Lenders missing out online
Research from data specialists Global Reviews revealed Nationwide offered the best online customer experience (56%) followed by HSBC and Barclays (both 54%).
Santander was named as the poorest performer scoring 40%.
Ten lenders’ websites were reviewed in the survey which measured seven stages of a customers’ online journey from the first encounter with the site, to researching mortgage products, completing the application form and “next steps”.
The lenders were Nationwide, Barclays, HSBC, Skipton, Lloyds TSB, First Direct, Cooperative Bank, Leeds Building Society, RBS and Santander.
Only 12% of potential customers would recommend mortgage lender websites, whilst 57% would actively discourage others from visiting.
Rebecca Jennings, principal consultant of Global Reviews, said: “The mortgage industry needs to address its online shortcomings to avoid an explosive combination of social media’s amplification powers fused with the majority of applicants willing to actively discourage others to visit.”
Meanwhile half (49%) of potential customers had problems with the application form, although this was the stage where mortgage lenders scored highest (57%). However, they fall down at the next and final stage – “next steps” (14%).
Jennings added: “Mortgage lenders are especially careless at the final stage, often failing to provide straightforward information such as how long a decision will take or how they’ll be in touch.
“This support is particularly vital for the biggest purchase a consumer will ever make in their lives. Its absence erodes confidence in the lender right from the beginning of the relationship.”
Nationwide scored highest (67%) at the crucial “evaluating products” stage – in which people find and compare relevant mortgage products – whilst Leeds Building Society scored worst (36%).
Jennings said: “Not one lender provides the necessary positive experience throughout the entire journey. Many do badly in helping applicants find relevant products and related fees and charges; few make any attempt to convince customers why they should chose them, applications are hard and there’s a distinct lack of help and support.”