Nationstar Mortgage officially announced at the opening bell of the NYSE Monday morning its rebranding as Mr. Cooper. DS News sat down with their CEO, Jay Bray, to discuss this monumental change in an exclusive interview.
This change has been in the works for some time now. Could you talk a little about all the moving parts that come into play when trying to rebrand a national corporation?
When you think of an incredible customer experience, the mortgage industry doesn’t come to mind. And it’s time for a change. As the leading nonbank servicer, change has to start with us, and now our goal is to completely transform our company and the industry. Monumental change like that is no easy task, so we knew we needed to start from the inside out. We started our journey by building our business on the foundation that happy team members lead to happy customers—it was a cultural shift we knew would take time. To convince our team that we were dedicated to this new journey, we have redefined our values, improved benefits, offered additional training and mentoring opportunities, listened to team member feedback, created engagement teams, and opened additional channels of communications for our team members.
We simultaneously focused on our brand name change, researching names that would resonate with both our team and customers. We needed to pick a bold name that matched our bold aspirations. Once we selected Mr. Cooper, we developed creative assets to bring the brand to life and fostered an understanding internally to breathe life into the name with all 7,000 of our team members who are the embodiment of the Mr. Cooper brand and strive to be advocates for our customers.
In a parallel path, we’ve been investing in the customer experience, creating new tools and features that will make the home loan journey more rewarding for our more than 3 million customers.
Now, on August 21, we take our next big step in our transformation journey—officially changing our name to Mr. Cooper.
What sort of obstacles did you encounter on the road to renaming Nationstar?
With any major transformation, as was true with our company transformation to Mr. Cooper, there are goals to meet and perhaps even more challenging perceptions to change. With happy team members and happy customers as our north stars, we knew we had to prioritize communication and develop a better experience for both of those audiences.
We spent an entire year rolling out this transformation to our team members, ensuring their understanding and embodiment of the ideals of Mr. Cooper, to align our entire company. This involved months of trainings, information and goal sharing and two-way communication. The impact of our investments in our team are infectious and it is amazing to see how our team has embraced Mr. Cooper.
Following our rollout of our internal transformation, we sought to transform the customer experience–we needed to do more than just talk about an exciting rebrand—we had to walk the walk. In taking a close look at customer feedback, we made real, substantial changes: we launched a new website and mobile app, with user-friendly tools and features and completely changed our operational and customer-facing technology. We have also moved all of our customer service operations back to the U.S., removed all fees for on-time online payments and offered more robust, easy to understand content. To do this we’ve invested more than $90 million in our technology and infrastructure and completed more than 50,000 hours in customer service training company-wide. We think it’s working too. Our complaints are down over 70 percent in the past two year.
Looking forward, what do you hope to accomplish with the rebranding?
I’m glad you asked that. It’s been an incredible transformation—but we still have work to do. We want to build trust by putting the service back in the servicing industry, using innovation and technology to create an incredible customer experience. To grow our business by retaining existing customers and reaching new customers, we had to give our customers a reason to believe in us. We had to change from the inside out, and we are excited to have a tangible representation of that promise in our rebrand to Mr. Cooper.
In the near future, Mr. Cooper will be launching exciting new technology that will further assist current customers and prospective homeowners as they prioritize their finances.
Can you tell me a little bit about the significance of the name Mr. Cooper?
After extensive research and testing, Mr. Cooper was selected as our new brand name. It personifies the next generation of home loan servicing and lending for the company and represents a more personal relationship with customers can have with their home loan provider. We recognize the critical role of a customer advocate in delivering a positive experience and aligns the entire company behind the spirit of customer advocacy.
The New York Stock Exchange is quite the stage. What were your goals or intentions behind unveiling this move here?
Our sentiments exactly. We can think of no better way to literally ring in a new day and new brand than with the honor of ringing the bell at the NYSE. We are also very excited to have ten team members join us on the podium—each selected for their role in the successful launch of Mr. Cooper and their embodiment of Mr. Cooper core values. The launch of Mr. Cooper is really a celebration of our team and their hard work and we look forward to showcasing their achievements.