BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust) ranks highest in customer satisfaction among primary mortgage servicers for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. BB&T scored 768 on a 1,000-point scale, while the industry average score was 718.
BB&T performs particularly well in the billing and payment process and escrow account administration factors. Regions Mortgage follows in the rankings with a score of 757, while Wells Fargo ranks third with 755. The study measures customer satisfaction with four areas of the mortgage servicing experience: billing and payment process; escrow account administration; website; and phone contact.
Customer Satisfaction Down from 2010
Satisfaction has declined across all four factors from 2010. The study finds that overall satisfaction with primary mortgage servicers has declined to 718 on a 1,000-point scale, down 29 points from 747 in 2010.
The study also finds that friendly service and reliability are the most important aspects of overall brand image for mortgage servicers. These key aspects are also the two measures that have declined most notably in 2011, compared with 2010. In addition, customers who still retain loans that were originated prior to 2009 are significantly less satisfied in 2011 than they were in 2010.
Best Practices Boost Satisfaction
To help mitigate the effects of current economic factors and negative brand image perceptions on satisfaction, J.D. Power recommends mortgage servicers to deliver operational excellence and proactive, effective customer communication. In particular, J.D. Power analysis indicates key actions that mortgage servicers can take to help elevate satisfaction include helping customers understand how their escrow is calculated; effectively resolving recent customer contacts; ensuring customers have a problem-free experience; and clearly communicating the servicer’s fee structure.
Among mortgage servicers that consistently perform all of the applicable best practices identified in the study, satisfaction averages 810, considerably higher than the industry average of 718. Conversely, satisfaction averages only 660 among mortgage servicers that perform these best practices only 41% to 60% of the time.
Home Buyers Less Satisfied
Concurrent with lower mortgage satisfaction, US home buyers are also less satisfied with real estate company services, compared with 2010, while home-seller satisfaction has improved during the same time period, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Buyer/Seller Study. Overall satisfaction among home buyers averages 797 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011, a decrease of six points from 2010.
The decrease is primarily due to lower satisfaction with the agent/salesperson, which J.D. Power analysis indicates is the most influential aspect of buyer satisfaction with the real estate company. Agent/salesperson satisfaction averages 814 in 2011, compared with 828 in 2010.
About the Data: The 2011 US Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study, published by J.D. Power and Associates, is based on responses from nearly 5,000 homeowners regarding their experiences with their primary mortgage servicer and was fielded between April and May 2011. The study is the source of the enclosed chart.