2023 Education Industry Changes: How Lenders Can Adapt to Changing Customer Needs

Education Industry Changes: How Lenders Can Adapt to Changing Customer Needs

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The education sphere is abuzz in response to recent changes to student loan forgiveness policies, leaving lenders and borrowers alike spinning. Never fear—LiveVox is no stranger to these kinds of shake ups. 

Let’s take a deep breath together and explore how customer experience is changing within the education lending space. We’ll also talk about why it’s more important than ever for lenders to revamp their contact centers with the customer at the center. Plus, we’ll talk about some creative ways for lenders to enhance their contact centers in response to these changes (or rather, “opportunities”)

Digital transformation in education financing

The digital wave has revolutionized a variety of industries, and education financing is no exception. Studies predict that the global market size of digital lending platforms will swell to $12.1 billion by the end of 2023. Lenders should invest in user-friendly online portals, allowing borrowers to access information, make payments, and track their progress with ease. By incorporating intuitive design and practical features, lenders can upgrade the customer experience and empower borrowers to take control of their education debt.

Empathy is important

Money matters can be tough. Student loan borrowers, in particular, often feel the weight of their debt with an emotional heft that is hard to ignore. Lenders need to go beyond financial expertise and acknowledge that stress. Customer service training programs can help your contact center agents connect to borrowers on a more human level and provide support beyond numerical guidance or dry facts. After all, just because it’s money doesn’t mean it has to be cold. Empathetic representatives can provide guidance tailored to individual circumstances and help borrowers navigate the complexities of loan repayment.

Customer service training programs can help your contact center agents connect to borrowers on a more human level and provide support beyond numerical guidance or dry facts

So is proactive communication

One of the most significant changes in the education lending space is the importance of proactive communication. Borrowers appreciate lenders who reach out with personalized repayment strategies and reminders. Contact centers need to leverage data analytics to identify borrowers who may require additional support and provide tailored solutions. By being proactive in communication, you can foster a sense of trust and reassure borrowers that they’re not alone in their financial journey. Plus, putting the information they need in their hands before they ask for it can help ease call volumes—it’s a win­­–win.

Transitioning from transactional to relational customer service

The days of cold, transactional interactions with borrowers are long gone. These days, students want an experience that’s friendlier and more tailored when dealing with lenders—and you want to give it to them. You can foster this connection by assigning dedicated representatives to borrowers, enabling ongoing relationships and personalized guidance. Not only does this boost customer satisfaction, but it also heightens the probability of successful loan repayment.

Embracing AI-powered solutions in 2023

As education loan servicers gear up for student loan payments to resume in 2023, some of them are cutting back on customer service hours to save money. But artificial intelligence (AI) can come to the rescue here. AI is revolutionizing the customer experience in myriad industries, including education financing. It’s time to embrace this innovative technology and reap its rewards, such as reduced response times and streamlined experience. LiveVox’s Intelligent Virtual Agents are a great example of how AI-powered chatbots can efficiently provide instant responses, personalized recommendations, and 24/7 availability. With AI integrated into your contact center, your customers will have the best service while you have more money in your pocket.

AI is revolutionizing the customer experience in myriad industries, including education financing

The impact of the end of student loan forgiveness

With the potential end of student loan forgiveness programs, borrowers may be feeling additional pressure and seeking more guidance than ever. Lenders need to use this unique moment to be proactive and shift their customer experience strategies accordingly. By being empathetic, offering transparent information, and streamlining your processes, you can help keep borrower anxiety at bay and cultivate lasting relationships.

Adapting contact centers for success this year

To thrive in this changing landscape, lenders need to modify their contact centers to meet evolving borrower expectations. Here are a few creative ideas to level up the customer experience:

  • Gamification: Introduce interactive elements, such as educational quizzes and rewards, to engage borrowers. If you can make it fun for them to learn about their loan, they’ll remember the information much more easily.
  • Virtual workshops: Host virtual workshops or webinars to educate borrowers on financial literacy, budgeting, and debt management. These initiatives can empower borrowers to make informed decisions about their loans. It also shows that you care about your customers’ well-being. After all, borrowers with money management skills are more likely to make their payments on time and in full.
  • Personalized self-service content: Develop a library of educational resources tailored to borrowers’ needs, covering topics such as loan consolidation, refinancing, and credit repair. And don’t forget to update it regularly!
  • Social media engagement: Establish a social media presence to connect with borrowers and quickly respond to questions. Encourage feedback, share success stories, and provide relevant updates about changes in the education and lending industries.
  • Collaboration with student associations: Partner with student associations, financial aid offices, and universities to organize joint workshops and initiatives. This collaboration can help you gain insights into borrowers’ needs and demonstrate your commitment to supporting education.

The changing dynamics of the student loan lending space demand that lenders adapt their customer experience strategies. By embracing empathy, leveraging digital solutions, fostering proactive communication, nurturing relational interactions, and incorporating AI-powered tools, lenders can create a more supportive and engaging experience for borrowers. 

As the education landscape continues to evolve, lenders need to seize the opportunity to champion borrower success by providing personalized guidance, reliable support, and innovative solutions. Together, you and your customers can navigate the changes in education financing. And LiveVox will be here to support you while you support your customers.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a proven cloud CCaaS platform that helps business leaders redefine customer engagement and transform their contact center’s performance. Decision-makers use LiveVox to improve customer experience, boost agent productivity, empower their managers, and enhance their system orchestration capabilities. Everything needed to deliver game-changing results can be seamlessly integrated and configured to maximize your success: Omnichannel Communications, AI, a Contact Center CRM, and Workforce Engagement Management tools.

For more than 20 years, clients of all sizes and industries have trusted LiveVox’s scalable and reliable cloud platform to power billions of omnichannel interactions every year. LiveVox is headquartered in San Francisco, with international offices in Medellin, Colombia and Bangalore, India.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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