By Jess Rushton, Head of Business Development

In financial services, any company will generally say they value both positive and negative feedback. However, saying you love feedback and actually sitting down and processing it are two vastly different things. It's easy to get caught up in either praise or criticism and lose focus in your company.

Navigating these mental pitfalls is crucial. Learning to filter helpful feedback helps improve the way your company operates. And online feedback provides a key way to showcase your customer service.

A regulatory aspect exists, too. Consumer Duty requires companies to act to deliver good outcomes for their customers. So, taking on board and managing feedback in a balanced way benefits everyone.

The most important feedback of all

The internet has greatly changed how customers behave, which has had a significant impact on our lives. People look to online reviews to help them make decisions, rather than relying on 'household names'.

As part of some recent research we carried out, Smart Money People user Sevrine N talked about the value gained from using our reviews: “It's always helpful to get other people's perspectives before undertaking a new account or policy, not as a deciding factor but just as additional information in your decision making and that's why this was so helpful.”

According to Search Engine Journal[1], 99.9% of customers read reviews when shopping online. And of those, 96% specifically look at negative reviews.

The power of the reply

This might seem like a problem for companies. If customers only see the negative, why would they choose you? The answer is in the replies.

Most review sites (like Smart Money People) allow verified companies to reply to feedback. Here, you can truly shine as a customer-focused business.

Instead of getting defensive, demonstrate that you've heard unhappy customers and used their feedback to enhance your business. This will make your company stand out as active, responsive, and eager to improve. It’ll also demonstrate that you value your customers. Our own research shows that 69% of consumers are likely to change their mind after reading reviews.

Embracing online reviews

In today's digital world, building trust online is crucial for companies who want to continue succeeding in financial services.

To learn how Smart Money People can help with your online review management, head to our reviews and analysis page.