Five techniques for financial institutions to build and protect their digital reputation
As a financial service provider, your reputation is one of your biggest assets.
It’s what sets you apart from the competition, and it lets customers know what to expect from your services. Now, with more of our daily interactions taking place digitally, banks and financial institutions need a way to track and monitor their online reputation.
This kind of digital reputation management isn’t easy, but it’s essential. The right tools and techniques can make all the difference.
In this post, we’ve got five techniques banks and financial institutions can use to improve your reputation management.
Why reputation management matters for financial institutions
The digitalisation of the financial industry is causing big changes when it comes to customer engagement and loyalty.
The numbers paint a clear picture. A recent survey revealed that only 20% of customers would rather visit a bank than take care of their business online. The total number of customers using digital banking tools is also set to exceed 3.6 billion by 2024.
For financial services companies, online reputation isn’t just a part of brand collateral. It’s the whole ball game.
With that in mind, here are our five techniques for protecting your digital reputation:
- Technique #1: Understand key trends
These days, it isn’t just the banking industry that’s gone digital. It’s everything.
Now, whenever someone has a memorably great (or memorably not-so-great) experience with a brand, they’re likely to jump on Facebook or Instagram and let the whole world know.
Paying attention to what your customers are saying about your brand helps you keep track of patterns in your online reputation. This includes positive trends, like users praising an update to your banking app, or negative trends, like everyone’s favourite pet peeve: waiting times.
With so many customers sharing their experiences online, you can learn a lot about what people care about. Then, you can adjust your engagements to match these priorities.
- Technique #2: Keep an eye on the competition
People are quite happy to broadcast their thoughts about your brand to the whole world. In fact, customers can be rather blunt when it comes to their experiences, especially the bad ones.
But it isn’t just your brand they’re talking about online. They’re talking about your competitors, too.
By paying attention to what people are saying about other operators in the financial services industry, you can find new opportunities to make your institution stand out even more.
Let’s stick with the PayPal example above. You could use social listening to build your understanding of how frequently people describe PayPal’s customer services as being slow. Then, you could emphasize your institution’s reputation for swift service.
Using social listening to pay attention to the digital reputation of your competitors can give you a real edge in offering services to future customers.
- Technique #3: Stay alert for emerging crises
No matter how amazing your products and services may be, nobody’s perfect. At some point, you’ll have to deal with a risk to your financial institution’s reputation.
We’re talking about crisis management.
In our digital age, negative stories can spread far and wide in a matter of seconds. In these cases, active reputation management is crucial.
For a great example, let’s turn to financial platform Revolut. In February 2019, a story began circulating about allegations of a toxic culture at Revolut, all stemming from a Slack screenshot from CEO Nikolay Storonsky about bonuses.
This led to a lot of negative discussions online, with many calling out company leadership.
Here’s what this looked like in terms of negative mentions during that period:
After this commentary had gathered momentum online, Storonsky published a blog post explaining the initial message to staff and outlining a commitment to do better.
This example offers a lot of insights about reputation management for financial institutions.
When trouble strikes, the best remedy is to act early. Using a social listening tool, Revolut could have quantified this negative coverage as it was first starting to emerge, and could have acted quickly by offering a targeted response.
- Technique #4: Pay close attention to online reviews
Tracking customer experiences online is a big part of reputation management.
These days, submitting an online review is easy. In the banking industry, customer reviews of mobile banking apps on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store can make a big impact.
For financial institutions wanting to build and protect their online reputation, paying close attention to these reviews is critical.
These reviews can point to strengths and weaknesses in your products, and can help identify opportunities for you to win a greater share of the market.
- Technique #5: Be true to your values
In the financial services industry, your reputation is fundamental. Your customers trust you because they know what you stand for and who you are.
You can show your customers you’re worthy of this trust by cultivating a digital presence that matches your distinctive values.
Let’s say you’re an established credit union with a history of supporting veterans and small businesses. You have a defined set of brand values around service, trust, and respect.
In this case, there are some digital platforms that would be more suitable than others for your marketing efforts. For example, rather than partnering with influencers on a TikTok campaign, a more sedate set of ads on a platform like Facebook would be a better fit.
Your reputation is everything – take care of it
Things are always changing in the banking industry. You need a way to stay ahead of these changes and actively manage your financial brand’s online reputation.
The right social listening tools can help you build client trust and offer services that match your values. By unlocking insights into the things your clients care about, you can understand how your brand is perceived.
With our five recommended techniques for digital reputation management, you can protect the distinctive brand values that set you apart from the competition.