Fannie Mae Connect: Improving the Customer Experience
By Don Geiger | February 11, 2016
Fannie Mae Connect™, a recently launched web portal, helps Fannie Mae’s customers and business partners operate more efficiently by consolidating critical reports from multiple sources into a simple, user-friendly system.
“Fannie Mae seems to always be thinking of new and better ways to improve the customer experience,” says Cliff Meggison, enterprise risk manager for Franklin American Mortgage Co. “They are on the cutting edge of technology that helps make its customers and large lenders good stewards of the industry.”
The first phase of Fannie Mae Connect, introduced in November, consolidates 15 reports from legacy systems into a single, intuitive dashboard that can be customized for each user. Additional reports will be added monthly, beginning in January with the addition of five reports. Approximately 60 reports are on the schedule for 2016.
“This is a self-serve reporting and data-analytics portal that streamlines and improves the data available to customers and business partners,” says Stephen Carter, director of single-family solutions for Fannie Mae. “It’s a one-stop shop for users to access the data and analytics they need with a single sign-on. Customers may also customize report access based on their unique business requirements, enable report favorites and set alerts when new reports are available.”
“We have received positive feedback from our lenders regarding the ease of use and enhanced reporting functionality Fannie Mae Connect provides them,” Carter says. “To simplify transition to the portal, we activated more than 15,000 users, providing day-one access without any lender administrative effort required. Our customers are quickly adopting the new technology, with a daily average of 200 users during the first month of production, with peaks as high as 1,200 users per day.”
As it began planning the new portal, Fannie Mae sent surveys to many users of its legacy reporting platforms and received about 1,000 responses, including narratives that went into detail about features users wanted to see. In addition, 17 customers provided specific input during a six-week pilot.
“Fannie Mae has demonstrated a willingness to learn and listen to its customers,” says Meggison, who participated in the pilot. “Too often, companies think they know what their customers are looking for. Fannie Mae asked their lenders, ‘How do you use it?’ Getting that kind of direct feedback ultimately leads to a better product, but it starts with Fannie Mae being willing to engage its customers and listen to what they have to say.”
As a result of customer input, Fannie Mae designed the system so that users can tailor the reports they see on the landing page when they log into the system.
“With the legacy systems, you had to do a little hunting and pecking to find what you were looking for,” Meggison says. “Under the new system, users can put the reports they use most often on their landing page. That’s key. Users get into routines of referring to some reports regularly. If I want to see a specific six reports when I open the portal, I can set it up that way. But if peers of mine in different roles need to see different reports, they can configure their reports accordingly.”
In addition, users can choose to receive email notifications when new reports are available.
“We all get busy in our daily lives and may forget to run a report until we get a break,” Meggison says. “It’s nice to be able to subscribe and get an update when a report is waiting for you.”
Improving the Experience
Fannie Mae’s investment in technology is paying off for its customers.
“It speaks volumes that Fannie Mae continues to invest in customer-facing technologies and improving the overall experience,” Meggison says. “In other environments, the underlying systems make it very difficult to stay at the forefront. Fannie Mae has turned that corner.”
Don Geiger is a freelance writer based in Dallas.