Auto Financing

Interview: Andrew Coffey on Embracing Discomfort

The new year is fast approaching and is on the front of the minds of professionals across every industry. In the auto financing community especially, lenders, loan servicers, and borrowers are bracing for uncertainty. Our Chief Revenue Officer, Andrew Coffey, an accomplished constituent in the space, has his sights set on 2024. This week, we got to sit down and talk about how he and Servicing Solutions remain prepared for the unknown.

Adrian Frattini (AF): In a recent article, you mentioned that auto inventory levels might not return to pre-COVID highs until well into 2024. What do you attribute to this?

Andrew Coffey (AC): I think there is room for optimism that things will improve. Inventory is up over 50% from the same time last year, which could be an indication of a positive trend. Overall, I think the shift from in-office to remote work culture is a major factor, specifically as it relates to commuting. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years because we are still dealing with a bit of the aftershock of the pandemic in the workplace. It seems like companies are shifting back to encouraging their employees to work in an office, which may create more of a necessity for inventory like before.

AF: How are we helping people adapt to this changing landscape at Servicing Solutions?

AC: I feel fortunate that adaptation and iteration are at our core here. From a partnership perspective, we work hard to provide solutions that are built to be adjusted as quickly as the market shifts, so we apply that philosophy to the teams we deploy for loan servicing. I think transparency and solution-oriented support are vital in reaching successful outcomes in any customer relationship, so we build our enablement programs around building the skills to provide that. We train our teams to be resources for borrowers and ask the right questions early and often to uncover risk, offer solutions, and ultimately build trust.

AF: Has your leadership philosophy evolved over the years, especially in the rapidly changing auto loan industry?

AC: I think it took me some time to reach a certain level of comfort with the unknowns of working in this space, but my core philosophy has remained pretty constant over the years. However, my core philosophy is to never get caught on my heels and avoid complacency at all costs, so I think it has allowed me to remain fairly philosophically dynamic throughout my career. It might be a cheap answer, but it was empowering to embrace. We have spent a lot of time building culture [at Servicing Solutions] around this idea of “KaiZen” or dynamic, constant improvement, and I try to practice what I preach.

AF: How do you keep your team engaged and motivated in a fast-paced industry?

AC: As a leader, it is my job to equip my team with the right resources to succeed, and I don’t think that is possible without first learning about each team member on an individual basis. I think it is important to create an empowering environment that cultivates development and goal-oriented success, which can look entirely different to each person on a team. When I start working with someone, my number one priority is to earn their trust and develop an understanding of what they need to perform at a high level, which is an inherently engaging exercise. Working in a dynamic space can be tiresome and discouraging at times, which is why I feel it is important to provide an environment where it is safe to learn and fail forward.

AF: What advice do you have for any aspiring leaders in this space?

AC: I hate to sound repetitive here, but I think the best advice that I can give anyone pursuing a path toward leadership in this space is to embrace the natural discomfort of constant change. I think in this industry especially, people with leadership qualities set themselves apart by their mindset and composure when it comes to adapting to a shifting landscape. As a leader, you are an example to follow whenever something changes, and something as simple as your attitude toward a new development can make or break your team’s results. 

Andrew has an unparalleled track record of success in starting, building, and improving the performance of Customer Experience and Loan Servicing teams. Known for his motivating and enthusiastic management style, he draws upon his deep operational background to play a critical role in the full lifecycle of our client relationships, from the initial sales and planning process through onboarding and ongoing client strategy and support.

Interested in developing a partnership with Andrew and Servicing Solutions? Reach out to us today!