The new customer relationship management: Online reviews
Most people won’t eat at a restaurant with less than 4 stars. The impact of online reviews is growing, according to ReviewTrackers research. More than 1 in 3 people won’t eat at a restaurant with 3-stars on online review websites like Yelp, Facebook and Google.
And that’s only the impact on a consumer’s decision on where to eat brunch. When you imagine the impact online reviews have on the more important decisions, it’s safe to assume customers are more selective when choosing their bank, the owner of their savings account, an advisor of investments, or provider of their credit.
Compliance & reviews
And it’s also safe to assume customers are searching online review websites like Yelp, LendingTree, and Credit Karma to select their new bank. The online review space has entered the social media era, and banks are struggling to catch up. The theme on every bank’s social media manager is “compliance” – understanding how reviews, a form of user-generated content, fit into a social media strategy and more importantly adhere to banking regulation set forth by the compliance department.
Online reviews are social media
Most compliance departments treat online reviews as a form of social media, and the trend of customer intelligence has opened up a whole new way of understanding customers and building trust. Many brands are already using social media in their marketing and sales, and many are using it as an extension of their service. Influence Central found that 90 percent of consumers agree that information found in reviews is more important than information provided by salespeople.
Accenture, the leading global professional services company, describes it as this: “service is the new sales.” Banking and financial services, much like a lot of other industries, have evolved. The winning businesses are the ones who have realized that it is no longer enough to have a great product or service. You must actually care about your customer in a real, authentic way.
Word-of-mouth’s impact on trust
If your bank is a part of your local community, you may have realized the importance of word-of-mouth, especially the impact it may have on trust. People within your community trust their peers, and they actively seek and engage with them online via social media and online reviews. The impact of trust-building is huge, and we’re just beginning to understand it.
- According to a 2015 Harvard Business Review report, the only industry trusted less than finance and banking is the media.
- In Ernst & Young’s 2014 global consumer banking survey, survey respondents agreed that reputation was a “very important” factor in deciding whether or not to trust a bank.
- According to the Medallia Institute, 63 percent of Millennials and 54 percent of Boomers cited personal experience and reviews as the most influential trust factors in banking.
The key to building consumer trust is to listen and act on customer feedback. Care about what your customers are saying about your bank online. Not only are reviews and feedback a key trust and reputation factor; they are also an excellent source of data and insight that can help take your organization to the next level.
Tools that can help
Stay on top of your customer feedback using tools like Mention or Moz, which allow you to track brand mentions as they happen. Tools like ReviewTrackers can help banks manage, monitor and analyze online reviews.
There is critical customer data out there in the form of online reviews. Address this feedback and build customer relationships predicated on trust. It’s time to start listening to what your customers are saying. With these tools, it’s easy to respond in ways that will help customers become better customers and achieve their goals and expectations.