Public Relations in Consumer Finance
There are various methods that financial companies can get consumers to use their products and services. One popular method has been to use advertising. This method has gotten a lot of success for many companies. However, it does not build trust in the company. Many consumers are jumping to one company only because it has the best interest rate or the lowest fees. As soon as customers find a better deal, they will jump. And when consumers get in trouble such as impending Bankruptcy, they won’t call the financial company for help since there is not trust. That is why advertising has to be supplemented with a Public Relations effort on consumers. The more effort a financial company helps consumers regardless of any sales, the more trust there will be. This type of trust was obliterated after the financial crisis of 2008. Financial companies such as banks and credit unions have to work hard to get that trust back.
Before the financial crisis, people regarded the banks as a safe place to invest money in products such as certificates of deposit. Today, consumers don’t trust banks and other financial institutions anymore. This can be a problem when existing customers get in trouble with their Debt Management. For example, they may get behind on their mortgage, credit card, or auto loan accounts. In the past, they would call the bank on the assumption that they would be willing to work things out. Today, people want to interact with the bank as little as possible. A lot of problems can be avoided if consumers would talk to the bank when they need help. For example, the bank may be able to offer Debt Consolidation loans in order to help the consumer out. To change the current perception, banks and other financial institutions need to use their PR department to show that financial institutions are here to help. The more they do that, the more trust consumers will have.
Another way a bank or other financial institution can help with their PR is via informational content on the Internet. It can be simple things like debt advice on a blog. Or it can be general information about how to manage various bank products such as a mortgage. In other words, the PR department should spread the word on the Internet that the bank is here to help consumers no matter what the situation is. Get the consumer to trust the bank enough to call for help.
Having a lot of information out there is a good way to rebuild trust. Consumers won’t trust a bank anymore just because there is a giant combination safe in the back. The trust from the past is gone. Today, financial companies need to regain this trust with a good PR campaign that is designed to help consumers rather than to push a bank product or service. Of course, banks need to sell products to stay in business. However, it is best in the long run for the PR department to work on the bank’s image to both customers and non-customers.