Customer satisfaction declines despite origination shift to digital

Customer satisfaction with online applications continues to trail satisfaction with in-person applications

Customer satisfaction declines despite origination shift to digital

An increase in online applications for mortgage originations has not translated into higher satisfaction among customers, according to the J.D. Power 2017 US Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.

On the contrary, overall satisfaction with primary mortgage originators has declined in 2017 by eight points on a 1,000-point scale. J.D. Power said the decrease is party driven by a perception of a slower process in spite of the increase of online applications.

"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," said 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."

J.D. Power said that customers for refinance and purchase mortgages cited online/website as the most frequent mortgage application method for the first time in the study’s history. While customers applying digitally increased to 43% from 28% year over year, satisfaction with the application process fell 18 points over the same period. Online application satisfaction even trails in-person applications by 10 points this year.

For the eighth straight year, Quicken Loans ranked highest in terms of mortgage origination satisfaction with a score of 878. However, the company is not alone in the top spot as Guild Mortgage has tied for first place. PrimeLending had the next highest score at 859.

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