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ConsumerFi Podcast: Omni-Channel Communications with Santander’s Chris Mitcham and Payix’s Chris Chestnut

August 1, 2022

Episode 6


This week, Joel is with SVP of Service for Others at Santander, Chris Mitcham, and Payix’s Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Chris Chestnut , for his first of two conversations about Omni-Channel Communications and how it can improve your customer interactions.

ConsumerFi is presented by Nortridge Software: Loan Software That Accelerates Change

And special thanks to The National Automotive Finance Association: The only trade association exclusively serving the nonprime auto finance industry.


[00:00:20] Chris Mitchum, Chris Chestnut. Welcome both of you guys to the podcast. Uh, I’d love to start off with, uh, I’m going to put, I’m going to put Chris Chestnut on, on the spot here, Chris, you and I met what? 10, 15 years ago in jail.

[00:00:35] Chris Chestnut: [00:00:35] It was in jail in jail. I think you asked to borrow my toothbrush

[00:00:41] Joel Kennedy: [00:00:41] and it, it was, it was actually, it was actually a Mexican prison, but that’s probably another podcast, but, uh, it was a good weekend.

[00:00:48] Aside from that part. Chris, Chris, you you’re awesome. Uh, Paychex is doing great. You’re well-respected a long career within, within [00:01:00] auto names, like Amera credit or out there, you know, can you just give, give folks just a quick intro on who you are?

[00:01:06] Chris Chestnut: [00:01:06] Yeah. Yeah. Thanks Joel. And happy to be here. So, uh, yeah, I started my career, uh, as a lowly programmer at America credit in the nineties, I was fortunate enough to get some opportunities to do some management and some leadership within it.

[00:01:21] And then I did something crazy. I actually took a job working in the Bennett in the, in the business doing product development. And so, uh, moved out of it, did some, some, uh, direct to consumer product development, America credit, and then when the great recession hit and then mid aughts, uh, we got cut along with any other incremental business opportunities and, uh, Did a small step back in it.

[00:01:47] And then I went out and started it on a finance company with some other executives from America credit, uh, innovate auto. Uh, we started that in 2009. Uh, we were buying, uh, auto receivables [00:02:00] from buy here, pay here lots, um, which were in a liquidity crunch at the time. So we were able to pick up loans at a severe discount and then service them.

[00:02:08] And so that was kind of really. My, my first entry as an entrepreneur, um, it was really hard. It’s not at all what I imagined, but you know, it worked out. It did good. And I left that company in 2015, um, with a lot of knowledge, some bruises, uh, but you know, really energized and ready to do it again and started paychecks, which was a, or, which is a software company focused on, um, building collections and.

[00:02:36] Uh, communication tools for non-bank lenders. So we’ve, we’ve been at that for the last five years and with a lot of help from a lot of people we’ve, we’ve had, um, we’ve had some success, so, yeah. So, uh, it’s been an interesting 20 plus years. Um, but, uh, you know, like I said, a lot of learnings, um, some wins, but, uh, feel fortunate to be today and talking to you guys.

[00:03:00] [00:02:59] Joel Kennedy: [00:02:59] That’s awesome. Yeah. And just, just let folks know, we’re talking omni-channel communications. Um, and that’s why, you know, somebody like Chris, uh, Chestnut is fantastic to have on. I was immediately impressed, Chris. We, we initiated a bromance. I would call it when I came to visit you guys at innovate, we were looking to do some business together, and I saw what you had done with your core system.

[00:03:25] And you had built on so much automation, so much cool screen pops for your, for your, um, for your agents. I remember going back and telling my business partner at the time, I was like, dude, this, this is somebody I’m going to cultivate like a mentorship relationship with this guy. Like, like I’m going to stay attached to this guy.

[00:03:44] And we did, we stayed attached. And, um, and you’re super relevant in this space and we’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re gonna dive into your brain, but Mitchum is, is chomping at the bits. Um, we gave him a coffee this morning, so he’s bouncing off the wall. So it’s going to be great. Um, you’re going to get [00:04:00] twice the information and half the time from him.

[00:04:02] I’m just kidding. We would never give you a coffee, Chris, but Chris welcome. Uh, Chris Mitchell, the caffeine

[00:04:08] Chris Mitcham: [00:04:08] does

[00:04:08] Joel Kennedy: [00:04:08] to me. I know I well, so, and, but, you know, that’s kind of part of what makes Christmas Mitchum great. And I’ll just say how I met you. And then I want you to tell folks about, but your background.

[00:04:18] So I met Chris back when I was running an auto finance company and Chris was looking to help us with capitalizing the business and ultimately, uh, just as things kind of float through. We had a huge opportunity for, for him to come join us. And he came. And if, if you want to talk about somebody who is knowledgeable, respected, experienced, but just one of these guys who knows how to get stuff done and have a whole lot of fun doing it.

[00:04:50] I mean, that’s Chris Mitchum.

[00:04:53] Chris Mitcham: [00:04:53] Joel. Thanks. Uh, obviously thanks for, uh, give me a call to be a part of this, and I’m glad I’m able to do this [00:05:00] with Chris, uh, Justin as well. Um, I’ve had an opportunity to do business with Chris, a few different, uh, times in the past. Uh, so definitely enjoyed, uh, the interactions, uh, if I had an opportunity to work on that, on his product as well, which was great.

[00:05:13] Um, so, uh, yeah, by way of background, I’ve been in office. Pro finance industry. The majority of my career started off as a car salesman and doing finance and just worked my way, uh, from there through the finance companies, uh, during the recession to go, you know, uh, a timeout from, um, from, uh, autofinance worked on some risk management.

[00:05:32] Uh, opportunities worked at the home office at, uh, Walmart forbid, uh, doing, uh, risk management there and with some other, um, think goes after that. So enjoy that stretch a, a way, but, uh, auto finance has always been my thing. So I made my way back, uh, to auto finance, as Joel mentioned, uh, or work in a couple of different, um, uh, opportunities, both on the capital side of the business and then, uh, in operations as well.

[00:05:56] So that’s brought me to, where I am today, where I manage [00:06:00] our service for other business. A lot of people don’t know that we do manage portfolios for others. We manage a little over $10 billion for other banks and financial institutions. So I’m focused on managing those relationships in that process. And then of course, sourcing other opportunities for growth in that channel.

[00:06:16] So

[00:06:17] Joel Kennedy: [00:06:17] great to have you guys let’s dive right in. So omni-channel, it’s a hot topic. It’s a hot term. Um, I’ve studied it a little bit, actually, both you guys are people that I reached out to, to get some of that education. So this is really just a continuation of that or a review, if you will. So Chris Mitchum, when you hear the term omni-channel, what does that really mean to you and how does it manifest in terms of, of operations and how, you know, companies are doing things today versus before.

[00:06:47] Chris Mitcham: [00:06:47] Yeah. The first thing I think about when I hear omni-channel is this customer communications, right? How do we interact with our consumer? And, um, I like to think of Omni channel a little more holistically. I think some folks fall in the pitfall of [00:07:00] thinking of Omni channel. Okay. Well, you know, I’m doing text messages.

[00:07:03] As well as my difficult servicing activities or I’m at a dealership. And, and you know, we’re doing email campaigns right. From our, from our online channels and, and that’s true that that’s getting to omni-channel. But when I think about omni-channel, I think about the holistic approach. All the ways you can communicate with your customers at once, whether it’s by, you know, chat, text, email, your standard communications, right.

[00:07:26] Um, and how do you bring those all together at one time and let a customer flow seamlessly between those options, uh, based on what’s best for that customer at that time. So, you know, I think omni-channel has, has grown. Uh, I think everyone’s understanding of omni-channel, uh, has grown in particularly as vendors.

[00:07:45] Have enhanced their product, right. And, and abilities, uh, and understanding that the need to be able to interact with, you know, whatever system of records there may be. Uh, as we all know, and I think we’ve all probably been a part of organizations wherever we have, [00:08:00] you know, very large. Uh, you know, systems we operate in, some are legacy, some are homegrown if you will, and some are off the shelf.

[00:08:07] And so the trick is how can we use all these awesome products that we see, uh, at the, at the shows or, you know, that get brought to us? How can we use those products to the best way possible? And to me, it’s how can we figure out to. Integrate those within our systems. So we have a seamless, um, you know, uh, operation, uh, of those tools, uh, both from an internal employee perspective and also ultimately benefiting the customer.

[00:08:32] And

[00:08:32] Joel Kennedy: [00:08:32] Chris, Jess, not the, I mean, this is really near and dear to the product that you laid out. And I think you had a certain level of, uh, clairvoyance, uh, if you will. I mean, This stuff really matters a whole lot right now. Right. Because of COVID. And I think a lot of companies made that transition, you know, in your mind, if I, if I said, Hey, why does, why does Omni channel matter?

[00:08:53] Or why does it matter right now? You know, what are some of your thoughts on that?

[00:08:57] Chris Chestnut: [00:08:57] Well, I mean, uh, [00:09:00] it’s kind of a timely question. Where the obvious answer is because of COVID and sort of what lenders and servicers are going through having to execute their business model. Um, You know, which is essentially collecting, communicating, and ultimately collecting a payment or scheduling a payment with the borrower.

[00:09:22] And so, you know, having an omni-channel approach to that where you can really transact with a borrower or communicate with them, but then ultimately transact with that borrower wherever they want. Um, which is typically their, their mobile phone, um, I think is, is critical for, for this point in time, um, with what’s happening with the pandemic.

[00:09:42] But frankly, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s been something that’s been happening for several years. I mean, it really, you know, I think, you know, smartphone technology, um, is kind of made this whole approach to omni-channel. Uh, realism realistic and realize that it’s something that could be realized [00:10:00] by lenders.

[00:10:00] Um, because before that you really didn’t have the technology underpinnings to, to build a platform that allowed, you know, it borrower to connect with their lender, um, and an efficient, you know, omni-channel way so to speak. And so I think, I think it’s very relevant right now. I think, you know, having the capability to.

[00:10:22] You transact and communicate with your script borrower. Um, again, any way they want to, they, any way they want to connect, um, is super relevant right now with what’s going on. But I do think it’s something that’s happened as part of the, the, the smartphone revolution, so to speak that that’s been gone or going for the last eight years

[00:10:42] Joel Kennedy: [00:10:42] or so, the channel.

[00:10:45] Yeah, at least what I see, I see a specific value that’s translated. And I actually, when I think of omni-channel, what I’m seeing is a lot of auto finance companies are saying, we want to have the same [00:11:00] rigor and just kind of awesome presentation for our employees, but we kind of want to have that outwardly facing for our customers and our dealers.

[00:11:12] And that when customers initiate that engagement through some kind of shopping vehicle, right? Like I’m shopping for a car online, I create the handshake with the vehicle and the dealership and the financing and, and that, that, that, that string carries on through. Right. Um, what are some of the benefits that you guys are seeing?

[00:11:32] Within creating that stronger kind of framework of the omni-channel across the entire, um, process. Chris Mitchum I’ll I’ll ask you.

[00:11:44] Chris Mitcham: [00:11:44] Uh, I think there’s tons. I mean, you just start with how the dealerships, um, really utilize these type of communication, right? It’s about stickiness of that, um, that customer to, to your dealership.

[00:11:55] Uh, I, I heard a, um, uh, article Reese, uh, [00:12:00] heard an article. I heard about a survey recently that said 71% of customers now. True. Transact their most recent auto purchase online. Like what does that mean? Does that, does that mean the full process from, you know, purchasing it to being delivered to my driveway or, you know, is that, you know, starting online, maybe you started the financing online and wrapping it up at the dealership.

[00:12:21] It didn’t say, but you know, the point is, I think we all know, you know, customers start online and as Chris mentioned that they start on their phone, right? So the ability to have these communication tools with a customer. Uh, and ping them immediately when they submit it online app, it says, Hey, we got dropped.

[00:12:38] So I was going to call you right. Followed up with an email and or phone call or whatever that process is and keep that customer engaged with you and your dealership in your inventory, which is important. So I think, you know, from a dealership, there’s there, there’s tons of talk about, on how that helps them from a, from an auto finance company, in my opinion, um, I th th these type of communications, I do [00:13:00] believe, and, and customer stickiness and, and, uh, portfolio management.

[00:13:03] Um, you know, I, I do believe there’s value to do a customer enjoying the experience, uh, with you in particularly as you move down the credit spectrum. Right, right. How that customer interacts with, with your company, the, the, the ability and options that it gives them, right? The a non-prime customers should have all the same opportunities and access to the cool tools and the way to communicate in a way that a pay as, you know, a prime borrowers should have.

[00:13:30] Yeah. Uh, and so when you give that to them, I believe it, it strengthens that relationship. And ultimately I do believe it can help, um, eliminate the risk of, of refi, right? I mean, our, our, our ultimate hope is to have that customer and to keep that customer throughout the life of that loan and then pay successfully.

[00:13:48] So when you, when you, when they, you lose them to refinance right there, there’s an opportunity here for you to keep them. And those are those omni-channels, uh, solutions can help.

[00:13:58] Chris Chestnut: [00:13:58] I’ll just add to what Chris is [00:14:00] saying of, sorry, Joel, just to jump in, uh, you know, one of the things I do believe, you know, an omni-channel approach helps specifically in auto, uh, is as you think about the lower, uh, credit tiers, when you start to get into the subprime deep subprime, you know, one of the big drivers is to make sure you understand.

[00:14:19] The borrower’s intent with the Clara, especially if they stopped paying. And so having an omni-channel approach, especially from a communication perspective really makes sure that as a lender, you can be dialed into your portfolio and to borrow or lever their, you know, their intent to, you know, are they going to, you know, are they willing to keep paying or are they going to leave the vehicle on the side of the road?

[00:14:40] And so I think, you know, from, from a lender’s perspective, taking an omni-channel approach, To communication and ultimately servicing again helps really helps you keep in tune with that portfolio and those borrowers to, uh, mitigate, mitigate the

[00:14:55] Chris Mitcham: [00:14:55] risk of loss.

[00:14:57] Joel Kennedy: [00:14:57] Yeah. And I saw that firsthand. [00:15:00] Uh, so back when I had Pelican w we use PAX and Chris, you were there too, uh, Mitchum.

[00:15:05] Um, we saw that the, when customers download the app, There was a certain percentage that made payments, but then they would repeat making payments. And the stickiness that we saw within that vehicle was profound and that’s exactly what I wanted to get out of it. Um, and then when you think about, if you can extend these tools across the full duration of the life cycle from consumer through dealer and acquisition through customer management, You know, I think about better funnel efficiencies, I think about better customer and dealer satisfaction, fewer deals that get flipped right to another, another lender for whatever reason or another and, and reducing the cost for the lender, which I think just benefits everybody.

[00:15:48] Right? Because a lot of that stuff can get passed through to the consumers, this one’s to, to anybody. There are companies out there. I was, I was talking earlier with, with another executive in the space and we were talking about, [00:16:00] um, some of the companies that, that, that. That really have this whole thing down.

[00:16:05] Right. And, and I, I think we, that they they’ve got it down so right. That they’ve actually changed consumer preferences. Cause you guys have seen as, as everyone, the consumer preference for use collateral. Um, was on the prime and upward side. These are people that could go buy a new car. They’re saying, Hey, we’re stating our preference.

[00:16:24] We like this Carvana or this or that. So, you know, we’re, we’re gonna, we’re going to engage that. Who are the guys or the companies that you guys are aware of that you think they’ve really got this down? Right.

[00:16:37] Chris Mitcham: [00:16:37] Um, you know, without naming names, Joel and I noticed what you’re looking for. Um, just as long.

[00:16:44] Yeah. I think the folks who really have this down in terms of, um, from, from the dealership perspective and, and sourcing that customer through all these different avenues, um, are the, are the ones who manage inventory best. Right. [00:17:00] I think what really. Makes, uh, the, the, the portal, a true winner, um, on the, on the front end is, do you have a solid management of your inventory, a wide selection for the, for the consumer to look for?

[00:17:13] Right. And it’s either at your location or it’s at a sister store that you can bring in. But the inventory is key. A lot of these that, you know, it’s, it’s all about, well, we’re going to engage the customer. We’re going to get the lead when we’re going to try to, you know, get them on a unit that that’s good.

[00:17:28] And that works certainly. But you, you have to close that loop with your inventory. Right. And then there’s some that are full online and we know who they are. Right. The Carvana’s of the world, right. Where, Hey, look. They had that inventory. It said in one of those little spinny things where you go put the coin in, it comes down.

[00:17:44] Right. I mean, that is that’s captive inventory. And I believe that’s one of the reason why they’ve been so successful because it takes the guessing out of it, of, Hey, I really wanted that, that red X three. Right. Well, okay. Well, yeah. And you go through the process of finding where that red X three is at.

[00:17:59] You know, [00:18:00] Lewisville, not, you know, Garland and it’s like, Oh, well, I wanted to come in today and transact. Right. Cause there’s still that customer who, who wants to transact today at the dealership. I don’t think that’s ever going away. In my opinion. I do think there’s a place for that still. And there always will be in my opinion.

[00:18:13] Um, but I think that’s who really has it together, best those who manage the inventory and matches it with that customer and, and prevents loss. How about to answer your question?

[00:18:24] Joel Kennedy: [00:18:24] Yeah, it’s perfect. And Chris, Jess, not, I, I’m not gonna not gonna leave you out. You have an opportunity to change. Who do you think has it downright or, or maybe some success stories that you’ve seen where you’re like, man, you know, this, this seems to be working.

[00:18:38] Chris Chestnut: [00:18:38] Um, I mean, uh, again, I don’t, I’m not gonna name anybody off the top of my head. I will say that I think it’s easy for the largers larger companies, the larger lenders in the captains to have a cohesive and effective omni-channel approach. Um, because you know, they’ve got the resources to go build it. Um, you know, I think where it [00:19:00] becomes more difficult.

[00:19:01] Is when you start moving down the, the financing spectrum to the smaller mid-tier lenders and even the smaller lenders that, you know, don’t have the finances or the technical know to really go out and properly, put in an effective Omni channel approach to borrower communication, and ultimately servicing and collections.

[00:19:22] And so, um, I think, you know, it’s hard to do it well. Uh, unless you’ve really got the means to, to, to go do it right. And it’s harder for those that are smaller to, to get the benefits of an omni-channel servicing approach. Um, and frankly, you know, that’s, that’s why, uh, that’s why pegs came to be, to be, to be honest.

[00:19:45] And I thought to do a shameless plug, but that’s kinda, where are we? We’ve we saw an opportunity was, was to. You know, fill that void and, and provide this Omni Omni channel solution to lenders that didn’t have the capability to go get it [00:20:00] otherwise. And so, um, so yeah, so those that are doing it well, I mean, like I say, probably the big ones, like the Toyota GM, I think they’ve got a good name, Omni channel approach to what they’re doing both layering in the originations and the servicing cycles.

[00:20:13] Um, but of course you’d expect them to, right. And I, and Chris can speak to. Santander, but, but, um, you would expect those larger ones to kind of have this approach already in focus in, in executing. It’s the smaller ones. I think that

[00:20:27] Chris Mitcham: [00:20:27] leads to help. Yeah, I think that’s right. Uh, Joel, just let me jump in there from, uh, from, uh, from a lender finance company perspective and it wouldn’t be a zoom call if there wasn’t a dog in the background barking or something.

[00:20:38] So just ignore that. Um, but, uh, but I think it is hard for finance companies for a couple of reasons. Number one, you know, that’s okay. We’ve got the deal deals in house customers booked. Now it’s time to close. Right. And we all know that. Incredibly important. However, when we think about, well, where’s the spend to go?

[00:20:57] What? What’s driving revenue, [00:21:00] right. Well, source and sales. Right? So I think the front end of the business, and that’s why I started my answer off, I guess, before with the dealership, because I immediately went to a man, they really got it down. Good. On the sourcing origination side, they really got, yeah. A lot of them kind of down fairly well.

[00:21:14] And whether that’s in, uh, unsecured, consumer finance, or if that’s an auto finance, uh, as you move to the servicing side of the business, I think Chris is Ryan. I, you know, the, the, the large players, uh, do have, uh, the, you know, better, uh, communication tools and, and they should, and they have the, the finance and the finance is to really make that work best.

[00:21:33] Um, but I think COVID in particular has, has really driven this home. I, I think that the companies that kind of, you know, you know, had some tools and they were starting to use them and think they’re doing pretty good and then COVID hit and they realized, wow, uh, I really need to take this to the next level or, or maybe I should have had that, you know, that at, uh, that, that, that omni-channel project.

[00:21:54] Right. Through my call center software. Maybe I should have prioritize that higher, uh, when I budgeted for 20 than I [00:22:00] did. Right. And I think that a lot of that came to light with COVID. Um, and I think that will, that will show in 21, as we all set around near now, here, we’re going into the last part of, uh, 2020.

[00:22:11] We started thinking about 21 and budgeting for 21 and project planning. Um, you know, I feel generally at most companies, these omni-channel communication projects are going to make their way to the top of those lists. Uh, cause I think it’s shown the importance of being able to do this. I think every consumer finance company, everyone bar none when COVID was at its peak, their call center SLS.

[00:22:37] Right were were impacted, right? They were impacted by a high volume of calls, right. Associates not being able to, to make it work by stay at home orders. And, and perhaps they weren’t prepared to work from home yet. I think a lot of the big finance companies had had some ability for customers to work from home, our employees rather to work from home.

[00:22:54] So that was helpful, but know, maybe not across the organization and that impacted customer communications. And [00:23:00] during that time, Were there customers that were lost for be able to make a payment or decided to, to, to make a decision versus waiting and understanding the help that was available. And that was being given by the consumer finance companies.

[00:23:13] Maybe they didn’t want to wait for, you know, X period of time, uh, on the line for an agent to pick up. Right. And, and, and they just maybe gave up. Right. And, and could we have prevented that by simple? Hey. Go go to chat and then had an effective chat bot. Right? Cause there’s an incredible. Chatbots. Now, if you haven’t seen a demo of some of the chat bots that are out there now, you need to that really awesome.

[00:23:39] They’re predictive a lot of those tools and had consumer finance companies, uh, across the U S had some of those tools more effectively deployed. I think there could have been, uh, you know, Prevention of, uh, of charge off, um, by being able to effectively communicate with those customers during that most impactful time of COVID uh, for consumer finance companies.

[00:24:01] [00:24:00] Chris Chestnut: [00:24:01] Yeah, we, we saw it firsthand from our perspective. I mean, we saw it with, with our client base, the benefit of being able to quickly communicate and send messages out. To Chris’s point have a chat message, you know, in an effective way where maybe the collector was at home. Right. Um, I do think it made a difference and I, and I do think that to your point companies that weren’t thinking about it before are definitely thinking about it now.

[00:24:26] I mean, they’re definitely, you know, if you didn’t have a digital strategy omni-channel strategy to, to manage your servicing cycle, you are it’s on your radar now. Right. And so I think, uh, I think it’s, you know, I think we we’ve seen an acceleration of this approach, um, due to COVID

[00:24:45] Joel Kennedy: [00:24:45] you guys know, I obviously have an affinity toward the small, the smaller finance companies, uh, you know, and helping them kind of be able to tackle this and grow and compete, which is hard, right?

[00:24:56] Because there are so many players of scale that we talked about where this [00:25:00] is an easier play. Because if I deploy a chat strategy, well, now I can, now I can run, you know, 10 lines per agent versus, you know, talking to one customer at a time. What, what do you guys, what would you guys say to small lender that really doesn’t have much by way of, omni-channel really just kind of like a, a phone call, email shop, maybe not a lot of compliance and tracking around that.

[00:25:24] You know, where would you guys kind of get started on thinking about. How to put together an omni-channel strategy and maybe what do you think some of the first steps should be?

[00:25:37] Chris Mitcham: [00:25:37] Sorry, shameless plug.

[00:25:43] Hey, look, I, I think, um, you know, just, uh, I I’ve had an operation unity in a previous life. They use the pay product and it’s great. I think it’s a ability to, um, integrate with a lot of systems out there I think is super helpful and being nimble and that’s big. Right? Um, I would [00:26:00] say Joel. First thing I would say is be careful, right?

[00:26:04] You want to have these products and your consumer wants these products and you need to get there. Right. But you have to do it in a, in a pragmatic way that, that, that you can deploy effectively and compliant. Right. Uh, because the first time. If you’re not using text and you start using texts and you see the response from consumers, when you started using it, you’re going to be like, wow.

[00:26:32] Yeah, yeah. No it’s used when that first conversion rate, once you see, Oh my gosh, look at the conversion rate. I’m having using texts for this campaign or, or things like that. You you’ll be, get excited and you want to start using, and that’s great. And you should, but you need to make sure you stick to the fundamentals of making sure you have good policies and procedures around the use of those products.

[00:26:57] Right? You’re mindful on how they’re being [00:27:00] deployed, right. And you, and you inspect and review to make sure that those are being, being followed. So that the first thing first is I would say, make sure you have a strong procedures and policies around the usage of those products because your, your associates, they’re going to love them and they’re going to love using them.

[00:27:17] It’s going to be awesome. Um, so that’s first, uh, in terms of. How do you get it right with the, with maybe the budget that you have? Um, I’ll go back to say, and whether it’s PAX or these other vendors, if you haven’t been to a. If you haven’t been to a, um, I’m like an auto show, for instance, like, like it’s coming up.

[00:27:37] If you haven’t gone to the, to the MAF in a couple of years, if you haven’t gone to used car week in a couple of years or whatever, it may be, go go. It is worth it. Every year when I go, I see something new or really cool, or, or a product that I thought I knew, I was like, Oh, I’ve seen that a hundred times.

[00:27:54] You know, it’s changed in the last couple of years. It’s changed. There’s so many [00:28:00] more neat. Products out there, um, that are reasonable and have levels of engagement, right? You don’t need to, to buy, you know, the, the, the tricked out, uh, you know, pickup truck off, off the bat. You can just go ahead and get you a, a truck and you can get the lift kit and all that stuff later.

[00:28:17] Right. There, there you can, you can step into these products now more than you think. Um, uh, and, and there’s a lot of them out there.

[00:28:26] Chris Chestnut: [00:28:26] Yeah, I’ll just add to what Chris said, you know, is really advancing. Like you mentioned a minute ago, the chat bot concept. There’s a really, that’s a, that’s a big, uh, you know, if there’s a, there’s a big initiative right now to really, uh, take the data.

[00:28:42] That you accumulated as a lender over time, and then turn that into an effective, uh, you know, AI strategy for communication to hopefully ultimately lower your, your servicing costs, but really to make sure that when borrowers are engaging you, that you have something there [00:29:00] and ready and waiting to engage them back.

[00:29:02] And so, you know, to Chris’s point is technology technology’s advanced and it continues to advance. There is a lot of throw, a lot of products out there. That, um, that really have been, that have been successful at focusing on how to. Make servicing a loan, more effective and more efficient, you know, and, and, you know, from our perspective, that’s a good thing.

[00:29:27] I mean, we, we enjoy the competition. It makes us better. It allows us to grow. But the big thing I’m excited about is, you know, you guys know this for years, the focus has always been on originations or at least it seemed like the focus is on how to better originate, how to better underwrite, you know, how to better acquire a loan.

[00:29:44] And there was very little focused from a technology perspective or from a. You know, uh, a servicing products perspective to, to make you a better collector or make you a better servicer. And I feel like that’s starting to change. And when we’re starting to see a lot more products in the [00:30:00] marketplace that ultimately helped that lender, um, you know, prevent or avoid a loss, which I think again is a good thing for the

[00:30:06] Joel Kennedy: [00:30:06] industry as a whole.

[00:30:07] I, and I love, I love the point that you guys made in particular around the controls and the compliance. And so. Just by way of a, kind of a plug for, for the next podcast. That’ll be coming out after this one. Um, Anastasia Kaitlin of Hudson cook is an expert on the whole world of, uh, of, of all the compliance that wraps around these different types of communications.

[00:30:33] And there are so many questions that people have. By nature because these rules and regulations, a lot of them were really promulgated back in the seventies. Right. And, and so TCPA, and some of these other things that are, are not, you know, delivered by the normal, uh, regulators that we deal with. You know, Scott, I think has come through the FTC, for example, there’s just a whole world there.

[00:30:53] So, um, you know, I’ll invite, uh, folks that are listening to this to please check in on, on the anesthesia [00:31:00] podcasts. These things were meant to, to bookend each other. Um, And we want to make sure, cause we’ve look, CFPB came out, you know, so many years ago, w as, as an industry, I’ve been very impressed with how, you know, the non-prime automotive industry has really come together and embrace this and figured out a way to do it.

[00:31:22] So we’re never really gonna walk away. From the compliance aspect. Everybody appreciates the fact that we had a pandemic. We had to quickly mobilize we’re ops guys. I mean, that’s what we do, right. We quickly mobilize around stuff and we’re able to get stuff to happen, but we want to do so safely. So, um, that’s my little plug for, for Anastasia, but, uh, um, Chris Chris, any, any final, any final thoughts for folks on the whole omni-channel world?

[00:31:49] I love the finishing thoughts you guys had on, on, on what people should do, but, uh, and any other final thoughts from you guys?

[00:31:58] Chris Mitcham: [00:31:58] Um, I would say, uh, [00:32:00] join the next podcast. Uh, I, I think that’s, that’s, uh, incredibly important piece, uh, to omni-channel is, is the, the, um, the controls around it. It’s very important because the tools, like I said, a moment ago, your associates are going to love them.

[00:32:12] They’re going to enjoy working with them. They’re going to enjoy interacting with your consumers, using them. Um, so controls are important. Um, you know, uh, beyond that, Joel, thanks a lot for, for having us. Um, uh, I really enjoy talking about this, uh, Omni channel communications and, and giving customer top, top quality customer care is, is, is near and dear to my heart.

[00:32:34] Uh, I think automotive consumers across the credit spectrum in particularly, uh, in the non-prime, uh, segments, uh, you know, deserve. The ability to interact with consumer finance companies and use those same tools, just like a prime customer should be able to do so. So thanks for talking about this.

[00:32:50] Joel Kennedy: [00:32:50] Amen.

[00:32:51] May every dealership throw out their fax machine post haste?

[00:32:57] Chris Chestnut: [00:32:57] Yeah, I’ll just echo what Chris said. I mean, I [00:33:00] think it’s important. I think it’s, it’s actually a really cool thing. How, you know, again, technology is really advanced, uh, in a way that’s allowed. Uh, you know, borrowers at the lower end of the credit spectrum to have the same capabilities and frankly, uh, servicing, uh, respect, so to speak that the prime borrowers have always had.

[00:33:17] And so I think, you know, just as we think about closing and, and. There’s some, some, some things to think about in the future, just continue to, to be out there and looking for more information like podcasts like this, I think are very helpful. Uh, and just other things that you know, are happening with industry, industry trends, being, being informed about those and, you know, to Chris’s point earlier, going to shows whenever shows come back at some point, hopefully, um, and you know, exploring other opportunities and new solutions to make, to make us all better.

[00:33:45] I think is probably the advice I

[00:33:47] Joel Kennedy: [00:33:47] would give. That’s awesome. And just in case anybody doesn’t know both Chris Mitchum and Chris Chestnut quality guys, um, I don’t even need to give you their email or phone number. I mean, these are, these are guys that will take your [00:34:00] call and we all, you know, this is the core group of people that help the industry, you know, we’re, we’re out there, we’re, we’re out and about.

[00:34:07] We care about the industry. So, um, you know, you’ve got some resources here. I’d love to have maybe another conversation with you guys in a bit, um, on this, especially as things kind of transpire and we come out of, COVID be really interesting to see some of the adoption, but, um, but Chris Mitchum. Santander.

[00:34:26] Thank you, Chris. Chestnut of paychecks. Thank you. I really appreciate the time.

[00:34:32] Chris Chestnut: [00:34:32] Thank you. Thanks Joe.

[00:34:34] Joel Kennedy: [00:34:34] The consumer five podcast has been brought to you by Northbridge loan software. That accelerates change. We’d also like to thank the national automotive finance association, the only trade association, exclusively serving the non-prime auto financing industry. [00:35:00]

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