Banking and financial services companies must stay on top of technology to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. Technology has given customers the ability to engage with banks across the entire customer journey.
Banks should make engagement on all channels a priority to meet customer expectations. But despite how important customer experience is becoming across all the financial services industry, banks still have ways to go when it comes to focusing on the customer.
- According to FIS, 75 percent of consumers agree that there is still a gap between their expectations and bank performance across a range of factors essential to creating trust.
- According to The Financial Brand, a positive customer experience is secondary to other bank priorities.
One of the biggest challenges financial organizations face when it comes to customer experience is developing a complete customer view, according to The Financial Brand. This is why it’s important to close the feedback loop and make sure engagement on online review sites, specifically, are part of your customer feedback strategy.
Here are the four most significant reasons why your financial organization should be managing online reviews.
Online reviews help create a positive customer experience across all of your bank’s locations. Actionable insights from online review data can help you improve the customer experience.
Imagine you are the customer and are trying to deposit the check you’ve earned for the week on your bank’s app. The app doesn’t work about 50 percent of the time you use it. And it’s not just you – this has happened to other customers.
The way the bank can figure out if there’s a problem with its app is by listening to customers online. If there’s a trend in online reviews – let’s say 20 reviewers have expressed having issues with the app – then the appropriate stakeholder can catch the problem before it becomes a serious issue.
Customer data can help companies understand why different customers use different types of channels for financial services, according to Gallup.
For example, although there are a variety of digital touchpoints in the banking experience, customers still seek financial advice for complicated financial matters.
Catch Compliance Issues Early
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a U.S. government agency that makes sure financial institutions treat consumers fairly. (I’m sure you know this by now.) Online reviews provide financial institutions a chance to engage with the customer in what, let’s call, is a safe space for financial companies. Online review platforms can shed light on serious issues before a customer submits a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
When Troy Janisch, vice president/director of social intelligence for U.S. Bank, wanted to implement local listings as part of the bank’s local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, he faced a challenge from the compliance department.
“Our compliance department was not willing to allow us to have local pages that allowed reviews unless we took the responsibility of monitoring and managing those reviews,” Janisch said in an interview with ReviewTrackers.
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Local SEO is important for consumers to find your local bank locations. According to Moz, review signals are the fifth most important factor for local search rankings.
According to research by ReviewTrackers:
- 57.2 percent of consumers consider online reviews as an influential or highly influential factor when choosing a local bank.
- After a negative experience for a local bank branch, 25.8 percent of consumers are likely or highly likely to leave a review.
A Valuable Form of Social Data
Janisch argues that reviews are the most valuable social data.
“Many banks choose not to invest in that effort [in monitoring all customer feedback] under the feeling of, if they don’t see it, they’re not obliged to do anything about it,” he said. “We are proactive in looking for a view of every source of customer feedback we can get and then putting it into a way we can leverage it to make our products and the way we serve customers better.”
Sentiment analysis of online reviews provide accurate sentiment data – understanding the emotion behind the words. This analysis can then be used to improve areas of the customer experience such as employee- customer interactions and banking services.
With online review management, financial services companies can understand their customers in a meaningful way. To improve customer experience and therefore make your customers’ lives better, engage with customers online: manage and analyze online reviews.