Few industries depend as heavily on reputation as financial services.
Reputation management in finance increasingly relies on customer reviews rather than word of mouth, but this presents some outstanding opportunities. Online reputation management (ORM) encompasses practices that help financial services providers be discovered, chosen and committed to over the long term.
ORM is important in the financial services industry for the following reasons:
Improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When someone comes across your business through a Google search, they’ll see all the customer feedback about you that exists online. Building a positive review volume by requesting reviews from your customers.
Boost customer sentiment: Whether they are positive or negative, your goal should be to respond to as many reviews as possible. With a tool like Reputation, your team can respond directly to online reviews within the platform.
Engage with your customers: Leverage reputation management software so your team can monitor and publish content on social media platforms that is relevant across all your branches.
Offer a single source of truth: Maintain control of how your brand is perceived by customers. You can do this by pulling both public and private feedback data from all online sources into a single platform.
The following statistics reinforce the importance of reputation management in finance.
1. Mobile Searches for “Retirement Calculator,” “Financial Advisor” Up
Google saw a 115% increase in mobile searches from 2016-2018 for the search term “retirement calculator.” It also saw a 75% increase in mobile searches on the term “financial advisor.” In other words, financial services consumers are doing lots of online research. Are your online presence and online reputation prepared to capture these customers?
2. More than Half of Financial Services Searches Have No Particular Brand in Mind
That same Google report says that more than half of online investors do not have a brand in mind when searching for financial services. This statistic alone highlights the importance of reputation management in finance. If consumers haven’t chosen a provider after doing research, put the work in to make sure they choose you. Online reputation management is the key.
3. Younger Adults Open to “GAFA” Financial Services
Millennials are used to using Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) for everything. Many of them are also amenable to GAFA alternatives to traditional financial services providers. Some financial services providers may consider integrating their services onto a third-party platform to seize this opportunity with younger investors.
4. Consumers Want More than Just Star Ratings
Star ratings are great for “at a glance” research, but consumers want more. A 2017 Fan & Fuel report said that 73% of respondents believe written reviews make more of an impression than star ratings. Specifically, they want details of reviewer experiences and problems in the reviews they read.
5. Reviews Matter as Much as Personal Recommendations
The majority of consumers — 85% — trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This can be particularly important in financial services, where people may be reluctant to ask friends or colleagues for referrals.
6. Responses to Negative Reviews Can Turn Things Around
Don’t worry about the effects of negative reviews. Consider this: 70% of consumers changed their opinion about a brand after receiving a company response to a review. This statistic highlights the importance of responding to negative reviews.
The importance of reputation in the finance industry cannot be overstated. People research just about everything they buy, and financial services are no exception. A sound, proven online reputation management strategy is essential to being able to be found and chosen by today’s investors.