IOU Financial - Best Use of Technology in Customer Service
Company: IOU Financial, Kennesaw, GA
Company Description: IOU Financial provides small businesses access to up to $150,000 in capital for business owners to seize growth opportunities quickly. In a unique approach to lending, the IOU Financial advanced, automated, application and approval system assesses applicants’ financial realities, with an emphasis on day-to-day cash flow trends. Its speed and transparency make IOU the trusted alternative to banks.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Use of Technology in Customer Service
Nomination Title: IOU Financial Proprietary Technology
Tell the story about how technology has improved your customer service initiatives since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Since July 2015, countless improvements have been made to the technology used by the IOU Financial staff and customers. 21 new releases of the IOU Financial proprietary platform, have added up to over 200 new features and enhancements. These features have allowed for staff in Sales, Processing, Underwriting, and Client Services to all communicate with the merchant in a more transparent way.
When a merchant submits their application online, they can log into the platform to view or upload any additional documents directly where they will be viewed by the Processor and Underwriter. The all in one platform allows them to log in when working with Client Services to close their loan. After a merchant is approved and they have decided they would like to accept the funding, the platform provides a secure source for loan review and acceptance. A Client Services Team member calls the merchant, and the online platform becomes a place for the merchant to view their loan details, ask questions about fees, and view their future payment plan. This technology ensures the merchant that their financial data is safe in one place, and also allows them to have a transparent view of their complete information going forward. To close the loan, the Client Services Representative walks the merchant through the online process of understanding their obligations and e-signing for their loan. Questions can be easily asked and answered, because the merchant can see all the details in real time with the IOU Financial Representative.
The all-in-one technology platform then allows the merchant to receive funding in just a couple of hours after e-signing. Customers receive a log in upon closing the loan, where they can go into the platform, to view their loan status, and see what they have paid off at any point during their term.
In July 2015, IOU Financial formed a Renewals Department, to work specifically with customers looking for additional funds when they are 40% paid down on their initial loan. A merchant can log into their online account and request a renewal automatically. Because they have already supplied the necessary information during their initial application, the online portal already has all of their records on hand. After clicking a button in the portal signifying that they would like a renewal, a Renewals Specialist gives them a call and guides them through the process to secure them funding in just 24 hours.
The ease of communication with initial application, closing the loan, and being able to renew all from the same platform, allow the IOU Financial Team to provide thorough and speedy service to every merchant. Each staff member that works on the loan can access the information they need all in one place to answer any question they receive about that particular loan. This transparency and teamwork translates to the end customer as a knowledgeable staff.
The increased level of customer service through technology has allowed IOU Financial to renew at a much better rate. From July 2014 to July 2015 renewals accounted for 33% of IOU Financial’s loans. From July 2015 to July 2016, with the new customer-centric technology in place, renewals grew to account for 37% of the total loan volume. This increase allows thousands of dollars to go back into our customers’ pockets.
The technology advances since July 2015 have not only increased customer service to our current client base, but also allowed our staff to start funding loans in Canada all in the same platform.
Transparent and responsible lending have always been a priority to IOU Financial, and the technology provided from our Proprietary Platform have allowed not only the Client Services Team to offer a great service, but any staff member that touches the loan. Processors, Underwriting, Sales, and Renewals are all able to offer transparent answers to questions so that IOU Financial can offer the best customer service along every step of the lending process.