homeresourcescase studiesLearn how Waterstone Mortgage uses Birdeye to make customer experience a competitive advantage

Learn how Waterstone Mortgage uses Birdeye to make customer experience a competitive advantage

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Company Snapshot

Since 2000, Waterstone Mortgage Corporation has established itself as a leading mortgage lender with over 600 employees and branches nationwide. As a subsidiary of WaterStone Bank SSB (NASDAQ: WSBF), with assets exceeding $1.9 billion, they offer the benefits of an independent lender alongside bank portfolio products. Specializing in residential mortgages, they prioritize honesty, integrity, and customer satisfaction in helping families achieve homeownership dreams.

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  • January 2017

Background

Before partnering with Birdeye, Waterstone Mortgage lacked a comprehensive platform to manage the online reputation of their individual branches and loan originators. Recognizing the importance of feedback, they initially included paper surveys in their closing packages. However, this approach proved ineffective due to low response rates and delays in survey delivery, resulting in lost referrals. Seeking a more efficient solution to collect feedback, build and manage reputation, and gain insights into the customer experience, Waterstone Mortgage turned to Birdeye. 

Customers read reviews to help them make informed, educated decisions, and reviews help us build trust. In one year of using Birdeye's platform, we saw a 380% increase in the number of reviews our loan officers were getting. We started getting so many reviews that Birdeye Managed Services now responds to these reviews as an extension of our team.
Lisa Fenske
Lisa FenskeSenior Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Reputation matters: Influencing homebuyers’ decisions

Through Birdeye’s integration with Encompass, Waterstone Mortgage automatically triggers review requests, directing clients to a loan originator’s Google, Facebook, and Zillow pages after a closing. This automation simplifies the review process, making it easy for loan originators to ask for reviews and for clients to leave feedback on key platforms. 

With hundreds of loan originators, Waterstone Mortgage aimed to ensure prospects could easily find their online sentiment from customers. Birdeye streamlined the process of building and managing the online reputation of each loan originator by leveraging Birdeye’s SEO-enhanced profiles and API. As a result, each loan originator has the ability to highlight their reviews on their website. 

To strengthen each loan originator’s online presence, Waterstone Mortgage recognizes the significance of cross-promoting online reviews on social channels. With Birdeye, Waterstone Mortgage can automatically generate social posts featuring positive reviews on each loan originator’s business Facebook and LinkedIn pages, increasing trust among other potential homebuyers.

Additionally, when a review is generated, Birdeye Alerts notifies loan originators and branch managers, allowing them to respond promptly and address customer feedback. Since implementing Birdeye, Waterstone Mortgage has witnessed an increased rating and a remarkable 338% surge in reviews. 

"Birdeye automates a simple process for customers to share their experience. This not only provides a better customer experience, but also results in improved search engine ranking and naturally produces new leads."
Lisa Buller
Lisa BullerDigital Marketing Specialist
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Elevating experiences through Birdeye Surveys

Waterstone Mortgage acknowledges the importance of collecting feedback post-closure, recognizing the inefficiency of their previous method involving paper surveys. With Birdeye’s Encompass integration, they can now automatically send customized surveys 24 hours after a loan is funded. This has resulted in an average survey response rate of 39%. This instant feedback empowers Waterstone Mortgage to optimize operations quickly and elevate customer satisfaction.

"Customer experience is paramount for all our employees. These surveys help us tweak our strategic plan. Without Birdeye, there was no way to act on feedback. We are largely referral-based, and satisfied customers refer us and come back to us when they need to refinance or buy a new home. Everyone wins when you provide great service, so having Birdeye there to gauge our CX is essential. I wish we would have done it sooner."
Ericka Smith
Ericka SmithVice President - Marketing

Streamlining customer experience insights

Birdeye Reports empowers Waterstone Mortgage to maintain its leadership position with highly customized reports tailored for loan originators, branches, and beyond. These insights enable Waterstone Mortgage to encourage a competitive environment among loan originators, with some branch managers organizing friendly competitions. At both branch and corporate levels, Waterstone Mortgage gains visibility into their performance through Birdeye's reporting tools.

In analyzing Birdeye's reports, Waterstone Mortgage identifies opportunities for growth, development, and training. The reporting also aids in identifying trends for process improvements. For instance, in the event of a negative experience, Waterstone Mortgage promptly engages customer support to resolve issues, prioritizing the conversion of detractors into promoters.

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"Birdeye helps us provide a better experience for our customers. It provides us with real-time data that is actionable. It improves internal processes and allows us to better manage our online reputation" 
Lisa Buller
Lisa BullerDigital Marketing Specialist

Staying on top of the competition

With Birdeye Benchmarking, Waterstone Mortgage gains valuable insights into their industry ranking, enabling them to leverage competitive advantages and stay ahead of their peers. Through customized keywords, such as “brand”, “closing”, “experience”, “interest and fees”, “process”, and “staff”, they not only assess their own performance, but also evaluates their competition in these key areas.

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The Birdeye difference

When selecting a software partner, Waterstone Mortgage prioritizes finding a provider who comprehends the unique requirements, systems, and integrations of the mortgage industry. They opted for Birdeye, recognizing it as the ideal platform to equip Waterstone Mortgage with the necessary tools and data to surpass their competitors and achieve their organizational objectives.

By instituting a company-wide, automated process for originators and branches to solicit online reviews, Waterstone Mortgage has enhanced their online visibility, including their search ranking. Consequently, this has amplified the online presence of their loan originators and generated an uptick in referral business. The automation of the review request process has also liberated loan originators to dedicate more attention to incoming leads, rather than expending excessive time on follow-ups with closed borrowers for referrals. The receipt of feedback ensures that other customers receive an exceptional experience.

"We looked around for a solution, and Birdeye was the one that met all our needs. We wanted to get our hands around our reputation. Birdeye has the ability to be flexible, is an innovative product, and they understand the mortgage industry’s unique needs, systems, and integrations. Birdeye is adaptable and works with us as a true partner."
Lisa Buller
Lisa BullerDigital Marketing Specialist

Birdeye: The Obvious Choice

Winning over 400 awards for 10 quarters in a row, Birdeye is the most-awarded and highest-rated customer experience software for businesses of all sizes.

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