Giving customers more control
Tony Leonard, Chief Customer Officer at ULS technology, discusses the need to give customers more control over their conveyancing
ULS have provided technology to help customers choose a Conveyancing Solicitor and monitor progress of their case for over 15 years. Perhaps unusually for a technology company, we have always supported our platforms by providing a friendly and knowledgeable helpdesk for customers dealing with the unfamiliar – & often urgent – issues that can arise when moving or remortgaging a home.
Over the years, our customers consistently told us what was frustrating them – poor communication, lack of clear information, the sheer length of time the process took etc – and that this was not improving over time. When we reflected these findings to the industry – including solicitors, intermediaries, lenders, and estate agents – everyone agreed that a technological solution was needed and that this had the potential to improve the Conveyancing experience for all parties and particularly the end customer.
Building a useful consumer product considerable investment, consultation, development and testing Our company Vision (to make home moving and ownership better for everyone) and Mission (to become the leading provider of digital tools that transform the experience of buying, selling and owning property) demanded we take on this challenge. This is how DigitalMove was conceived and our technological expertise and market position have allowed us to make this a reality.
What is DigitalMove?
In a nutshell, DigitalMove is a home moving and refinancing application that:
– Allows customers to manage the conveyancing process simply, flexibly and instantly.
– Establishes higher standards of security and reduces fraud risk.
– Transforms communication – improving transparency and giving you clear and direct access to your solicitor.
– Gives the customer control – and shows what needs to happen next.
– Speeds up the process – frankly, why does it take so long?
Now that the platform has been live for a year, we have a huge body of information and comments from the many thousands of customers that DigitalMove has helped.
What have we learnt so far?
Above all, our customers are delighted with the better communication, speedier progress, greater security and ease of use that Digitalmove provides. We, to some extent, expected this, but have been surprised at how enthusiastically customers have adapted their behaviour to a digital process. After all, the conveyancing process in the UK has hardly changed in human memory and times to completion have actually increased across the market in recent years!
Interestingly, more than half of customer interactions with DigitalMove were on mobile phones from day one and this will only increase over time. Globally, 52% of websites are now served to mobile devices and we see this trend sweeping through every administration and information-rich process, driven by customer preference.
What are DigitalMove customers telling us?
The most common word that DM customers use is ‘easy’ and their desire for simplicity, convenience and clarity will continue to drive rapid change in the market.
You can start the process immediately and work at your own pace – no need to wait for a hefty pack to arrive in the post.
DigitalMove breaks complex forms and processes into bite-sized tasks, with help topics all the way through. Upload documents easily via your phone, review progress and move things forward when it suits you – anytime, anywhere, with changes saved automatically.
The platform is written in plain English and allows you to communicate with your Solicitor in the way that you prefer: send simple or formal messages, attach documents as you go or call them directly from the Application.
“I know what’s going on”
Above all, customers love having control of their conveyancing right there in their pocket and are increasingly confident that they are not the cause of any delay. They are also now much better placed to tell who is: something that distrust between professions combined with an unconnected and analogue process has often made difficult to do in the past.
We are confident that DigitalMove is improving our customers’ experience and is giving them more control of their home ownership journey. With the ever-increasing number of people using the platform, we are learning about how people want the technology to work for them every day. Our commitment is to respond to this and keep the customer firmly at the centre of the future development of the platform.
What’s coming next?
Imagine a world where everyone’s home moving process fits seamlessly into everyday life …. Well, that’s what we’re working towards.
We are extremely excited about the future and will be bringing ever more tangible customer benefits to DigitalMove, such as:
– Providing solutions for all types of Solicitor, from local Firm to national specialist – increasing both customer choice and access to the platform.
– Providing tools to help all parties become as efficient as possible, such as integration – keeping prices down and freeing Solicitors from administrative tasks.
– Linking to lenders and government bodies – allowing them to release innovative products and provide faster response times.
– Increasing security and introducing a single, unified ID verification regime.
– Allowing you to safely order the services you need earlier (such as searches) to reduce delays, with the peace of mind of free replacements in case the transaction fails.
– Allowing solicitors to learn from each other and share best practice – increasing quality and security.
– Introducing more technology, such as Artificial Intelligence, to make the application ever more responsive to your needs.
Above all, we want you to get to a position of certainty quicker and to feel comfortable that the legal side of your home move or refinancing is under control so you can concentrate on other things. In collaboration with our partners across the industry, we will not rest until home moving is routinely achieved in a couple of weeks and remortgaging becomes a next-day process: all the while guided by what our customers want!