Delivering Customer Value Term Paper

Pages: 22 (7185 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Customer Value

Countrywide: Delivering Customer Value

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Early in a company's evolution much should be decided as a foundation for doing business. The nature of the company's business practices and product it represents defines the company's core values and basic spirit. It is important to establish this basis early on in order to build and nourish the business in a successful direction. Only then can a company enter into the market place with any real hope of remaining competitive. The beginnings of a corporation like Countrywide Financial Corporation better known as Countrywide Home Loans, early on were based on simple values and goals. What later would become corporate culture, defined the nature of doing business the Countrywide way. Effectively, it is the product of the home loan or mortgage that has created Countrywide's core value of customer service satisfaction. A home loan or a mortgage, although at one time paper, remains a non-physical product. It is the act of servicing the loan that becomes the product Countrywide represents, markets and sells to the public. It is this act of servicing the loan and the person who owns the loan that becomes the company's main business activity. Essentially Countrywide is not selling loans but they are selling the dream of homeownership. They are providing a service on a very intimate level. Really Countrywide has made people their business and they have chosen to adopt an expert approach to maintaining superior customer value in their service. It is because Countrywide realizes the value behind their customers that their service excels above the rest. It is the attention to detail, the personal effort of going the extra mile that has made Countrywide the success it is today. No question, they deliver value by putting the customer first.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Delivering Customer Value Assignment

This paper is about Countrywide's ability to deliver customer value in the form of excellent customer service. Without the customer, the company would fold. This paper will look at the division of Loan Administration Servicing, the arm of the company to handle customer service and more specifically the department of Communications Compliance. It is this department's responsibility and mission to preserve Countrywide's brand identity and reputation by being the first to perform customer service. This paper will explore many facets of how Countrywide delivers customer value not only is its services but also in its policies, procedures and actions. These items are what make service possible. The paragraphs below will examine the organization's mission, goals and objectives. In doing this, the paper will look at market place and strategy, operating practices, marketing approach, brand identity, informational infrastructure and technology, quality assurance procedures, customer relationship management, Countrywide's Global presence and customer care programs. Throughout the paper, strategy will be discussed as it pertains to loan servicing and Countrywide's joint ventures. By analyzing the mirror images of Countrywide's influence, one can see the importance of the customer to the process. Countrywide's credo has always been to not only think outside the box to fix problems but to also continue rethinking them by breaking them over and over. This is reflective in every aspect the company touches. It has been this philosophy that allows for creativity and diversification of making dreams come true.

Countrywide's History

Founded in 1969 as Countrywide Credit Industries, the company "provides consumer and business to business financial services in domestic and international markets" (Simon, 2001 par. 1). The company is headquartered in Calabasas, California and has more than 40,000 employees in over 500 offices many in California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia and New York. Countrywide Financial as it is now called, boasts a wide diverse portfolio of products that acts as an umbrella for the Countrywide Family. This includes Global Home Loans; Ltd. United Kingdom, Balboa Life and Causality and Countrywide Bank. The company has seen the need to keep every aspect of mortgage banking under one roof to better serve its customer base. Countrywide is also the largest direct online lender, offering applications and rich content detailing every step needed to make homeownership a dream come true (Simon, 2001 par. 6). This provides the customer with an enjoyable experience that is simple, easy and convenient. Countrywide has been able to achieve this goal by constantly raising the bar and accepting new technologies into its mindset. Much of the company's growth during the 1970s and 1980s can be attributed to thinking outside the conventional process of mortgage banking. The company recognizes a need to be innovative and therefore has been the first to provide cutting-edge ideas to remain competitive. Not only have technology played a significant factor but also diversification of product. As a result, today Countrywide offers loans to a public that was underserved before. These loan products push the parameters of conventional lending practices and allow people from different backgrounds to be served. Countrywide has applied this "home-centric approach" (AboutCountrywide.com, 2005) to meeting the customers' needs and therefore, created a level of trust and integrity for its name.

Countrywide was founded on the premise that homeownership should be available to all Americans from every walk of life. The co-founders, Angelo Mozilo and David Loeb recognized the lack of mortgage products in the banking field at the end of the 1960s. Because they believed mortgage banking should not discriminate, they called the start-up Countrywide to encompass the concept of the American Dream. Like many mortgage companies of the time, Countrywide offered FHA and VA loans but soon they figured out they would need to break the rules to succeed (AboutCountrywide.com, 2005). They implemented the idea of a brick and mortar presence within the public's frame of reference of the mall setting. They saw establishing this enterprise in California as a must and the first Countrywide retail store opened for business in 1974.

Countrywide's Mission, Goals and Objective

Countrywide's mission from the beginning has been to make the dream of homeownership a reality for Americans. It has done this by positioning themselves in the traditional brick and mortar setting of the retail store and bank but it has also done this by taking advantage of new technologies like the World Wide Web and the Internet. It has been a goal of the company to use every tool available to better serve its customers. This innovative approach has allowed Countrywide to set new goals for itself and create new objectives for its culture and the future of the company. One main goal for the company has been to establish a global presence and spread the dream of homeownership to other nations. Also a main objective for Countrywide is to remain true to the customer in its services provided. By valuing the Customer, Countrywide has gained accolades amongst the mortgage banking community and this in turn, has fueled the fire for expansion. Mozilo has also made it a priority for Countrywide not lose sight of the underserved demographics. "Countrywide has worked to lower the barriers to homeownership, especially among lower-income and minority individuals and families" (AboutCountrywide.com, 2005).

By doing this, the company's mission continues. This keeps the momentum of the corporation strong during times of economic troubles, which over the years Countrywide has weathered well. Currently with interest rates still low, the company is able to focus on further achieving its goals. One important goal for Mozilo has been to eat up the marketplace as 68% of it remains untouched (AboutCountrywide.com, 2005). Currently, Countrywide is rated third among mortgage banking organizations based on the size of its portfolio. Mozilo has made it a goal for Countrywide to move into first place by 2008 (AboutCountrywide.com, 2005). It is important to set goals because it keeps the atmosphere competitive internally and publicly.

Mozilo has used different tactics to achieve this goal. One technique has been to not only acquire other institutions bad loans but to also strengthen Countrywide's sub-servicing portfolio. He estimates "five to 10-year forecasts calling for 75% or more to be concentrated among this group" (Mozilo, 2001 par. 1). This allows the company to reach more customers with growth potential but also strengthens the competitive nature for smaller companies. Sub-servicing also has its benefits and efficiency by "controlling costs, enhancing customer service and increasing profitability" (Mozilo, 2001 par. 6). This put the customer in the driver's seat. Countrywide understands the customer's need for a business relationship that is personal and Countrywide values retaining customers by developing these relationships.

Countrywide is a visionary company in many ways. Its success domestically has depended upon the constant acquisition of other institutions' loan servicing portfolio and new storefronts in malls. This strategy along with a consistent pace of originating loans throughout the country has made the company true to its namesake. To keep such a pace, new goals must be set and strive toward innovative products and service must continue. Still there came a time when just having a presence in the United States was not enough and management looked abroad to discover new opportunities.

Management discovered after careful study that Great Britain was an untapped market of potential homeowners. In many… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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