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Walmart giveaway; BOOMTOWN; CFPB change; Remote customers 😊

By June 7, 2021 No Comments

Jobs are booming, but how are employers adjusting?

Walmart loves its workers so much the corporation announced it will give 740,000 employees free Samsung smartphones by the end of the year so they can use a new app to manage schedules, the company announced last Thursday.

The phone, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, can also be used for personal use, and the company will provide free cases and protection plans. The phone's retail price is currently $499.

As economic activity bounces back and the labor market continues to improve, RSM Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas told Yahoo Finance Live the U.S. economy is “entering boomtown.”

And jobs are following suit. The Labor Department revealed the U.S. added 559,000 new jobs in May, nearly twice as many as April though lower than analysts' expectations. The nation's unemployment rate fell to 5.8%, its lowest point since the start of the pandemic.

“I think we're about to pivot from recovery to expansion in the economy,” Brusuelas said. “It's appropriate that members of the Federal Reserve begin to signal to markets that things are not going to be the same forever. It's appropriate [for the Fed] to begin to think about tapering the pace of asset purchases… or altering the composition of those asset purchases”

For those employees who started working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of respondents toa recent Jackson Lewis workplace survey reported that less than 25% of employees have returned to their pre-pandemic workplace. For those employees that have returned, the employee’s role primarily dictated whether the return was voluntary or mandatory. 

This differentiation based on role appears likely to continue; only 29% of employers intend to take a universal approach to their return-to-workplace plans while the remainder will differentiate based on role or have not decided. 

Employers now anticipate that 40% or more of the employees who did not work remotely before the pandemic will continue to work remotely going forward. Underscoring this trend, 58% of respondents will allow for more permanent hybrid work arrangements, where employees return to the workplace but may continue to work a certain number of days remotely. 

For those employers who are mandating a return-to-the-workplace for some or all employees, they will do so over the next three months if they have not already.

🤣 MEME of the day by Sam's my mortgage guy 🤣

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CFPB actions in the mortgage space to “effect a sea change” by 2022

In an essay on the recent actions of the CFPB in the mortgage space, three regulatory attorneys claim that the post-COVID world is a critical time for the consumer regulator, and “we expect its regulatory and enforcement actions in the mortgage space to effect a sea change by 2022.”

These early signals are just the beginning of what is likely to be a rocky ride for mortgage servicers, the authors state. As disruptive as the past foreclosure moratoria and new loss mitigation requirements were, the result was to dramatically slow and, for long periods of time, outright stop the volume of foreclosures needing to be processed.

“This period will likely be far more chaotic as servicers continue to implement the new programs and restrictions while at the same time returning to foreclosure and eviction volumes rivaling 2010,” they warn in the essay published by Law360

“This will occur as the CFPB gears up for an intense few years of activity by ramping up staff with new hires,” said the authors, Richard Gottlieb, Brett Natarelli and Joseph Reilly is counsel, at Manatt Phelps & Phillips, who argue the CFPB is just getting started.

“At this time next year, the list of enforcement actions related to mortgage servicing may be quite long,” they say. “That will almost certainly be true two years from now. So batten down the hatches. Close the gates. Board up the windows. Better to do so now than trying to do so in the middle of the coming regulatory storm, and better still before trying to clean the regulatory house amid flooded call centers with borrowers exiting forbearance and entering foreclosure, eviction and bankruptcy by the millions.”

🔥 Attention is everything 🔥 

With Josh Pitts

Customer expectations are at an all-time high, what are you going to do about it?

Don’t you love remote customer relationships? No? Well, they do, they really, really do. 

In the past year, attracting, engaging and retaining customers has been top-of-mind for executives, according to an article in Brainyard. 

They found that in Brainyard’s winter 2021 survey, business leaders ranked customer acquisition as one of their top concerns for the year. And in Deloitte’s CFO Signals Report for Q3 2020, CFOs cited a shift in strategies for customer interaction: With the events of 2020 continuing to affect how business operates—and how customers prefer to conduct business—CFOs said their companies are focused on remote/touchless delivery, remote customer service, virtual sales and revising their pricing and credit policies. They also indicated more focus on maintaining and improving customer relationships.

The transition to the remote realm isn’t lowering expectations; in fact, customer expectations are at an all-time high

Customers want personalization, effortless and rewarding interactions with your business, a consistent experience across departments and easy-to-access support.

Oh, and the evolution is far from over.

“As the effects of COVID-19 reshape our economies, organizations will need to strategically reengage with their customers,”said Tim Knight, a customer advisory partner at KPMG. “Whilst behaviors and spend levels have already changed dramatically, it is the evolution of customer needs, attitudes and values that will most disrupt how businesses compete.”

Thus, the roadmap becomes clear: Shift to a digital customer-relationship strategy that meets customer needs as they unfold—focusing specifically on building a seamless customer experience, using data-based insights and incorporating the human touch—or risk losing customers in an already competitive marketplace.

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