BY EVA LAMERE
What members are saying about your credit union online could have long-reaching consequences for your reputation. In fact, Internet reviews are increasingly being given equal trust as personal recommendations. With an online reputation management strategy in place, your CU can build a positive reputation while discouraging negative comments.
Word-of-mouth advertising has never been a more important member acquisition tool for credit unions. Thanks to the power of the Internet and energized by the far-reaching popularity of smartphones, members can easily express their opinions about your credit union to virtually any prospect, anywhere. And those prospects are probably going to listen.
Research shows that consumers overwhelmingly trust the opinions that strangers post online as much as those of their family and friends. In fact, a recent study by Outbound Engine found that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Most will read up to six reviews before making a purchase decision.
However, along with consumers’ ability to share positive ratings and recommendations comes the freedom to post negative comments. And negative reviews are twice as likely to be posted as positive ones. Think about it: Sharing a negative review is an easy way to relieve frustration. It just feels good to vent to and commiserate with others about how you’ve been wronged and, perhaps, prevent someone else from having a similar negative experience.
How can credit unions build a positive online reputation while discouraging negative comments? While you can’t stop people from saying negative things about your credit union on third-party sites such as Google, Yelp, Credit Karma or WalletHub, a proactive online reputation management strategy can help mitigate the negativity by encouraging more positive messaging and content.
- What is online reputation management?