Mackenzie Saunders, Onboarding Program Manager, “The best way to deliver a great customer experience is to never rest on your laurels. ”

Before my recent promotion to Onboarding Program Manager as a part of the OppLoans People Team, I was a member of our training staff. As a Training Associate, I would teach new hires how to deliver the five-star customer experience that is the top goal of every employee.

Part of delivering that experience is mastering certain technical skills, such as product knowledge and compliance with state and federal regulations. But while those parts of the job are critical, delivering world-class customer service requires a lot more.

Specifically, it means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.

When customers call in regarding their loan application, they’re usually in some sort of a bind. They need money, and they usually need it fairly promptly. Sometimes they are under a lot of stress, and they end up taking their frustration out over the phone.

Almost everyone has had that experience before to one degree or another. You’re angry and frustrated and you call up a customer service representative and let them have it—even though you know it’s not their fault.

Thinking about those experiences in your life and using that knowledge to put yourself in a customer’s shoes helps. Not only does it mean that you can be more patient, kind, and empathetic, but it also means that you know exactly how to give them what they need.

With loan applications, that often boils down to two things: accuracy and efficiency. You make sure that everything on the application is correct and you do your best to get them through the application as speedily and efficiently as possible.

But on top of that, you can also treat them like a human being. Sometimes that empathy means taking a little extra time to talk to them about whatever problem they are going through. Sometimes it means putting aside their tone or their attitude by reminding yourself that they are going through something difficult.

At OppLoans, our customers come first. That’s why every employee here is basically obsessed with delivering a five-star customer experience. And the company does a great job making sure that our incentives reflect that. Take great care of our customers and you’ll go far.

Our training team was entirely made up of former Loan Advocates. We knew a ton about the job and about the company at large, but none of us had, in essence, been trained to be trainers.

Funnily enough, I think that really benefited us because it meant that we developed a real knack for resourcefulness.

We’re all independent learners, and if we don’t know the answer to a question, we will go find someone who does. Not only has that turned us into great resources for other employees, but it’s become something that we try to instill in all new hires.

As a trainer, it was my goal to make every Loan Advocate comfortable and confident in their job. Knowledge of product, technical skills, and compliance best practices are all critical, but it’s comfort and confidence that form the base.

It’s not for the reason that you think: When an employee is comfortable in their job, it means they have the confidence to ask questions. As trainers, we were constantly learning, and we strove to create employees that did the same thing.

The best way to deliver a great customer experience is to never rest on your laurels. No matter how great your reviews are—and our reviews are spectacular—you can always do better.

At OppLoans, we know that the only way we can keep getting better is to hire the very best people and give them room to grow. It’s what our customers deserve.