When it comes to making important financial decisions, consumers are looking for businesses they can trust. Finance is a tricky topic, and many people feel confused or intimidated as they search for how to refinance a home, begin their investing journey, or search for the best banking product as a business owner.
Establishing consumer trust doesn’t just stem from a well-designed website or a strong product. Today’s consumer behavior is driven largely by reviews from fellow users or customers.
If you’re wondering if your finance company could benefit from doing more with customer reviews, the answer is a resounding yes. Featuring reviews from users who feel secure with their banking product or happy with the customer service of a loan program can drive new business.
Reviews can also be a powerful marketing engine in their own right. Customer reviews are a way to build trust in your brand and turn that brand trust into measurable ROI through increased web traffic, sales, and revenue.
Curious about how it all works? Start with this guide to discover ways customer reviews can set your brand apart in the finance space.
Why every finance business needs customer reviews and testimonials
Customer reviews create a feedback loop that benefits your business immediately, and over time. The cycle of reviews goes something like this:
1. Build trust in your brand by collecting and responding to reviews.
Reviews are an opportunity for customers to publicly share what they love about your services and customer experience. Gathering reviews and responding to customer comments conveys to others that you’re safe to do business with.
We connected with Kevin Boyer, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Zendesk, whose 2023 Customer Experience Trends report illustrates the importance of responding to reviews. "Our research found that customer reviews are pivotal in shaping reputation and driving growth. They're a gold mine of authentic feedback, providing customer insights that businesses need to evolve. Ignoring this feedback is a missed opportunity for finance brands to improve customer relationships, innovate, and stay competitive. As customer support leaders, we drive business improvement when we listen, respond, and proactively address concerns raised in these reviews for ultimate customer satisfaction."
Responding to those reviews is made simpler thanks to Trustpilot’s integrations with Zendesk, Slack, Sprinklr, and a host of other tools. You’ll even save time with Trustpilot’s platform, which gives you all the stats you need in one place.
Once you have some reviews about your business, you can:
2. Attract new customers by using reviews throughout your marketing strategy.
Sharing customer reviews can help you attract and convert new customers, turning brand trust into measurable ROI. Whether your goal is more clicks through search, driving traffic with your emails and ads, or converting visitors into users on your site, social proof like reviews, star ratings, and testimonials can optimize conversion at every stage of the customer journey.
To meet the expectations of new customers you’ll attract with your reviews, you’ll need to:
3. Tap into the goldmine of consumer insights within your reviews.
With a wealth of insights, you have the power to build a more customer-centric brand by analyzing and acting on feedback provided by users. Once you understand the user experience, you can develop a business strategy optimized by those insights, creating a more seamless customer interaction with your finance business that leads to more positive reviews.
Dan Brousseau is a Senior Director, Solutions Principal at Medallia, the leading vendor in enterprise experience management. Dan says, "review data is a rich and plentiful source of customer feedback and should be combined with other sources across channels to gain valuable insights into customer sentiment and what’s driving their satisfaction and disappointment." In fact, according to the Medallia Institute, CX Leaders (which are 2.8x more likely to hit revenue targets as compared to CX laggards) do just this, and over 30% of CX leaders capture customer feedback from external review pages. When done well, businesses can tap into a wealth of unstructured data to unlock meaningful understanding and make informed decisions to create memorable experiences that truly resonate with your customers.
Finance businesses can take advantage of these insights with Medallia’s integration for Trustpilot, leveraging advanced AI to generate rich insights and improve customer experiences at scale.
How customer reviews improve organic SEO
Once you’ve collected some reviews about your business, you can start showcasing the voice of the customer throughout your marketing strategy to increase organic traffic. For example, consumers don’t have to rely on your ad copy to learn how they’ll work one-on-one with a rep when applying for a personal loan, they’ll see it reflected in reviews.
91.5% of organic traffic goes to sites listed on the first page of search engine results.
These are three ways you can use customer reviews to improve your organic SEO rankings:
1. Build strong off-page SEO by collecting reviews on a third-party platform.
Off-page SEO describes any actions you take to build a digital footprint outside of your actual website, whether it’s building credible backlinks to your pages, staying active on social media platforms, or creating a profile on a third-party review platform like Trustpilot.
2. Drive more referral traffic from your Trustpilot business profile.
When reaching an important financial milestone like applying for a mortgage, most consumers start with extensive online research. In that process, they’re likely to find that brand’s Trustpilot business profile page at the top of the search results. That’s because Trustpilot’s domain authority is strong. So, the more reviews you collect, and the more you enrich the content on your business profile page, the easier it will be for search engines to associate your brand with Trustpilot and show your Trustpilot presence right at the top of search results.
Off-page SEO considerations like relevance, trustworthiness, and authority carry more than 50% of the ranking factor weight, according to the experts at Moz.
This could be your competitive advantage since referral traffic is so often overlooked even though it’s a free source of qualified leads, and can improve your organic search performance.
3. Get more organic traffic by displaying customer reviews on your website.
Featuring customer reviews on key landing pages can improve how often your pages show up in organic search results. That’s because reviews are a form of user-generated content, and UGC is SEO gold:
Reviews give Google more context for what a page is really about and why it should surface for the user’s search query.
Ratings associated with your reviews help Google understand the value of your products and services. Google wants to prioritize quality in search for users.
Reviews add fresh content to pages that might not otherwise get frequent updates. Google looks for up-to-date information for the user’s search query.
Customer reviews are an excellent opportunity to show off the responsiveness of your customer service team or the ease of your product. When consumers are on the hunt for financial services, highlighting that experience in the form of user-generated reviews can be a valuable tool for conversion.
These elements work together to help Google understand your website. Over time this can lead search engines to show your pages in search results more frequently, and drive larger volumes of high quality traffic to your site.
Customer reviews enhance paid digital campaign performance.
Many of today’s consumers don’t want to see ads or slick marketing messages. Consider:
More than 75% of consumers regularly use an adblocker.
Fewer than 30% of consumers report a solid level of trust toward digital advertising channels.
Consumers are 65% more likely to click an ad with a customer review.
Customer reviews and star ratings can enhance your digital campaign performance on the channels that have the biggest influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions. Two ways to take advantage of this:
1. Qualify for Google Seller Ratings to improve Google Ads performance.
A close relative of review snippets in organic search, Google Seller Ratings are a one-stop-shop for:
Adding social proof to your paid search listings
Making your business stand out
Increasing click-through rate on Google Ads campaigns
A higher click-through rate often leads to an uptick in customers, and will usually improve your Quality Score, meaning you’ll get traffic at a lower cost per click and, in turn, a lower cost per acquisition.
Just keep in mind that whether Google Seller Ratings display on your paid search listings is up to Google’s discretion in line with their latest guidelines which stipulate that a business must have a certain number of reviews and a certain aggregate rating before those shiny gold stars will appear below your Google Ads.
Once you do earn them, your Google Seller Ratings can appear in Google search results, Google Shopping listings, and even on Google search partners’ listings.
2. Improve retargeting campaigns with customer reviews.
Retargeting campaigns use paid ads to re-engage potential customers who have visited your website or social media profiles. For example, customers shopping around for the best rate are likely to visit your site as well as competitors’ sites. So when deciding on a creative strategy for those retargeting ads, be sure to include reviews to remind customers why so many people have chosen your finance business over the competition.
This can look like:
Quoting an individual customer review
Using your overall rating in your ad creative
Displaying how many customers have rated you highly
The extra social proof can be done easily with a little help from Trustpilot’s social media Image Generator.
Use your customer’s voice to get more from email marketing
Email marketing experts estimate that the average person sends and receives 126 business emails per day. With that volume, it’s easy to see why the average open rate is only about 22%. You can use the voice of the customer to cut through the noise with email marketing, drive more qualified traffic to your website, and increase the odds of a conversion.
1. Boost email click-through rates by adding customer testimonials.
Whether you’re drafting a monthly newsletter, a seasonal promotion, or a dynamic remarketing campaign, highlighting a customer review directly related to your offer puts the social proof on a silver platter and increases the odds that users will click-through to your landing page. Just how much do consumers trust customer reviews?
82% of shoppers say ratings and reviews in email marketing make them more likely to purchase
52% say the same of an influencer endorsement
34% say the same of a public figure endorsement
We spoke with John McBriarty, Technology Partnerships Manager at Dotdigital, a leading email service provider. In a 2022 survey, they asked consumers what makes them more trusting of a brand. The third most-selected factor was "The brand is rated highly on review sites (e.g. Trustpilot)” - beating out recommendations by friends and family. This trust-building ability means reviews can help drive better email conversions.
2. Let customer reviews do the talking in your welcome campaigns.
John adds that "Customer reviews in email campaigns have a unique ability to showcase your killer finance products to prospective customers in the voice of existing customers. This can drive a sense of community, making your most dedicated customers an extension of your own marketing team. It's really hard to create marketing materials and content in-house that are as authentic as those created by your customers! We recommend showing them off to new contacts on your list as soon as you can. For example, right after a new visitor has requested more information, when you know they’re considering your products but are still shopping around for a brand they trust with an important financial decision.”
Welcome campaigns are your first opportunity to build a direct relationship with a future customer and convince them you’re a brand they can feel comfortable working with. It’s also the perfect time to let your satisfied customers do the talking:
If you know what product or service the customer is interested in, your best bet is to feature a review specific to that product or service
For less personalized campaigns, focus on reviews that reinforce your key competitive differentiators, like your simple-to-use banking app or the responsiveness of mortgage officers when applying for a loan.
Show off brand personality by curating some surprising or funny customer reviews.
3. Establish trustworthiness in the email header, footer, and subject line.
Every email you send should include some proof of your trustworthiness. One easy way to achieve this is by including your star rating in your email template’s header or adding a customer testimonial in the footer. You can also lead with social proof right in the subject line. For example:
“Here’s why our investing app receives 5-star reviews.”
“Customer reviews you can bank on.”
"7 ways we’ve used your reviews to improve our customer service experience."
"Meet Sue, our top loan officer."
Improve website conversion rates by putting customer reviews front and center
Today, 89% of consumers check online reviews throughout their decision-making journey. So, by the time a potential customer lands on your website, chances are they’ve already formed a first impression about your brand.
When they’re overwhelmed with solutions to their financial issue, it’s even more important to enhance that first impression and improve your conversion rate with customer reviews on your website. Here’s how:
1. Use reviews to make a stellar first impression on your homepage.
When you improve the performance of your marketing campaigns by leveraging the power of trusted reviews, you’re likely to drive a lot more qualified traffic to your website. If your goal is turning more site visitors into customers, your website should be just as trustworthy as the marketing materials that led them there.
Even if the majority of your site visitors arrive via a specific landing page, there’s a good chance they’ll still want to check out your homepage, especially if they’re unfamiliar with your brand.
Use customer reviews to highlight your business’s value propositions. For example, you could:
Showcase the power of your stellar customer service department with reviews that highlight positive call center experiences.
Highlight the services you offer to customers with poor or no credit, pulling reviews from customers who could work with your bank, despite low credit scores.
Show-off the ease of use of your banking app with a review that praises how simple it is to use.
Remember, your homepage is where site visitors turn to find trust signals and other social proof for your brand, so don’t miss this opportunity to build trust with curious customers by featuring a highlight reel or key statistics about your customer reviews.
2. Add star ratings to the site header and footer to make every single page more trustworthy.
Depending on what they searched to find your business, customers can land on almost any page on your site from the SERPs. With this in mind, every page is an opportunity to convince them to make the critical decision to purchase.
The easiest way to make sure your trustworthiness comes across loud and clear no matter where visitors land on your site is to add your star rating to your header or footer.
3. Reduce your exit rate by adding reviews and ratings to key conversion points and exit pages.
Every journey has a beginning and end—and if that end point isn’t the order confirmation page, you should take every opportunity to increase your conversion rate.
Identify any pages with high exit rates by checking out your exit page performance in Google Analytics and noting which ones have high traffic and a high exit percentage. With exit pages, it’s worth taking the time to look at the actual page and see if you can spot a problem.
For example, there may not be enough calls to action on those pages to keep people on the site. Or, the page could be a dead end for visitors. Are there any customer review sentiments that might help keep people on this page?
Trustpilot’s Review Tagging feature makes this easy: Tag reviews that mention unique features, filter reviews by those keywords, find a testimonial that raves about customer service or unique app experiences, and feature it on the page.
This tiny consideration could lead to a meaningful drop in your exit rate and more conversions down the line.
Grow your business by amplifying the voice of the customer
If you made it this far, it should be clear that there are endless creative ways you can integrate reviews into your marketing strategy to attract more customers and make sure they convert.
The common thread throughout this guide? In the world of finance, customers can feel overwhelmed and are seeking solutions they can trust. Customer reviews can provide that trust, and in turn, they can kickstart a sustainable cycle of business growth. If you really want to make the most of your customer reviews in your marketing strategy, focus on growing your review collection until your social proof reaches critical mass. This makes it easier to highlight your reviews across your marketing channels and eventually tailor your review curation to campaigns and promotions.
So, can customer reviews boost performance results for a marketing campaign or convert visits to sales on your finance business site? You heard it here first: the answer is yes.