Garth Graham is a partner with Stratmor Group and has more than 25 years of mortgage experience.
Garth Graham is a partner with Stratmor Group and has more than 25 years of mortgage experience.

In my last column, I talked about forward-thinking lenders who are learning the art of active listening when it comes to customer satisfaction, especially when it comes to customer dissatisfaction. There are so many reasons to pay attention to this and plenty of pain that will visit any company that fails to do so.

Staying out of trouble with a federal regulator is a great reason to take customer satisfaction seriously, but you should pay attention to customer satisfaction for business development reasons: you want consumers to say nice things about you online. The good news is that Stratmor research indicates that they will if they are satisfied with the experience you provide them.

But that’s not the best news. While data from the Stratmor MortgageSAT solution tells us that 5% to 10% of all customers will be unhappy when they close (and we talked about some of the ways we have to deal with that last time), many more will be happy right after they sign those closing docs.

Of the more than 40,000 individual consumers Stratmor has served with its MortgageSAT offering so far this year, 82% rated their customer experience either a 9 or a 10 out of 10. Considering this covers a wide range of lenders spread across the country, that’s amazing. This means that 4 out of 5 borrowers that our lender customers serve are so satisfied that they rate them at the top of the scale. And it’s even better for purchase money borrowers, where 84% rank their experience either a 9 or 10 out of 10. And the elusive first-time homebuyers have even higher satisfaction.

Our data clearly show that dissatisfied clients are very likely to complain, online and off. But what about satisfied customers? How often are they willing to post favorable comments about a company online?

Of the customers we surveyed who rated their mortgage loan closing a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, almost 60% also rated their likelihood to post a comment on social media a 9 or 10 out of 10. And guess what: it’s even higher for millennial homebuyers.

That means that if your people, systems and processes are as successful as those using MortgageSAT, 4 out of 5 will be highly satisfied and of those 4, at least 2 would be willing to promote your business for you using social media. That’s more than 40% of the people you serve saying they’re willing to help you with positive comments on social media.

So, I only have one question for you: are you asking them to do it?

The key is to then get these happy customers to be evangelists about their experience. A great way to do this is to create a process that drives these instant recommendations. You don’t really even have to go that far if you use a social media sharing tool with your survey process that makes it easy for customers to like or endorse you online with a single click. You can even use tools to automate this process and leverage the social connections that customers have already established. When you do that, you will find happy customers sharing your business with hundreds and all you did was give them a button to click.

Like the rest of life, the mortgage process is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you are going to find. But as chocolate lovers will tell you, most of the treats in the box are pretty good and there are lots of happy customers who will dig into a box. Using tools to measure borrower satisfaction is the first step toward letting these happy customers tell others about your service, and that can be very sweet indeed.

Garth Graham is a partner with Stratmor Group and has over 25 years of mortgage experience.