to protect their customers, for example from the threat of fraud when making online transactions. However, these processes can have a big impact on the customer journey, leaving many unhappy with the service they are getting. When applications take longer, this is usually due to identity verification measures that are there to protect both the business as well as customer from fraud.”

Nick Mothershaw raises a point that is highly problematic for solicitors, as due to heavy SRA regulations over money laundering concerns, the client identification process is an extensive one that requires strong customer due diligence procedures. Once again, clients may not always appreciate this and could become frustrated with the process from the offset because of this identification process and the time it can add on to transactions.

Today’s Conveyancer can provide you and your firm assistance with these concerns, through providing a range of training courses to all customer-facing staff. This includes training in what measures can be taken to improve a client’s initial experience with a firm and taking steps to ensure they don’t become frustrated and potentially abandoning your firm. For more information please visit the training page on the Today’s Conveyancer website.

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