On Friday, April 4th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) opened up the $349B program that opens emergency loans from the government to small businesses across the country looking to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Bank of America started accepting applications in the morning and received more than 85,000 applications in a single day.
This program is the heart of the $2.2 trillion economic relief bill passed in March, and eligibility and program deals can be found in this helpful digest. In direct response to this program, banks and credit unions across the country are getting thousands of daily requests from their clients about getting the financial assistance they are eligible for under this program.
In a recent CNBC article, Richard Hunt, Head of the Consumer Bankers Association states, “Having just received guidance outlining how to implement a $349 billion program literally hours before it starts, we would ask for everyone to be patient as banks move heaven and earth to get a system in place and running to help America’s small businesses and the millions of men and women who work at them.”
The program and the lenders approved to offer the program are also changing. BankingDive recently reported that nonbank lenders PayPal, Intuit, and Square were approved to offer loans to small businesses through the SBA PPP. PayPal and Intuit both announced their approval for the program on Friday, April 10th.
We have been hard at work helping our Silverline banking and credit union clients keep up with the huge influx of requests. So many of our clients have accelerated their roadmaps to support this program in rapid response.
How can you best provide customer support in a time of crisis?
As the stats above indicate, banks and credit unions are receiving a huge influx of urgent client and member requests. In addition to the millions of SBA applications these institutions are receiving from small businesses, they are inundated with consumer-driven requests.
According to research from Investopedia and press from the Mortgage Bankers Association last week, requests to delay mortgage payments grew by 1,270% between the week of March 2nd and the week of March 16th, and another 1,896% between the week of March 16th and the week of March 30th. MBA’s survey data covers 22.4 million loans serviced as of April 1, 2020, representing almost 45% of the first mortgage servicing market.
In order to help our clients address this inquiry volume, we are swiftly ramping up remote call center operations as well as public-facing FAQ portals to drive clarity around common requests. Simply put, banks are struggling to keep up with their clients’ most basic questions:
- Where do I go to raise my hand and get help?
- How do I get to the right person who can answer my questions?
- What are the services or loan products that might help me in this tough time?
- How do I get help with this SBA application or mortgage forbearance?
To anticipate these unknowns and offset the sheer volume of inbound inquiries, our first questions to our clients are:
- How are you engaging with your customer base right now? Via phone, chat, or online banking portal?
- What email or text messaging tools are you using to communicate what’s happening with your clients?
The answers to these key questions provide the best path forward that fits each bank’s current technology stack or provides guidance on where we may be able to implement fast, lightweight solutions to keep up with the demand.
How Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud can help you ramp up support
Because the biggest challenge right now is ensuring continuity in customer support, we are fortunate to have the power of Salesforce Financial Services Cloud at our fingertips. Depending on the answers to the above questions, this is where we at Silverline have been rolling up our sleeves to help out.
Our SBA PPP response and solution
Silverline has built a pre-packaged Salesforce solution for the SBA-PPP. (You can view a demo right here.) Our goal in building this portal was simple: to help banks and credit unions that may not have the technology firepower of a larger financial institution to create quick and secure web portals so they can better keep up with the clients who are reaching out for help.
We believe that banks and credit unions deserve to have powerful rapid response tools and resources for their small business clients and their communities — and that the urgency of the situation requires a creative approach. Because of this belief, we want to do everything we can to support job security and promote economic sustainability in the wake of COVID-19. If you need a portal to help your institution process the SBA PPP application process, here are a few things you should know.
Enabling remote call centers and client communication at scale
In addition to helping offset the application process for SBA, the next suite of solutions we’ve been rapidly deploying for clients involves leveraging key Salesforce Service Cloud capabilities that help banks and credit unions quickly ramp up digital operations for their call centers to deal with the overwhelming volume of requests.
Built on a strong foundation of case management and issue tracking, we have been working over the past month to help our financial services clients add support channels so that they may extend their service hours and help route requests more effectively.
These solutions include:
- Collaborating with service center and client experience leaders to roll out or enhance call center operations as their agents are now working from home with different call routing capabilities
- Launching client-facing FAQ and help portals to provide easy access to common questions and guidance via Salesforce Community Cloud
- Deploying simple chatbots and live chat features for our banks’ and credit unions’ websites or online banking platforms
- Working with bank CMOs and Service leadership to rapidly deploy marketing automation tools that power customer service communications via email, text message, and social media channels
Silverline is here to help
We at Silverline empathize with the critical need for access to capital solutions at this volatile time. We want to help banks and credit unions across the nation create a strong foundation for sustainable technology that delivers immediate results for the situation at hand, while leaving room for future innovation.
Time is of the essence as we reboot the economy, and we will be continuing to share these examples in more detail over the following weeks via our Webinar from Home series each Thursday.
If you’d like to hear our Financial Services leadership team discuss these solutions and more, we invite you to watch our recent webinar: SBA Paycheck Protection & Other COVID Banking Plays.