Want to be a top mortgage servicer? It's possible with the implementation of key customer service guidelines, industry analysts claim.

The best way to improve the overall mortgage servicing experience is to streamline communications, ensuring borrowers know whenever a serviced loan is being transferred or changed in some way, said Craig Martin, director of consulting firm J.D. Power and Associates.

While speaking to a crowd at the SourceMedia mortgage servicing conference in Dallas, Martin said the top two complaints against servicers in today's market include load modification issues and websites that are either inaccessible or not easy to maneuver.

These issues tend to seem minor, but spiral out of control when customers view their servicing shops as unresponsive or hard to reach.

Furthermore, not having a website that is immediately accessible cuts down on the likelihood that a consumer will remain diligent in trying to contact a servicer if they find them hard to reach or technologically inefficient, Martin explained.   

To deal with those issues, Martin recommends servicers create "consistent categorization and tracking" metrics to carefully follow and assess issues, while always gauging both the customer and employee perspective when a problem arises.

Another key best practice is to communicate any surprises that pop up in the loan servicing process directly to the customer as soon as they surface. This cuts down on mistrust, addresses the issue right away and mitigates the risk that the customer will engage regulators or other parties, Martin added. 

As consumers search for more direct relationships with servicing shops, Martin advises servicers to simplify and add mortgage servicing options.

He points to the JPMorgan Chase online Mortgage Learning Center, which features multiple options for communicating with the company, giving customers numerous ways to learn more or contact the bank.

"They are not counting on one way of communicating with a customer," Martin said of the site.

But the first step in establishing trust is to create a satisfying experience for customers when a loan is first originated.

In other words, a customer who has a successful on-boarding experience will be more likely to engage with the servicer later on, Martin advised.

"A highly satisfying mortgage servicing experience starts with the origination," Martin said. "This is the time when they are going to pay attention to you."