Despite the difficulties many Atlanta homeowners have experienced in recent years making their mortgage payments, there is a bright spot in the midst of crisis. A recent article at Atlanta Home Magazine reports that mortgage companies have stepped up their customer service efforts to accommodate homeowners having difficulty keeping up with their payments. This is good news to struggling homeowners, as well as a mortgage industry that has not always been known for top-notch customer service in the past.
Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Rating Reaches Three-Year High
The article in the Atlanta publication cited results of the 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The study found that rock-bottom interest rates, combined with a variety of loan modification programs, have helped many homeowners in Atlanta and across the country remain current on their mortgage loans. In addition, the study found that overall customer satisfaction has improved across the mortgage industry for the first time in three years.
When times are good, it is relatively easy for mortgage companies to keep their customer satisfaction on an even keel – primarily because the companies rarely hear from customers who are easily making their monthly payments. It is when time gets tight, and mortgage holders need a little help or flexibility in making their payments, that customer service comes under scrutiny. That is exactly what has occurred over recent years, as mortgage customers have been contacting companies in much higher numbers to find ways around delinquent ratings.
Satisfaction Ratings on an Upswing?
The study found that customers gave a higher satisfaction rating to mortgage companies in 2011 than they did the year prior. For 2011, mortgage providers received a rating of 725 out of a possible 1,000 points. In 2010, that number was 718. By the same token, customers responded to the survey with more reporting they were current on their mortgage loans and fewer voicing concerns over how they would make their mortgage payments each month.
The customers that voiced the highest approval with their mortgage company were those considered “at risk” – either behind on their mortgage payments already or concerned about keeping up each month. This is a significant fact, since these customers were the most likely to contact their mortgage company for assistance. Another positive sign – more customers also said they were happier with the phone service they received from their mortgage provider.
It appears that when service reps have more tools at their disposal to meet customer needs, service satisfaction goes up as well. The ability to offer low interest refinancing and other payment options to customers allowed mortgage employees to provide for their customers within the parameters of their company. Empowerment can be an effective tool for service reps in any industry today.
The 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study was conducted by J.D. Powers and Associates through interviews with more than 5,000 mortgage customers across the country. Service ratings were based on four areas of interaction with the mortgage company: phone contact, website assistance, billing and payment procedures and administration of escrow accounts. The results were published in Atlanta Home Magazine’s August issue.