Why Banks Should Start Reading Online Reviews

Wonderflow Blog

A few years back, only the ones close to you would have heard about the terrible or amazing experiences you had with a brand. Now, you can find it all over the web. This transparent way of communicating allows for anyone across the globe to read about what you have to say.

Online reviews have become so important that it can enable users to make smarter decisions before spending money. It does so by providing insights on the benefits and risks of their choices before purchasing. A recent study fromBrightLocal Consumer Reviews has shown that 88% of consumers trust what is said on the web as much as a personal recommendation. The study also reveals that people are reading online reviews for various types of businesses. Restaurants and hotels remain the number one search but other areas are becoming popular such as retail, dentist and even car dealers. However, it is interesting to note that financial institutions are missing from the list.

Good News

People are not reading customer feedback from banks because they can’t find them online. In fact, sites like Consumer Affairs, MyBankTracker or Credio contain thousands of reviews.

This is great news for financial institutions because it presents an opportunity to get ahead of the game. To start investing the time and resources needed in order to meticulously follow, understand and respond to what customers are saying.

Having the proper tools to collect and understand customer feedback can be the greatest learning experience. It also provides the chance to potentially fix the issues customers have expressed. These four points will further highlight the benefits of getting ahead of the game.

1. Acknowledging reviews allow the customer to know that you care

By having the tools that connect clients and customers, it personalizes their interaction with you as a company. If they have a complaint this will also legitimize their concerns and build a closer relationship.

2. Negative feedback enhances services​

The only “bad” reviews out there are the ones that companies do not answer. Negative feedback makes it easier to find out unknowing problems. This learning experience creates a stronger relationship with the customers as well as improving future products and services.

3. Transforming customers’ perceptions

“Consumers’ perception of their banking relationship as transactional and not advice­ driven is growing at a rapid pace,” explains Dave Edmondson, the senior managing director of Accenture’s North America Banking practice. Dave added that, “banks run the risk that consumers increasingly view them as a utility — a service for basic financial transactions — and not as the first choice for seeking financial advice. They need to become more relevant to customers’ everyday lives, including recommending suitable products and services, whether these options come from the bank or third parties.”

In order to regain this relevance in customer’s everyday lives, banks need to reach out to their clients and be able to communicate with them effectively through the web. Capturing and understanding customer feedback deepens the awareness of the customer’s needs. Manually reading all these reviews and extracting insights would cost time and resources. Investing in the technology that can gather reviews and do all the hard work is a valuable solution to improving your bank’s image and strengthening the relationship with your customers.

4. Building a closer relationship that was not possible before

It has never been easier to communicate and get to know your customers. In the end, you can form a trustworthy relationship when you reach out to them through the web.

Reflecting the Customer’s Needs In The Digital Age

“Traditional banks do not reflect their customers’ needs in the digital age,”​ ​a statement found on the Fidor Bank website which identifies how banks are falling behind in building a relationship with their customers through the use of technology. Fidor Bank strives in becoming the leading innovative bank, as the CEO Matthias Kröner explains, “it is amazing what you can create within the financial services industry in the past few years with technology, and that fascinates and motivates me extremely.” The motivation can be seen throughout their various services based solely on customer centricity. For instance, the website has a forum that encourages customers to write anything they wish, such as questions or comments about their services and products. The bank has added a bonus award as an incentive for customers who are the most engaged in these forums.

Fidor Bank is a great example of the potential between banks and technology in building a more valuable relationship with their clients. To understand this potential, Abhishek Mehta, founder and CEO of Tresata provides the ideal scenario, “you bought a house and now you need a washer and dryer. The bank says congrats on the house, here is an offer from Samsung for a 20 percent discount on a washer and dryer — that could completely transform everything.” This kind of suggestion can transform perceptions and regain the advice­ driven image that the banks have lost. Get to know your customers, listen to what they are saying online and offer them something that exceeds their expectations.

The good news, there still is time to catch up and build a stronger bond with your customers. By using the right tools, banks can easily understand what customers are saying and measure what needs to be done in order to keep them happy. It is now or never, start taking the necessary actions to meet the demands of your customer… Before the first steps are taken by someone else.

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