Consumers are less satisfied with mortgage lenders this year, with complaints surfacing of a slow purchase process even though more are using digital mortgage applications that were touted as being faster and easier, according to J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Study. The study is based on responses from more than 5,800 customers who originated a new loan or refinanced within the past year. Still, some mortgage lenders—like Quicken Loans and Guild Mortgage Co.—were able to break through and receive high satisfaction ratings this year.
“We’re at a critical inflection point in the mortgage industry where new technology and the growing use of digital mortgage application channels has made it possible for the origination process to move more quickly; however, the customer is still the final judge of speed and quality,” says Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power. “A critical element of satisfaction is setting expectations, and this tends to be a weakness of technology, which is demonstrated by substantially lower satisfaction among customers who do not work with a human to complete their application.”
The average purchasing process took 36 days this year, nearly a week longer than 2016, according to the survey. More refinance and purchase customers said they submitted a mortgage application online this year—43 percent this year versus 28 percent in 2016. Yet, satisfaction among customers applying online or via a website has declined by 18 points year over year. It trails satisfaction with in-person applications by 10 points.
Researchers found that representatives still play a key role in building customer trust and increasing customer satisfaction. The top three factors that drive a greater perception of trust with loan officers include: the lender always calls back when promised; customers are able to continually work with a single representative throughout the process; and the representative proactively provides status updates, according to J.D. Power’s findings.
J.D. Power’s study once again found that Quicken Loans took the top spot in satisfaction rankings, but this year it shares its first-place spot with Guild Mortgage Co.
Source: “Despite a Rise in Use of Digital, Mortgage Customer Satisfaction Declines, J.D. Power Finds,” J.D. Power (Nov. 9, 2017)