Upgrading telephony to RingCentral MVP delivers immediate quality improvements and operational benefits for Australian financial services provider, and ushers in future integration and innovation opportunities for significantly enhanced services to franchisees, brokers and customers.
Both the broker experience and the customer experience are enhanced, because with RingCentral it’s a richer conversation from the outset, and it’s all recorded and we have detailed reporting on all our calls as well.
Vincent ten Krooden
General Manager Technology, Mortgage Choice
Single UC platform for Australian and Philippines users, available to franchisees Australia-wide
Negotiated telecommunications discounts for franchisees
100% system reliability
Mortgage Choice was established in 1992 by co-founders Rod Higgins and Peter Higgins who had a vision of building a national network of ethical, credible and professional mortgage brokers who local communities could trust. The company, which was acquired by REA Group (ASX:REA) on 1 July 2021, has evolved into a national network of professional mortgage brokers. Mortgage Choice currently supports 430 franchises, more than 600,000 customers and a loan book in excess of $54.3 billion and growing.
Mortgage Choice makes it very easy for people to join as individual brokers or to purchase a new or existing franchise. Buying a franchise removes an enormous amount of the complexities usually associated with a start-up company by benefiting from an established and successful brand and business model. Mortgage Choice also provides franchisees with real support through established systems, management advice, marketing assistance and ongoing training and development.
That support includes dedicated marketing, back office and contact centre teams, using centralised customer experience (CX) and management systems with Google Workspace, Zendesk for ticketing and HubSpot and Microsoft Dynamics for CRM. However, Mortgage Choice’s hosted virtualised IP PABX and SIP trunk services that connected each of its offices were unreliable and didn’t allow for any integration with these CX applications, and were not flexible to effectively adapt to a work-from-anywhere operating model.
For the past five years, Mortgage Choice has undertaken a strategic centralisation program to maintain or recruit and uplift core components and core teams, then bringing new best-of-breed partners and technologies into the organisation.
“Most of our centralisation has taken place across our enterprise data centre and consolidating our cloud platform footprint to reduce the support overhead and cost to serve. This allows our company to scale seamlessly as we grow our franchise footprint,” said Vincent ten Krooden, General Manager Technology, Mortgage Choice.
With its existing telephony contract due to expire, Mortgage Choice had the opportunity to evaluate alternative solutions. Subsequent to the centralisation of core infrastructure and cloud services, the natural progression was to adopt a cloud-based unified communications as a service – UcaaS – platform as the ideal telephony replacement, explains ten Krooden.
“A cloud-native platform, where we don’t have to build anything, is the obvious choice. It’s not just the features that are available today; it’s the degree to which the cloud platform and its enhanced functionality will take us in the future.”
“And, when we go to market we choose the best – which is why RingCentral came into play.”
The key RingCentral MVP features that initially appealed to Mortgage Choice were the single cost-effective cloud platform combining applications, PABX and carrier services; the ability of the platform to integrate natively with Google Workspace, Zendesk, Dynamics and HubSpot; call recording; and basic contact centre functionality built into the core UCaaS product. The RingCentral platform’s compliance with APRA’s Prudential Standard CPS 234 - Information Security was also a factor.
Once Mortgage Choice selected RingCentral, the deployment timeline was able to be completed prior to the expiration of its existing telephony contract.
“We were up and running with RingCentral in just two weeks, and in the third week our contact centre was using RingCentral, with a week of testing before going live in the fourth week. That included each of our state offices and our two users in The Philippines as well,” said Peter Abila, Infrastructure Engineer, Mortgage Choice.
“Deployment was fantastic; it was a seamless process for our offices and our users,” said ten Krooden.
In the past, Mortgage Choice often had difficulties getting the support they needed, and the changes were not just costly, but also at times forced the shutdown of its contact centre with calls diverted to a third-party provider who manage overflow and out-of-hours support for the business.
“Now, because it’s so easy to use the system, there are no outages and we can do most of the support ourselves – apart from the backend functions like porting numbers to the system,” said Abila.
The deployment of RingCentral has opened up the opportunity to add further value to Mortgage Choice’s franchisees. While these organisations had been using a lot of disparate systems in the past, Mortgage Choice’s centralisation program over the past five years has consolidated and standardised applications including loan origination systems, workflow management, CRM and digital signature technologies.
For franchisees, that’s translated into cost savings, and an enhanced and consistent user experience and customer experience that’s aligned to and leverages the Mortgage Choice brand.
With RingCentral, Mortgage Choice is now able to offer its franchisees access to a shared UCaaS platform that avoids the additional administrative overheads and costs of setting up their own PABX, with access to enhanced unified communications features at a competitive cost point based on the negotiated rates under Mortgage Choice’s master agreement. The common platform also taps into the integrations and innovation already developed, including Mortgage Choice’s automated lead allocation engine, which allocates leads via the web or phone channel to a certain broker in a certain marketing area within seconds, 24 hours a day. Mortgage Choice plans to build on this capability with RingCentral.
“Through our phone channel, another part of our RingCentral integration that we want to explore is that when we receive a call into our contact centre, a screenpop will tell us if that’s an existing customer or not. If they are existing, we can instantly transfer them through to their broker, and if they are a new customer, assign that lead based on our allocation engine,” said ten Krooden.
“Both the broker experience and the customer experience are enhanced, because with RingCentral it’s a richer conversation from the outset, and it’s all recorded and we have detailed reporting on all our calls as well.”