“Transparency has become a favorite buzzword in the financial services industry for good reason: customers respond favorably when brands communicate their intentions and provide clear guidance on what’s happening and why,” said Tom Lawler, head of consumer lending at JD Power. “The complexity of the mortgage industry creates challenges in understanding customers, especially when it comes to transferring mortgages. We are entering a market environment where customer satisfaction will play a critical role in the success of mortgage brands and transparency will be an important part of building the trust that will determine business success.”
Another aspect that affects customer confidence is paperless service. About 52% of mortgage servicers receive a paper statement, but 43% say their primary way of viewing their statement is through digital channels, so they don’t use a paper bill. Customers who switched to paperless service rated brand image attributes, including “lender can be counted on to keep promises” and “lender provides honest communication,” significantly higher than those not receiving paperless statements. Among those who say they will “never” go paperless, the same brand image attributes are rated significantly lower.
“Servicers need to understand which customers are ready to go paperless and what it will take to convert them,” JD Power wrote in the report.
Mortgage servicers must also check that enough information is sent from the outset to ensure a “very easy” transfer process to improve customer service and reduce calls.