“Transparency has become the financial services industry’s favorite buzzword for a reason: customers respond favorably when brands communicate their intentions and provide clear guidance on what is happening and why,” said Tom Lawler, head of consumer lending intelligence at J.D. Power. “The complexity of the mortgage industry creates challenges in customer understanding, particularly when it comes to mortgage transfers. We’re entering a market environment where customer satisfaction is going to play a critical role in the success of mortgage brands, and transparency will be a big part of creating the trust that will determine business success.”
Another aspect that affects customer trust is going paperless. Around 52% of mortgage servicing customers get a paper statement, but 43% say their primary means of reviewing their statement is via digital channels, so the paper bill isn’t used. Customers who have gone paperless rated brand image attributes, including “can rely on the lender to keep promises” and “lender provides honest communication,” significantly higher than with those who do not receive paperless statements. Among those who say they “never will” go paperless, the same brand image attributes are rated significantly lower.
“Servicers need to understand which customers are open to going paperless and what it will take to convert them,” J.D. Power wrote in the report.
Mortgage servicers also need to check that sufficient information is sent from the start to ensure a “very easy” transfer process to improve the customer experience and reduce call volume.