By Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People, the UK’s dedicated financial services review site.
With 93% of consumers stating that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions, and 82% saying that an online review has convinced them to make a purchase, it’s clear customer reviews are vital for your business. They prove to the consumer that your brand can be trusted.
Trust within the financial services sector is arguably more important than other business sectors, with consumers much more likely to seek positive reassurance from other customers prior to investing in a financial product. However, there are benefits beyond this that you may not have considered.
Genuine customer reviews can have a positive, psychological impact on prospective customers, building a sense of trust and credibility for your business. If the business has received a multitude of positive reviews, cautious consumers are likely to feel reassured that the product or service provided is of good quality and from a reputable company. In fact it was found that customers who view user-generated content show a 133% higher conversion rate.
Many consumers expect to easily find customer reviews, and so a lack of reviews can be a red flag. When it comes to financial products, consumers rely on reviews to reassure them that they’re getting the best deal from the best company. People are becoming less comfortable signing up for credit agreements or insurance policies without some form of evidence that the company can live up to its claims.
Connect with customers
The customer should be at the forefront of your business plan; without consumers making purchases, the business simply wouldn’t survive.
Customer reviews can be the ideal way to bridge the gap between your company and your audience, providing insight into what customers have loved, liked and disliked about their experience with your company. A negative review does not have to be viewed as a setback, instead, it should be a guideline for where improvements can be made, deepening your understanding of your target market’s needs, wants and preferences.
Reviews on an external review site can also assist your business by expanding your reach further. Consumers who haven’t heard of your brand may stumble across your reviews, causing them to then look into your business as a viable option.
A valuable marketing tool
Similarly, customer reviews can also improve your company’s online visibility, supporting your existing marketing strategy (for no extra cost!).
Featuring your company’s reviews in your organic search engine listings can help to improve your click-through rate, and therefore your traffic volumes. This in turn helps to boost your SEO performance, which keeps your site ranking highly on Google, so it’s a win-win!
Financial services companies typically need to be careful with their marketing techniques, treading carefully when making any promises or claims to potential consumers. By utilising customer reviews as a marketing tactic, prospective customers can learn about your business through genuine reviews, providing reassurance and confidence in your brand, which ultimately results in more conversions.
Brave the change
Reviews are a powerful tool for any company, but especially so for financial service providers, who often need to secure some extra credibility before consumers take the plunge.
Some companies may be deterred from encouraging customers to leave a review in fear of negative reviews surfacing and potentially damaging their reputation. However, while you can deter consumers from leaving a review on your site, you can’t stop them from sharing with an independent review site.
Instead, it’s better to proactively embrace reviews. It’s almost impossible to please everybody, however, if consumers can see that you’ve responded to a negative review and made positive changes due to it, their trust in your business and its credibility will improve.
Remember, even if you don’t encourage customer reviews, your competitors probably do. If you’re not already asking your customers to leave a review, there’s never been a better time to start.