Guest Post by Michael Fotis
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this article that the finance sector is recovering strongly. In a fast-growing market that is becoming increasingly competitive, building and maintaining the trust of borrowers and savers alike is the defining priority.
Indeed with the negative impact of scandals refusing to go away, now more than ever, finance providers should be at the forefront of the trust and transparency agenda.
This is where where online reviews come in. By harnessing the power of online reviews, finance providers can take hold of the trust prerequisite.
As financial services is an industry that consumers traditionally find difficult to engage with, online reviews, when executed well, can provide a helpful level of guidance when thinking closely about buying services from individual providers.
But online reviews can go deeper than just helping the consumer: they can also be very powerful for the financial services providers too, offering the potential for delivering a competitive edge.
Brands can use the reviews to increase trust and transparency. They can also empower advocates to spread the word, attracting new customers in the process.
Knowing what your customers are saying and benchmarking performance against key competitors unocks a rich vein of industry insight, which is something the most forward-looking banks and finance companies are now able to tap-into.
Online reviews can also provide an innovative mechanism for demonstrating compliance with the regulatory regime. For example, online reviews can demonstrate good conduct in respect of treating customers fairly. In fact, the Financial Services Consumer Panel recently called for the FCA to make it easier for consumers to rate the finance companies they do business with.
So what do you need to look for when putting an online review strategy in place?
In summary, the time is now. Adopting a proactive online review plan should be an integral part of any financial services businesses' marketing strategy. Adopted well, online reviews can become a bridge to greater trust and provide a low-cost way of generating insight and attracting more customers, all while helping to better guide consumers.
Author bio: Mike Fotis is the founder of Smart Money People, a review and insight platform dedicated to financial services. Smart Money People is on a mission to use the power of customer reviews to help increase trust and transparency in financial services. Mike previously worked as a management consultant across Retail Banking and Insurance. He holds a Masters from the University of Cambridge.