Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Plateaus as Reputation Declines, J.D. Power Finds
Amid Intense Scrutiny, Effective Onboarding and Customer Contact Are Keys for Mortgage Servicers
COSTA MESA, Calif.: 27 July 2017 — Breaking a multiyear trend of steady improvements, mortgage servicer satisfaction has stalled in 2017, as customers have significant declines in their overall brand perceptions, according to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study,SM released today. The decline in brand perceptions is driven primarily by a significant increase in the number of customers indicating that their mortgage servicer is focused more on profit than on their customers, which could have long-term effects on future business.
The 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction with the mortgage servicing experience in six factors: new customer orientation; billing and payment process; escrow account administration; interaction; mortgage fees; and communications. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
"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, mortgage practice at J.D. Power. “Based on our research, mortgage servicers have three very clear areas of opportunity to help drive success: effective onboarding, high-functioning self-service tools and call center best practices that optimize customer contact in step with changing customer demographics and needs."
Following are key findings of the study:
- Onboarding as an opportunity: The first step in improving the servicing experience is ensuring effective onboarding. When onboarding satisfaction is high, customers are more likely to use the servicer’s website as their primary communications channel and submit payment via the web. They are less likely to have used a call center, experienced a problem, or paid their bill via check.
- Time is money: Among all mortgage customers, 10% say their time was wasted during their most recent interaction with their mortgage servicer. Overall satisfaction drops 285 points when customers believe their time is being wasted. Among those who believe their time is wasted, 66% indicate waiting 5 minutes or more to speak with a customer service representative.
- Digital becomes key to effective customer contact: The average satisfaction among those who do not use the website is 43 points lower than among those who visited their servicer’s website in the last 12 months. Satisfaction among customers visiting three or more times in the last 12 months is 789 points, compared with the industry average of 754.
- Mobile satisfaction grows, but usage still lags: Mobile usage is associated with significantly higher satisfaction, compared with those who don't use this channel (786 vs. 748, respectively), but mobile usage actually declines year over year (to 19% in 2017 from 22% in 2016).
Quicken Loans is the top-ranked mortgage servicer for the fourth consecutive year, with a score of 840. Quicken Loans is followed by Regions Mortgage (819) and Huntington National Bank (795).
Showing notable improvements in this year’s study are Bank of America with a score of 767; Nationstar Mortgage with a score of 703; and Ditech Financial, with a score of 694. These firms had increases of 26, 29 and 37 points, respectively.
The 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicing Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 7,374 mortgage servicing customers, and was fielded in March–April 2017.
For more information about the 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-primary-mortgage-servicer-satisfaction-study.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.
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