Technology plays crucial role in customer mortgage satisfaction

by Zachary Wright

Customers favor digital origination channels during the mortgage process and are more satisfied with mortgage companies that integrate technology, according to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

Last year, mortgage customer satisfaction declined with respondents indicating the slow buying process due to the lack of technology the mortgage industry promised to integrate. This year’s study shows improved satisfaction with mortgage originators who implemented better use of technology in the origination process.

John Cabell, financial services practice lead at J.D. Power, said technology has fostered an improved way of doing business.

“The mortgage marketplace is changing rapidly as traditional players and new digital-native entrants ramp up their digital and mobile offerings,” he said.

Survey respondents credited the improved utilization of mobile and digital channels for increased satisfaction. On average, customers used three different mobile and digital channels to apply for a mortgage: 72 percent used a phone, 69 percent accessed a website and 58 percent used email.

In spite of more customers using technology, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed valued personal interaction. Only 3 percent of customers used digital channels exclusively. The other 97 percent had some sort of personal interaction during the process.

“Technology alone is not a magic bullet in this market; the key is knowing where to leverage it and where to layer in more traditional forms of one-on-one support,” Cabell said.

Overall satisfaction was highest with customers who spoke with their lender in person or over the phone when applying for a mortgage, followed closely by customers who used a mix of person and self-service tools.

But J.D. Power shows timing is critical. Satisfaction level declines significantly the longer a potential customer has to wait after an inquiry. Overall satisfaction was the highest for those who received contact after one day, with satisfaction scores falling the longer it took for companies to respond.

For the ninth consecutive year, Quicken Loans ranked highest in mortgage origination satisfaction. The company received an overall score of 876, nudging out Fairway Independent Mortgage after a tie last year with scores of 878 in 2017. Guild Mortgage Company came in third with a score of 857 with PrimeLending and Bank of America rounding out the top five.

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