Overall customer satisfaction with mortgage lenders has reached its highest level in the past six years, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. For a second consecutive year, overall customer satisfaction has increased to 761 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2012 from 747 in 2011 and 734 in 2010. Quicken Loans ranked highest among primary mortgage lenders for a third consecutive year, with a score of 817, and performed well in all four factors measured in the study. BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust Company) followed with a score of 791, while U.S. Bank ranked third with a score of 784.
The study measures customer satisfaction in four key factors of the mortgage origination experience: Application/approval process; loan representative; closing; and contact.
This increase in customer satisfaction was driven by steady improvements related to transparency and communication. The study found that, during the past three years, lenders have improved in the areas of clearly explaining loan options and ensuring customers understand them; following up with customers in a timely manner after they complete their application; and proactively updating customers on the status of their application.
“When you empower and inspire people, they instinctively want to give their very best,” said Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. “We have the best technology tools and systems in the industry, but at the end of the day, this three-peat is all about our 8,000-plus team members and their overwhelming understanding that they are the driving force behind our company’s success.”
Further, there is a strong relationship between satisfaction with the origination process and the rates of customer consideration and usage of the same lender for refinancing. Among loan customers who have refinanced in 2012, only 40 percent cited price as their main reason for selecting their lender. Other reasons commonly cited for selection include an existing relationship; previously being a customer; and referrals.
“Given the recent challenges across financial services, the highest-performing lenders in the 2012 study have reduced customer uncertainty and apprehension with greater transparency and communication regarding what to expect in the origination process,” said Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “This increase in satisfaction is particularly impressive given the increasingly expanded origination timelines during the past year.”
The 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 3,500 customers who originated a new mortgage. The study was fielded between July 31 and Aug. 27, 2012.
“We are all exceptionally proud of what we have built right here in the heart of Detroit,” said Bill Emerson, Quicken Loans CEO. “What makes this recognition truly remarkable is that it comes at a time of tremendous growth for our company. It is proof that when you focus on your culture and keep a sharp vision of what is important, success comes naturally. I cannot be more proud of our team than I am today."