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How Your Method of Contact Affects Borrower Satisfaction

loan officer updating borrowers with email and phone

Last October, the STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report contained a focus section exploring how borrower satisfaction is impacted by the way LOs communicate with them. The survey results confirmed what we’ve all known for a while now.

Communication matters. Significantly.

Another important factor that affects borrower satisfaction is the method originators use to communicate with their customers. It was clear from the results that the lowest scores corresponded with contact methods that did not give borrowers the timely information they craved.

stratmor borrower satisfaction based on contact method graph

Borrower called lender

This is the exact scenario you need to avoid if you want to create a positive experience for your clients. When a borrower has to reach out to their LO to get an update on their loan’s origination status, satisfaction metrics plummet.

The 61 satisfaction score achieved under this circumstance is by far the lowest of all contact methods surveyed.

This is more than 20 points lower than if the borrower received loan status updates via snail mail!

Lender called borrower

When a LO proactively reaches out to their borrowers to update them on loan status, it shows in the satisfaction score.

This more personal method of contact corresponded with the highest scores in borrower satisfaction. Unfortunately, it takes a huge time commitment for most LOs to reach out to each borrower individually. It is important to balance what you can do, with what is most effective.

Email from lender

An average satisfaction score of 90 when a lender uses email updates proves that email is still an acceptable method of contact for mortgage borrowers.

An advantage of email updates is that they can be fully automated, using a system such as Floify, very inexpensively relative to the time it would typically take to do it yourself.

Using an automated status update system has other advantages as well. You may have a loan that moves through several milestones in a single week, requiring several status updates for the borrowers. A software system can accommodate fast moving files easily.

Text message

Text message, or SMS, status updates have been growing in popularity recently. First, the on-the-go LO can easily send their borrowers a
quick update via text from wherever they have cell phone service.

The second reason text message updates are on the rise is through the integration of SMS technologies into mortgage software systems like Floify, or a mortgage CRM. Through these integrations, text message updates can be automated, similar to the way email is done.

This gives LOs yet another method to reach their borrowers in the manner they prefer.

Mobile app

The mobile app as a method of keeping borrowers informed displayed interesting survey results. Although very few respondents indicated they received updates via mobile app, those that did had the second highest overall satisfaction rating.

The small sample size can be explained by the simple fact that very few lenders offer a mobile app that is tied into their systems and is capable of delivering timely updates. Floify users are amongst the few in the industry with access to such a platform.

As borrower demographics continue to shift, and technologies become more available, the high satisfaction scores associated with mobile apps will drive an increase in their usage.

Logging into website / Letter mailed to home

When the borrower has to put in additional effort, like being required to log into a website to get an update, there is a dip in satisfaction scores. Not to an unsatisfactory level, but still a dip that could be avoided.

Similarly when the information the borrower receives isn’t timely, such as when they have to wait for a letter to arrive at their home, there is an even bigger dip in satisfaction scores.

These results prove that the borrowers crave lots of information, as soon as it’s available.

Some combination of text/email/phone

Finally, with a mix of phone, email, and text contact methods, lenders are able to achieve high borrower satisfaction scores basically in line with an aggregate of the three methods.

It is very rare that you will find a borrower who feels like they are being given too much information about the status of their loan. Lenders should take note of these survey results, and the trends that have bubbled to the surface.

When borrowers feel they are being given all of the relevant information about their loan, without having to go searching for it, their overall satisfaction with the lending process reaches its highest possible levels.

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