8 Ways To Make The Most Of Online Reviews

Online reviews have an outsized impact on a credit union’s bottom line. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for responding to this digital feedback.

Ten years ago, it was not uncommon to overhear a fellow diner in a restaurant say, My friend told me this place is amazing.

Today, it’s more common to hear something along the lines of, This place has five stars on Yelp.

Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth. And just like how they impact where people go to satisfy hunger, online reviews persuade potential members to choose one financial institution over another. ContentMiddleAd

How Important Are Online Reviews?

A full 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. What’s more, a single negative review can cost a business as many as 30 customers. That’s 30 fewer people a credit union can help with their financial needs.

Reviews even influence what potential members see in their search results, as online reviews help determine how high branches rank for search terms. According to search engine experts, online reviews have a 13% impact on search rankings.

Reviews have an outsized impact on a credit union’s bottom line. And although a credit union can’t control what people write about the institution, it can control how it responds. That’s why it’s important to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative.

Reviews have an outsized impact on a credit union’s bottom line.

For negative reviews, responding provides the opportunity to show the credit union cares and to fix the situation. With the right response, a member might even change their negative review to a positive one.

For positive reviews, it’s a chance to further build the relationship, boost search ranking, and market new services.

Responding To Reviews: Do This

  • Respond Quickly Responding to reviews within 24-48 hours shows the credit union cares. It can be difficult to keep up with all the different review sites, but that’s where a tool like CUBrandMonitor which pulls together reviews from major sites into one central hub comes in handy.
  • Mention The Credit Union’s Name In Positive Reviews Mentioning the credit union’s name when responding to a positive review helps the review rank in search results when people search for the credit union by name.
  • Move Lengthier Conversations Offline Some negative reviews can be solved with a single response, but complex issues often involve back-and-forth. For these, respond publicly first and then offer to move the conversation offline to email or phone.
  • Review Before Submitting Hundreds, if not thousands, of people will see the response. So, take a minute to double-check punctuation, grammar, and misspellings to ensure a professional, polished appearance for the credit union.

Responding To Reviews: Not That

  • Don’t Use Canned Responses When someone leaves a review, they want to feel like they are heard by an actual person. Replying with the same templated response whether to positive or negative reviews gives the impression the credit union doesn’t care.
  • Don’t Get Defensive Reviews can be harsh or outright false. Whatever the review says, the response is meant to rectify the situation and satisfy a member’s needs. Anything that readers can perceive as argumentative or snarky will not reflect well on the credit union.
  • Don’t Respond On Only One Site Google, Facebook, and Yelp are the most popular review sites; however, there are many others that potential members use to guide their decisions. CUBrandMonitor stays on top of them all by aggregating reviews from all the major sites so none slip by unnoticed.
  • Don’t Mention The Credit Union’s Name In Negative Reviews This is the same logic as above but in reverse. Mentioning the credit union’s name will help the negative review rank when people search for the credit union by name. No institution wants that.

Armed with these do’s and don’ts, it’s crucial to start responding to all the reviews the credit union receives. Not responding sends its own message one that the credit union doesn’t value member feedback. That’s not the online brand reputation any credit union wants to build.

November 27, 2017

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