The biggest advantage a mortgage broker might have over larger competition is the ability to explain in plain language to the consumer what is being offered to them.
While a recent Maritz Research study did not directly address mortgage lending at the “six leading banks” it studied (it seems to have concentrated on credit cards), a lack of clarity it found in bank communicating key items to their customers is probably seen in other customer service interactions as well.
The study also concentrated on telephone interaction, but for many loan officers, their initial contact with the consumer is on that device. Let alone any follow up contact.
The study, which was aimed at checking compliance with a number of regulations, including Reg Z, found that while most customers said they felt that the banks treated them fairly and honestly. But of those who did not feel that way, many cited reasons, including vague information and brochures, and feeling rushed in the sales process. Also, twice as many issues surfaced over phone conversations with customer service representatives versus in-person interactions.
One-third of current customers have limited understanding of a bank’s credit card offerings after speaking with a representative, and that number increases with nearly half of prospective customers saying they have low to average understanding.
At least one-fourth of the time, a bank representative did not discuss key elements related to credit card offerings. And astoundingly, nearly three out of four customers were not told about specifics, such as minimum payments or late fees.
Are you measuring how your customers understand what you are telling them? Communication was one of the root causes of the housing crisis. While regulations have fixed some of the issue, this survey shows consumers still have a problem understanding what their financial services providers are telling them.