J.D. Powers has completed a new customer satisfaction study and found that lenders that don't respond quickly to request for information about loan status do a much worse job of pleasing customers. No big news there, but you'll find more about it over on my New Media blog.
For some time now, we've been writing about new technologies for loan status updates. I was writing about Qvault years ago when they put out their status update tool for Calyx Point. Since then, I've seen it built into a lot of other software, including Vuecentric's MortgageDashboard and a quick scan back through this blog will reveal others. If you have one, don't hesitate to pipe up about it in the comments.
The problem seems to be that not every borrower is going to go online to find out where they are in the process. They still need a lot of hand holding. This won't be true for much longer. Right now, my kids do almost everything online and prefer texting on mobile phones to talking to their friends on the phone (a somewhat disturbing trend, IMHO).
In the short term (next 5-10 years at least), lenders that hire someone to get on the phone when the borrower calls will perform better than those that don't, or at least their customer satifsaction ratings will be higher, which will probably be the same thing.