Over-Deliver for the Wow

Last week, in our initial Wow Factor blog post, we brought you the story of Christina McMenemy and the extraordinary customer service she received from Gaylord Opryland Hotel. This week, the story comes from much closer to home for us.

Steve Reed is the branch manager of Benchmark Mortgage in Johnson City, Tennessee, and our client. His branch is taking our twelve month leadership development program as a team. Early in the process, I asked Steve what kind of culture he would like to build at his Benchmark office. He said he would like for team members to take ownership of their jobs; to really care deeply about the clients and take pride in shouldering the responsibilities and challenges of their position. It didn’t take long to see tangible examples of such a culture.

Enter Bobby Reynolds. Bobby is a loan officer at Steve’s Benchmark branch. Bobby recently had a client; an armed forces veteran who needed his house refinanced via VA loan, and who needed the loan closed by the end of the 2015 calendar year. The process was started with plenty of time to spare, but a couple of unique obstacles meant that they didn’t receive the clear-to-close until December 23rd.

Due to the way the holidays fell, and the client being out of town on New Year’s Eve, the Closing Disclosure for the loan needed to be finalized, signed and uploaded by December 24th in order to close in 2015.

As with many businesses, the Johnson City Benchmark branch is closed on December 24th, meaning that even if Bobby was willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, there would be no one in the office who knew the process of uploading the finalized paperwork. Making matters worse, the title agent was on vacation—out of the country! Add to all of this the fact that the normal turnaround for Benchmark’s closing department was 2-3 days while Bobby had to have it done in one, and on a holiday.

It’s little wonder then, that branch manager Steve Reed himself encouraged Bobby not to stress over it. The client knew of the challenges. It wasn’t ideal, but the loan would just have to be closed in January. But Bobby wasn’t giving up without a fight.

He asked the coworker who normally handled the final upload to teach him the process before she left on December 23rd. He found someone in the Benchmark closing department who was willing to work Christmas Eve, and turn it around immediately. Even the title agent—the one out of the country on vacation—agreed to carve out some time, access the internet and complete his part of the process.

Imagine the client’s surprise when he received an early Christmas present from Bobby on Christmas Eve; the completed Closing Disclosure verifying that the loan would close on December 30th, 2015. He was thrilled.

Bobby definitely delivered the Wow Factor. His client will be talking about Bobby and the Johnson City Benchmark team in an extremely positive way for a long time. Bobby showed great initiative and leadership in bringing together the extraordinary efforts of the several individuals needed to pull off such a feat.

Bobby—and those who helped him—also embodied the culture that branch manager Steve Reed said he wanted when Benchmark started their journey with us. I’d call that a win all the way around. I’m so excited to be working with these amazing folks and to be able to feature them here on the Wow Factor blog series. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Johnson City Benchmark team in 2016!

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