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Monitoring Consumer Review Sites is Key to Managing Financial Institution's Reputation

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on May 15, 2017 3:16:16 PM

Thank you to Sara Harris, Administrative Director for Insight CRM Solutions, for submitting this article for our blog.

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In the not so distant past, if you had a bad experience at the bank or credit union, you might go home and tell your spouse or your neighbor. If you were really upset, perhaps you wrote a letter of complaint, but that might be the extent of it. Likewise, if you loved a certain business or product, you may have recommended it to your friends and family.

We know, for fact, that personal recommendations influence buying decisions.

But today, we live in a digital world, and these gripes or recommendations take place across the web, instantaneously. Online reviews are increasingly important, both to consumers and the businesses subject to their review. Monitoring review sites should be an integral part of your institution’s social media and reputation management strategy.

Research is the first step toward a customer buying a product or service, and online reviewsfrom describing how a particular product stood the test of time or which restaurant has the best burgers in town–play a huge role in this process. 

The number of reviews available online is growing exponentially.

  • Yelp claims to have over 26,000 reviews posted every minute
  • Approximately 92% of consumers read online reviews.
  • Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.
  • Statistics show that some consumers trust online reviews as closely as personal recommendations. For the younger generation, even more!

Reviews are available to the public whenever they choose to search for them. If you are not paying attention to them, you might be the only one who is on the dark about how consumers view your bank or credit union.

Social Anxiety ArticleReviews have become such a powerful influence that some businesses tried to prevent people from giving honest reviews by putting contract provisions in place that allowed them to sue or penalize consumers for posting negative reviews. In light of this, in December 2016 Congress passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016.  The law protects a broad variety of honest consumer assessments, including online reviews and social media posts. It doesn’t just cover products; it also applies to consumer evaluations of a company’s customer service. In light of this, you need to realize that your institution’s individual locations are subject to consumer reviews as well.
 

How can your institution manage online reviews?

Financial institutions are beginning to rely on technology tools, such as Social IQ™, to collect and analyze customer review data efficiently. This data is used to understand how customers view the bank and can help in getting ahead of issues and resolving them before they get out of hand. Feedback can be retrieved from general consumer sites, like Yelp or Google reviews, Facebook, as well as financial specific sites and even employment sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor.

  1. Take the first step to monitoring your institution’s reviews by formally claiming your locations on review sites.
  2. Then, pay attention to the feedback being left and respond as needed. Studies show that 70% of respondents indicate that a brand’s response to an online comment changes their perception of a brand. 

Regardless of whether you think online reviews are important, they are. Even if you have only one branch, you risk your reputation when you don’t pay attention to consumer review sites.  Our advice: as you manage your reputation and maintain compliance, do not ignore customer reviews.

For more information about managing customer reviews and how an automated solution can help, watch our on-demand webinar, "Maximizing Social Media for Community Financial Institutions."

Maximizing Social Media Webinar

Topics: Social Media Compliance, Social Media, Consumer Review Sites

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