The Financial Services industry, perhaps more than any other, has been faced with a torrent of negative public perception for many years now because of the 2008 financial services crash that resulted in a recession.
As it does for organisations in the Healthcare industry, online reputation management (ORM) presents a huge opportunity to financial services firms as they seek to change how they’re perceived by the public. After all, if you’re expecting people to trust your organisation with their finances and investments, shouldn’t your organisation be reliable and trustworthy?
But proving you are is an uphill battle. During 2017, there were more than 4.5 million bank account switches across the UK, and in mature markets, around 15% of consumers switch their banks each year. In fact, a recent IPSOS report listed banking, insurance, credit and investments as four of the worst performing industries when ordered by trust. The struggle is definitely real.
Brand loyalty is a rare thing for financial institutions, as consumers usually look for firms who offer the most secure investments and are seen as trustworthy – that’s where ORM comes into play.
Why Focus on ORM?
In a recent article for the European Risk Management Council, “The New Reputational Risk, and What To Do About It,” Reputation.com’s CEO and Founder Michael Fertik said, “word of mouth has given way to word of review.” With nearly everyone relying on internet research for information about where to spend — or bank — their money, star ratings and online reviews matter more than ever.
For financial services firms, ORM can drive traffic to locations, increasing revenue, while brings additional benefits:
Improves Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for better rankings: These days, SEO is one of the most important factors within marketing, however if someone were to search for a branch or location of your firm, what would they see? Google now ranks largely on customer reviews, meaning if your potential client were to search for ‘bank near me’, for example, the results depend largely on what customers say about you online. Building review volume by proactively requesting for feedback and reviews from all customers helps firms present a fair representation of the services they provide online.
Improves customer sentiment by consistently responding to reviews: Best practice is to respond to 100% of negative reviews and 60% of positive reviews. Using ORM technology, organisations can respond directly to reviews in their native source. This has two main benefits:
- The person leaving negative feedback knows your firm values their opinion and is willing to try to resolve the issue. This in itself could change their negative opinion to a positive one. And, if it’s a positive review, responding helps build customer advocacy.
- Because your responses are public and online, potential clients will see your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Enables effective community engagement: In a sector as fast-paced as financial services, community management can be difficult to build and maintain. ORM enables firms to monitor and publish relevant content to social media channels at the local level, building community engagement close to locations.
Provides a single source of truth: By pulling data from all online sources into a single repository, ORM makes it easier to maintain overall control of how your brand is perceived in the public eye.
Getting Started with ORM
Online Reputation Management is a discipline that you can take on easily — step by step. We’ve written a free eBook which will take you through the basics of launching an ORM program in your firm. Additionally, you can learn more about Reputation.com and the financial services sector here.