U.S. Bank is a financial services company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As part of its commitment to delivering the best possible experience for customers, the company actively monitors and responds to feedback from those with issues associated with the bank’s products and services.
U.S. Bank has two departments for managing online customer feedback. One specifically monitors reviews and testimonials. The other is dedicated to gathering social intelligence.
According to Troy Janisch, vice president/director of social intelligence, the Voice of the Customer is the most valuable tool for improving the U.S. Bank brand and finding new product and service opportunities. This is why he created the social media manager of reviews and testimonials position, which was filled by Gabrielle Griffin.
The Challenge: Problems with local listing management because of banking regulations
Janisch also wanted to implement local listings as part of the bank’s local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, but his team faced some obstacles.
He said, “Our compliance department was not willing to allow us to have local pages that allowed reviews unless we took the responsibility of monitoring and managing those reviews.”
Financial reviews are important from all websites
When Griffin started, U.S. Bank was focused only on monitoring online reviews from one website: Yelp. “I would go into our Yelp business owners page,” she said. “I could look collectively at the reviews, respond if necessary, challenge if necessary, escalate as necessary.” But it was only one review site.
“We knew there were also Google pages that were being updated from a branch listing management standpoint,” she shared, “and we knew reviews existed there. But we weren’t sure how to tackle that monster, and we didn’t have that statistic to be able to know if it was something worth looking at. Soon we realized it was a really large piece of our review pie.”
Janisch added, “We thought when we were looking at Yelp reviews that we had a pretty complete picture. But we have a responsibility to respond when people are having financial troubles associated with our products and services, so it was irresponsible for us not to find every channel where we could collect feedback.
“If you’re not looking at the content that customers are delivering to review sites, you’re not getting the full picture.”
Yelp alone provided limited and messy reports for an enterprise bank
“We were involved in a business relationship with Yelp, which was really our only focus when I first came into the team,” Griffin said.
This made it difficult for her team to find actionable insights out of heaping amounts of customer data. “The reports that we received from Yelp were limited, or maybe not delivered in the way we preferred, wherein it would be easy to translate information that our internal stakeholders could digest.”
For U.S. Bank, there simply had to be a more efficient way to monitor and report on customer feedback. Griffin said, “That’s when we started thinking, ‘What are our options for being able to streamline this process so it doesn’t take so much of our team’s time?’”
The Solution: Ability to flag reviews is important for a financial services organization
With ReviewTrackers, U.S. Bank is focusing on more customer data than just Yelp, now that it’s able to stay on top of online reviews and customer feedback on 23 review and feedback sites. So far, the company has also been able to dig deeper into data from more than 24,400 online reviews, covering more than 3,100 locations.
The bank also uses ReviewTrackers as a valuable local listings and SEO tool that makes management of local business information easier and more centralized than ever.
“ReviewTrackers provides us with a more accurate view of our locations through the eyes of customers than we’ve ever had,” Janisch said. “For a company like U.S. Bank to keep a pulse on reviews for all of our locations, we have to have one place, and ReviewTrackers is that place.”
Griffin’s team has also become much more efficient when it comes to responding to customers, managing and resolving issues, and sharing insights to key stakeholders.
There’s no more manually documenting reviews on a spreadsheet; they utilize the status labels (In Progress, Responded, Do Not Respond) available within the ReviewTrackers dashboard to better organize data, improve collaboration, and streamline the process of managing feedback.
“U.S. Bank is constantly trying to find new ways to communicate to branch employees how they can be better for our customers,” she said. “Now, with ReviewTrackers, we’re able to flag a review, so that someone on our team can go in and see it, and then update reviews with the statuses available for us on the dashboard, on the Ratings and Reviews page.”
‘Reviews are the most valuable social data’
U.S. Bank’s social media team sees great value in monitoring consumer review sites, in addition to user-generated content on social media sites like Twitter. The company recognizes that customer feedback on review sites is often more substantive and insightful than social media sites.
Griffin said, “Because of the limitations — character limits on social media — I think that when someone goes to a consumer review site — like Yelp, which is just one of our heavy hitters — we see a lot more information.”
Janisch added, “I’d even argue that reviews are the most valuable social data” — especially given the level of detail and accuracy of sentiment data within a review.
“Many banks choose not to invest in that effort under the feeling of, if they don’t see it, they’re not obliged to do anything about it,” he said. “We are proactive in looking for a view of every source of customer feedback we can get and then putting it into a way we can leverage it to make our products and the way we serve customers better.”
Working with ReviewTrackers’ customer happiness team to find solutions
Griffin, who has a professional background in user experience, also loves how ReviewTrackers is extremely easy to use.
She said, “When I had my ReviewTrackers demo, I immediately contacted Troy and told him, ‘Wow, it’s a really great tool. It’s well-developed and very user-friendly.’”
“I felt like even though I needed to get my hands into the tool and really kind of click around and play with it first, I knew I would completely understand it. It definitely wasn’t intimidating.”
Whenever she has questions about the platform, Griffin does not hesitate to reach out to ReviewTrackers’ award-winning customer happiness team, led by director Crystal Shuller.
“Crystal is very diligent with her work and she’s a great communicator,” Griffin said. “We’ve had a great relationship ever since. She’s got a great attitude, which is all where it starts. She really is just a fantastic human.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
U.S. Bank also keeps track of complaints posted on the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with ReviewTrackers. CFPB is a government agency responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector. The company’s social media team also leverages ReviewTrackers data in order to interpret Voice-of-the-Customer data and predict if a review might become a complaint posted on the CFPB website.
“We use ReviewTrackers to identify issues, hopefully before they turn into complaints,” Janisch said. “But if they do, ReviewTrackers also lets us know that. The platform is part of our upstream monitoring so that not only are we able to solve people’s problems earlier, we are also able to leverage that in order to improve the customer experience.”
One of the specific issues banks must watch out for is fair treatment of all bank customers regardless of color and race.
“In a large city, there are areas of the city that might be viewed as more challenged in terms of income or diversity, and by law we need to make sure that every area of the city is treated fairly,” Janisch said. “If there is an issue where someone says, “Wait a minute, I wasn’t treated fairly because of where I live or something about me,” then we want to fully understand that and make sure if someone was denied credit, or the ability to leverage one of our bank products that it was was for the right reason.”
Economic equality is ensured with review management
The impact of ReviewTrackers on U.S. Bank can be felt throughout the entire organization. For example, whenever there is a review that could potentially be tied to a legal issue, the company’s fair and responsible banking team takes a closer look.
“There may be instances in reviews where someone believes they have been discriminated against, even if they choose not to file that as a complaint or bring to us directly,” Janisch explained. “This is something that we want to fully understand and proactively address. Since we’ve been using ReviewTrackers, there shouldn’t be an instance where somebody believes they have been discriminated against where we don’t take a second look or a closer look.”