The biggest names in the financial business, like Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and Citibank, have been around for over 100 years. Chase even traces its roots back 230 years, when Aaron Burr launched a bank to compete against his famous rival, Alexander Hamilton.
With such storied legacies to uphold, it’s understandable why financial institutions may be hesitant to jump on the latest high-tech bandwagon. But, while many banking and credit union brands have made significant strides in certain areas of technology, it’s no longer enough.
Today’s consumers expect their banks to invest in innovative technologies that make their financial lives easier and more efficient. If brands fail to keep up, even the most loyal customers will jump to a competitor that does.
Perhaps the most neglected technology investment in banking is the adoption of online reputation management software and strategies.
If your bank or credit union wants to capture consumer demand and thrive in 2023 and beyond, investing in a robust online reputation management strategy is essential. Here are five ways to get more 5-star reviews and grow your brand:
Reply to More Online Customer Reviews
As of October 2022, around 92% of all search queries worldwide happen on Google, and 56% of people click on the first three results. That said, your number one local SEO priority must be getting your bank locations onto Google’s 3-pack — the top listings a user sees on their search engine results page (SERP).
One way to push your listings up the rankings for local search is by replying to more online reviews. For one, Google’s algorithm sees your replies as an indicator of active brand engagement, giving your business listings more weight. The more weight your listings have, the higher they rise on the SERPs.
Nobody starts a conversation with a brick wall. So, why would anyone start one with a financial institution that never responds to online feedback? When people see a brand consistently reply to customers online, they’re more empowered to jump into the conversation as well. As Amber Stewart, a UX expert here at Chatmeter says — “Brand engagement begets more engagement.”
Replying to reviews signals to both the online reviewer and prospective clients scrolling through reviews that your bank or credit union genuinely cares more about creating fantastic customer experiences and strong, lifelong relationships — than accomplishing a quick transaction.
Remember: Client trust, loyalty, and success in financial services go hand-in-hand. People won’t (and shouldn’t) hand their money to anyone. By proactively and publically connecting with customers, you’ll increase your credibility, trustworthiness, and humanity — something too often missing from the banking experience.
Connect with Customers on Google Business Profile
Today’s customer experience doesn’t begin and end when they walk through the door during operating hours. It continues 24/7 online and off, and they expect you to provide impeccable support at each touchpoint — anytime, anywhere.
Responding to client reviews is essential in connecting across channels. Now, go further with Google Business Profile (GBP). There are countless ways to utilize each branch location’s GBP, with two of our favorites being Google Q&A and Photos.
People have questions about bank and CU locations, and they ask them through Google Q&A. From inquiries about services provided at a particular branch to questions about ATM accessibility, anyone with a Google account can publicly post — and respond to — a question directly on your GBP. That means you want to make sure someone from your location is answering.
Directly responding to Google Q&A questions prevents strangers (or even direct competitors!) from sharing potentially incorrect information. It also demonstrates the same positive qualities as replying to reviews — and it puts you in the driver’s seat by offering users valuable information that turns them toward your branch.
For more Google Q&A insights, check out, The 7 Google Q&A Best Practices for Amazing CX at Your Business
Photos and Images on GBP
Posting high-quality photos and images to your Google Business Profile will draw customers toward your branch locations. Post numerous pictures of your physical building, ATM, kiosk, or service counter so users can confidently know what they’re looking for and where they’re going.
Photos and images also draw in customers by highlighting the interior space of your branch (ideally with your happy team members included), advertising an exciting promotion, or showing off awards and recognitions.
Use Review Response Templates
Investing in technology does not have to mean investing in extra time. Sure, there is always a learning curve as teams learn how to integrate new strategies. In the long run, however, expect high-quality online customer satisfaction results far sooner than before — sometimes in seconds.
A review response template is an excellent example of a digital tool that delivers. Especially if you’re a mid-size or enterprise-level financial institution with hundreds of locations and tens of thousands of reviews — review response templates will save significant amounts of time while increasing customer satisfaction.
Templates are also great from a branding perspective as they can help your communication style remain consistent institution-wide, always sound professionally written, and be marketing-approved no matter who submits those responses.
Check out 10 ready-made review response templates that your brand can use right now!
Track Reputation and Customer Sentiment Analytics
Every location-based brand sits upon an endless treasure trove of data. Yet, so few utilize the easily accessible, user-friendly tools to mine it. “Online feedback can be turned into sentiment gold,” says Stewart. “With more information and analysis, [brands] can see what’s going on a location basis and take action.”
See positive, negative, and neutral trends in real-time by tracking your reviews and reputation. Get alerts based on specific keywords. Once alerted, instantly take action to make an urgent issue right. For issues you’re unsure about, you can intentionally track those trends over time to see if action is needed.
Keeping a close pulse on your customer’s sentiment also allows you to be highly responsive to every comment or review — an instrumental factor in creating a positive customer experience at every point of their journey.
Invest In Reputation Software & Strategy
Even small and medium-sized banks and credit unions require more location-based listings and profiles than you might imagine. Not only does every branch need its own profile. So does every ATM, kiosk, and counter located within a larger entity (such as a branch within a grocery store).
As every listing needs to be live, accurate, and active at all times, it might sound overwhelming — or downright impossible — to run a successful reputation management program for your financial brand at scale.
Thankfully, reputation management software and solutions make the entire process easy and efficient. From a single dashboard, track and manage the activity of every online listing across all channels, including Google, Apple Maps, and Yelp.
In a few clicks, see how customers interact with and enjoy their banking experience on a micro and macro level. Or, see how your Google rankings compare to your biggest competitor’s ranking, learn if clients at your “Omaha” location are as satisfied as those at your “Boston” location, and access the tools, analytics, and insights to make their experience better than ever.
Some of the most popular features include:
- Review filtering for location, ratings, keywords, etc.
- Bulk review response
- Review response template libraries
- Natural language processing (NLP) capabilities
- Suggested review response tools
Learn why banks, credit unions, and other financial service brands nationwide trust Chatmeter’s reputation management platform to increase 5-star reviews, improve the customer experience, and grow brand presence. Schedule a demo today for a personalized session to discover exactly how our technology and partnership drive more customers through your doors.