Financial institutions have utilized referral campaigns for ages. A satisfied customer refers a friend and once the friend opens an account, both parties receive a thank-you in the form of a small account deposit.
However, what if instead of referring one friend, your satisfied customer was able to act as a brand ambassador, referring ten, 100, or even 1,000 friends?
The scenario above illustrates the potential that social media review sites like Yelp, Google Local, and Angie’s List have to generate referrals for a financial institution. According to a customer survey conducted by BrightLocal, 92% of consumers now consult a business review site prior to making a significant purchase . The same survey found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 
Keith Gormley, director of social media at Prudential commented that, “for younger and savvier audiences, social media will be the first place they look to find your brand…both in good times and in bad.” 
So, what about those bad times? No matter how hard you work to please customers, you will inevitably attract a few bad reviews. Kevin Tynan, SVP of Marketing at Liberty Bank for Savings, recommends to “respond to critics honestly…, apologize when necessary, and politely refute incorrect assertions.” 
When you acknowledge and respond to a problem, you’ll let consumers know you care. Additionally, by being made aware of a complaint, you’ll be able to fix the problem and prevent other poor reviews. 
Any institution can set-up and actively monitor their own social media review pages, but often the most difficult part of maintaining a social media review page is getting a large volume of satisfied customers to visit your page and write a review. Our customers have solved this problem.
First, we identify brand promoters by launching a Net Promoter Score®  interview (learn more here) through the digital banking channels. Within a few weeks, the institution has amassed a group of highly satisfied brand ambassadors to do their marketing for them!
The next time your brand ambassadors use the digital banking channels, they are presented with a second interview—one that thanks them for their positive response. The customer is then asked if s/he would be willing to leave a review for you, and if interested can be directed to your Yelp page with just one click.
In November of 2015, we ran a Yelp campaign for one of our customers. Over the course of one month, 18% of users who saw the interview, interacted with it. Of those who interacted, over 1,000 accepted the offer to be directed to the institution’s Yelp page and leave a review, yielding a flood of five-out-of-five star reviews on the institution’s Yelp pages that month!
If you would like to leverage your service channels to identify and empower your brand ambassadors, let us know. We’d love to help!
4. Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, and Fred Reichheld