How can mortgage servicers drive customer satisfaction?

by Francis Monfort01 Aug 2017
In a year where customer satisfaction with mortgage servicer broke a multiyear trend of improvements, the industry now faces a critical challenge to balance the demands of the marketplace with client needs.

J.D. Power said in its U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study for the year that overall brand perceptions have seen significant declines among customers. The change was driven primarily by a significant increase in the number of customers who find their mortgage services more focused on profit than customers. This may affect businesses in the long term, J.D. Power said.

"The past few years have not been easy for mortgage servicers as they’ve struggled with regulatory and market pressures, but still managed to deliver on customer satisfaction. Now, as that trend starts to shift and customer satisfaction levels off, it is critical that mortgage servicers continue to balance the demands of this tough marketplace with the needs of their customers,” said Craig Martin, senior director of J.D. Power’s mortgage practice.

Martin said mortgage servicers can drive customer satisfaction by addressing three key areas:
  • Effective onboarding
  • High-functioning self-service tools
  • Call center best practices
J.D. Power said effective onboarding the first step to improve the servicing experience, noting that high onboarding satisfaction results in customers that are more likely to use the servicer website for primary communications and online payments. This equates to a reduced likelihood that the customer will use a call center, experience a problem or pay bills via check.

Digital tools also contribute to effective customer contact, according to J.D. Power. Customers who visited their servicer’s website in the last 12 months had a higher average satisfaction by 43 points than customers who did not. The study also found that use of a servicer’s mobile channel resulted in a significantly higher satisfaction for customers at 786, compared to those who do not use the channel at all (748). However, use of the mobile channel has declined year over year.

In the study, customers who felt their time was being wasted accounted for a drop of 285 points in overall satisfaction. Of all mortgage customers, 10% said their time was wasted when they last interacted with their servicer. Among those who felt their time was wasted, 66% said they had to wait at least five minutes to talk to a customer service representative.

The study considered six factors to measures customer satisfaction with the mortgage servicing experience: new customer orientation, billing and payment process, escrow account administration, interaction, mortgage fees, and communications. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
For the fourth consecutive year, Quicken Loans topped the JD Power survey for client satisfaction among mortgage servicers.

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