Mortgage servicers are missing the boat when it comes to customer satisfaction

J.D. Power survey reveals the depth of customer disappointment

Let’s just say servicers have a lot of room for improvement when it comes to customer satisfaction.

J.D. Power‘s latest customer satisfaction survey revealed that servicers have a real trust problem with their clients, and it’s their lack of digital help and focus on efficiency and cost controls that are adding to the negative feelings.

The survey is based on responses from 7,531 customers who took out a mortgage or refinanced more than 12 years ago.

Of the respondents, 70% said they not have complete trust in their servicer, placing mortgage servicing among the groups studied by J.D. Power that have the lowest customer satisfaction scores.

On a 1,000-point scale, the overall satisfaction with mortgage servicers was 777, placing it just below life insurance (ranked 779) but above health plans (ranked 712).  

Part of the problem is the lack of digital offerings.

About 60% of customers said they are accessing information through their servicer’s website, while 31% are accessing the information via mobile. These rates are notably lower than other sectors of retail banking, J.D. Power pointed out.

Another problem arises from transferred customers, who consistently gave their servicers low scores. In fact, 54% of the first-time homebuyers surveyed said they were confused, angry or irritated when their loan was transferred, and it seems their servicers don’t do enough to alleviate the stress.

“This phenomenon spotlights the unique communications and customer experience challenges mortgage servicers still need to address with transferred customers,” J.D. Power said.

The problems plaguing the servicing sector are not new. As Bloomberg recently pointed out, this essential arm of the mortgage market is a disaster and desperately needs fixing.

“Mortgage servicers are really missing an opportunity to build the kind of goodwill with their customers that has proven to translate directly to increased advocacy and repeat business,” said John Cabell, director of Wealth and Lending Intelligence at J.D. Power. “The industry’s laser focus on lowering costs, managing regulatory compliance and minimizing delinquencies has come at the expense of customer experience. It is negatively affecting customer trust in their brands.”

That said, some servicers stood out among the rest for higher customer satisfaction scores.

For the sixth consecutive year, Quicken Loans nabbed the top spot on the list with a score of 878. Regions Mortgage was No. 2 with a satisfaction score of 848, followed by Guild Mortgage with a score of 828. 

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