How rehumanizing the mortgage industry is creating more meaningful customer experiences
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.
Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. has helped over 200,000 borrowers fulfill their dream of home ownership and is one of the leading and most established residential mortgage lenders in the US with over 280 local branches.
After the financial crisis, PRMI had to change their company structure to be leaner. This created morale issues, customer delivery problems, loss of key leaders, disengaged employees, and a drop in net promoter scores. As a people-focused company that once prided itself on customer experience, they knew it was time to get back on track with their mission, vision and values.
PRMI’s primary goal after surviving the financial crisis was to get back to providing their customers with a personalized home loan experience that cut through the dry and analytical approach their industry was known for. For Joe Christensen, Director of Business Relationships, a happy work environment and a standout customer experience go hand-in-hand:
“Our industry can feel very robotic and methodical, but a mortgage is one of the most emotional purchases a family will ever make in their lives. We wanted our senior management to understand that all of our customers have a story, but we also wanted to change the atmosphere in which we interact with each other, so we could communicate more effectively and make critical business decisions together when times were difficult.”
After reviewing multiple leadership development programs and landing on the RSL framework, Dave Zitting, President and CEO, had this to say:
“Red Shoes Living looked like it would be a positively disruptive program that could have a 10x impact within a short amount of time. We knew this was the exact tool we needed to bring qualitative and quantitative results together in a powerful way.”
For Dave, the RSL program allowed PRMI to develop a culture that started with the leadership and executive team and trickled down to mid-level managers, customers, and every single employee on their team.
“It was like we got our attitude back. All of our transactions became more unique and personalized. We found unique ways to bring the human element back into the technology and processes we used. From our leadership to our culture to our customer experience, we saw Red Shoes Living at the center of it all. It’s been a meaningful and sustainable way to inspire better performance in our organization.”
Now Joe says the PRMI team’s go-to question whenever a crisis comes up is: “How can we Red Shoes this?” This gives everyone a chance to pause, breathe, and work together to make the most of every situation.
“Red Shoes Living gave us an opportunity to get away from business and the world and understand that even though we’re all here to do a job, we’re still human. We all have things that make us tick, families, desires, and goals that have nothing to do with our 9-5 job. Now that we relate to each other as humans first and colleagues second, we find ourselves supporting each other more on a daily basis and communicating with greater compassion, even in a crisis. Everyone’s job gets easier when people care a little bit more.”
The Unexpected Value of Red Shoes Living
What the PRMI team appreciates most about Red Shoes Living is how it crosses generations and industries and can be easily adapted to work and life. According to Joe:
“Red Shoes Living can apply to an attorney just as easily as a crossing guard. In its simplest form, it’s about the shared human experience. It’s about how you answer an email, speak to your server at a restaurant, or stop what you’re doing on your phone and listen when someone comes to you for advice. It’s not just teaching you how to be better at your job, it’s teaching you how to be more aware of the people around you. Just think about how different business and life would look if our intention going into every interaction was to leave the other person feeling a little better off than we found them.”