Profile Pensions: Why customer reviews matter

Improving trust, credibility and transparency in an industry often surrounded in mistrust and scepticism is one of the biggest challenges many companies involved in financial services face. It can be particularly difficult for start-ups which are relatively unknown and so may have little brand awareness.

Here at Profile Pensions, we’ve found customer reviews play a vital role not only in raising awareness of what our business does, but also in building customer trust and loyalty.

The importance of customer feedback

There are several tools we use to build up trust in Profile Pensions and manage the wider online community.

One of the most important is TrustPilot, which provides a platform for customers to rate and review our company. These reviews and ratings are crucial because they enable prospective customers to see genuine feedback from people who have actually used our service. If this feedback is positive, it instills trust in our service and encourages people to explore how they might benefit from using it.

Between January and November this year, we had more than 10,000 clicks to our TrustPilot business profile page, more than double the 4,993 clicks over the same period last year. Our current aggregate score on TrustPilot is 9.3 out of 10, with nearly 1,200 reviews submitted. This score is one of the key metrics reported to our board on a quarterly basis, so it’s important that this score is as high as it possibly can be.

We are constantly looking at ways to encourage customers to leave TrustPilot reviews. One of the ways we plan to do this is by incentivising them, so we will donate £1 to a charitable cause for every review they give us.

Facebook is another important forum for customers to provide us with feedback, and we also use Google Reviews to generally try and improve our brand reputation in search.

Monitoring feedback

Keeping track of reviews and feedback on a range of different channels can be difficult and time-consuming, but we have found ways to make it less onerous. For example, we use Sprout Social to manage social activity and community interaction across all social platforms. It enables us to have a unified ‘social inbox’ where we can monitor and engage with messages across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We have also recently connected TrustPilot to Slack, a platform which unifies our team’s communications and integrates all the apps we need, enabling us to search and find all our messages and reviews in one place.

Responding to reviews

Just as important as providing customers with ways to leave us reviews is the way we respond to this feedback. Whilst the vast majority of feedback we receive is positive, it is essential to have a strategy in place to ensure that any negative reviews are responded to promptly. It shows customers that we are listening to them, that we care if they feel we are falling short in the service we provide, and that we’re quick to respond to problems.

To do this, we operate a traffic light system across our wider community management activity. Comments or reviews that impact our reputation as a brand and are classed ‘truthful’ take highest priority and are escalated immediately to an assigned team member with a public response issued within the hour. In some cases, we’ll acknowledge the review or comment publicly and then investigate internally to understand the customer problem and aim to resolve it for them wherever possible.

One of the key benefits of our TrustPilot and Slack integration is that our Compliance team are included within the dedicated Slack Channel and therefore have full visibility of feedback as and when it comes in. This saves us having to escalate things to them via email which makes us more efficient as a team.

Responding to reviews promptly means we have a better chance of keeping customers as it allows us to demonstrate that we’re committed to providing them with a solution to their problem. It also shows that we’re a ‘human’ brand (one of our values) and sometimes things don’t always go perfectly.

Finally…

Accountability and transparency are vital when building a brand.

Customer reviews not only enable us to establish credibility and improve our reputation, but at the same time provide us with important insights from the customer feedback we receive. This is especially helpful when your business is based across two office locations as it helps understand the customer experience first-hand.

For any questions on this, or if anyone would like to know more, I’d be keen to hear from you and learn of your own experiences. Please get in contact with Sophie from Smedvig for my contact details.

James Harding

Head of Digital and Content, Profile Pensions

Twitter: @James_J_Harding