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These days more and more companies use technology to conduct transactions without ever talking to a prospect or customer. Many people appreciate being able to automatically book a hotel or order office supplies without having to wait to speak with a human agent. But what happens if you’ve got a special request?
If you’re a small business owner, what happens if you have an unexpected opportunity or emergency that requires an immediate answer? What if you can get a big discount from one of your best suppliers if you “act now” and pay cash within 5 days? You can try borrowing from the bank but that will take 6-8 weeks to get an answer – and the answer will probably be no so it’s not an option.
Or you can go to one of the dozens of new “alternative” online lenders that can fund a loan in less than 48 hours.
With online small business lending, every provider is using technology to streamline various business processes and many have fully automated their approval processes. Some of the larger US based, publicly traded online lenders have spent tens of millions of dollars developing sophisticated algorithms that can approve (or decline) a loan in minutes. Based on the financial results of these fully automated online lenders it doesn’t appear they’ve quite figured out who to approve and who to decline
At Company Capital, we believe any time you can make it easier for consumers, automation is definitely a good thing. But we also believe not every business process is a good fit for automation. For example, what about the unexpected “shit happens” stuff? You can’t explain that to an algorithm – you need to explain your situation to a real person. That’s why we have a service standard of answering the phone within 2 rings and responding to emails within the hour.
In the small business lending world, we believe automation creates efficiency but it’s the human touch that creates a better service experience.