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Is the Customer Always Right?

The housing crisis impacted the reputation of the mortgage servicing industry in the eyes of the public. But as the years went by, the industry had slowly rehabilitated its image.

Despite the hard won gains, however, the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study released Thursday, this year customers have significant declines in their overall satisfaction and brand perceptions of mortgage servicers.

This downturn was driven primarily by a growing number of customers who perceive their mortgage servicer to be focused more on profit than on their customers. J.D. Power noted this could have long-term effects on future business.

"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,” Craig Martin, Senior Director of mortgage practice at J.D. Power said.

To measure customer satisfaction with their mortgage servicing experience, the study focused on six areas including, new customer orientation, billing and payment process, escrow account administration, interaction, mortgage fees, and communications. Satisfaction was calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Despite the decrease in satisfaction, some companies remained steadfast. Quicken Loans was on top for the fourth straight year, scoring 840. It was followed by Regions Mortgage and Huntington National Bank, which scored 819 and 795 respectively.

The study found significant improvement year-over-year by Bank of America, Nationstar Mortgage, and Ditech Financial. Those firms showed increases of 26, 29, and 37 points respectively.

For servicers needing some extra advice when it comes to building the right customer-client relationship, the study identifies key steps, such as improving client onboarding and digital offerings, cutting down on time it takes to interact with servicers, and focusing on mobile usage, that will increase satisfaction and brand image.

To view J.D. Power’s full 2017 study, click here.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. To contact Casperson, e-mail: nicole.casperson@thefivestar.com.
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