Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Remains Unchanged Despite Mortgage Companies’ Investment in Technology, J.D. Power Finds
Mortgage Customers Using Mobile Have Higher Satisfaction but Adoption Remains Low
Mortgage servicer satisfaction remains flat in 2018, as satisfaction remains similar to the past two years, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study.SM
The industry average for overall satisfaction is 758 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2018, which is relatively unchanged from 2017 (754) and 2016 (755). This stagnation comes despite extensive investment by mortgage originators into new digital services.
"The mortgage industry has made bold investments in new technology but servicing still has a long way to go,” said Craig Martin, Senior Director of the Mortgage Practice at J.D. Power. “With only 20% of mortgage customers utilizing mobile technology—which is 2% below 2016—availability and adoption of these services have been slow in coming. Customer expectations are increasing, often influenced by their day-to-day experiences, but servicing is not keeping up. Servicers not only have to decipher the services that provide the most value to existing and new customers, but they also must solve how best to engage customers. Doing so will translate into higher levels of adoption and usage to deliver cost savings and improved experience. There is a lot of room for improvement."
Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:
Digital makes a difference, but adoption is slow: Mortgage servicer mobile customers have higher satisfaction and are significantly more likely to be brand promoters than non-mobile customers. However, just 20% of customers use these services, well below levels seen in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM (39%) and the J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM (55%). Online usage similarly lags with 44% of service customers using the website compared with the U.S. Credit Card StudySM (74%) and the U.S. Retail Banking StudySM (77%).
SMS for SOS: Account alerts have become a regular part of the average consumer’s daily life ranging from health alerts from your watch to suspicious activity on your Facebook account. In servicing this capability is relatively underutilized and presents a major opportunity to grow satisfaction. Half of the customers said that their servicer either does not have account alerts or they are unaware the service is available, a metric that has been relatively unchanged for the past three years. Of those that do use alerts, satisfaction is highest among those that receive text message alerts (840), followed by secure messages on the servicer’s website (834) and email alerts (810).
Battle of the brands: While satisfaction remains flat, brand image ratings continue to decline, with overall reputation and community involvement decreasing significantly from 2017. In a highly competitive origination market in which small differences can have a big effect, the servicing experience can’t be ignored. Among servicers that achieve 900+ in overall satisfaction, 65% of customers say they “definitely will” choose the same company for their next home purchase and 84% say they “definitely will” recommend the servicer. Those loyalty and advocacy numbers drop precipitously when satisfaction scores range between 700 and 900.
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