The average mortgage customer experience has become increasingly commoditized, with few lenders finding a way to stand out from the competition, according to a new survey by J.D. Power. The research firm polled nearly 6,000 people who originated a new mortgage or refinanced in the past year and found that respondents saw little difference between different lenders. When rated for customer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale, only 87 points separated the lenders with the highest satisfaction scores from those with the lowest scores.
The key attributes customers are seeking in their mortgage lender are expertise, guidance and communication, according to J.D. Power. However, only 28% of lenders met all three criteria. “There is no denying the effects of rising interest rates on mortgage demand, and this is precisely the time when lenders need to differentiate themselves as trusted advisers who can guide customers through the lending process and offer valuable counsel along the way,” said Craig Martin, global head of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power. “That means ramping up communication—keeping customers informed throughout the lending process and ensuring consistent and effective communications through all channels.”