5 Ways To Take Charge Of Online Reviews

5 Ways To Take Charge Of Online Reviews

Article from: CreditUnions.com

Online reviewers can be fickle. Sometimes, their only feedback in a lifetime of membership depends solely on their last interaction with the credit union. Case in point: Last year, a member gave a five-star rating on Facebook to Heritage Federal Credit Union ($590.0M, Newburgh, IN), proclaiming “Heritage Federal is the only bank I’ll ever use.”

Less than two weeks later, after failing to get a timely call back from the credit union, the member changed her review to one star, noting “if I could give zero stars, I would.” 

All was not lost, however. After a response from the credit union on Facebook, a private message, and a call from a manager, the member changed her rating back to five stars, saying, “I’ll gladly admit when I am wrong … Tim treated me like a had $1 million in the account.”

Not all scathing online reviews have storybook endings, but according to Heritage vice president of marketing Holly Smith, there are a few things a credit union can do to push the narrative that way.  


Heritage FCUDATA AS OF 09.30. 18

HQ: Newburgh, IN
ASSETS: $590.0M
MEMBERS: 59,401
12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 10.7%
ROA: 0.65%

“We go back by direct message and ask them to change their rating if they are satisfied and feel like we’re a five-star institution,” Smith says. “About 80% of the time, people will go back and change their rating.”

True, online reviews account for a fraction of overall complaints that come in through email boxes and phone call, and negative reviews account for only a small percentage of all reviews; however, some can be critical or even linger online for years. And, too many bad reviews can drive away members. According to Vendasta Marketing, 90% of consumers only consider purchasing from a business with a three-star rating or higher.

Actively monitoring and interacting with both good and bad reviewers is an essential part of managing the credit union brand. Here are some tips on the best approaches for managing those interactions and turning around relationships. 

1. Nurture And Reward Positive Reviewers — Sometimes, They’re The Best Allies 

It’s a numbers game. Credit unions need a continuous pipeline of positive reviews to offset the negative ones. Many of these come organically from members praising outstanding services in a branch or celebrating a life moment like buying a car.

“If you hear a member tell a story about their positive experience with the credit union, ask them to post a review online or on social media,” says Gwynn Deaver, vice president of marketing at Firstmark Credit Union ($1.0B, San Antonio, TX).

And remember that every positive online interaction is a chance to educate other viewers, including potential new members, about the credit union’s brand. 

“We always thank them for being a member-owner,” Smith says. “‘We’re awesome because of members like you!’” 

Of course, giveaways and member appreciation events are also tools to drive positive reviews. For the past two years, Ent Credit Union ($5.5B, Colorado Springs, CO) has run a twice yearly #loveent social media campaign wherein members can qualify to win free gasoline for a year. This past year, Ent also offered free coffee and T-shirts available in person at service centers.



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