The TAB Bank marketing team uses Podium to request and capture customer reviews, improving their online reputation, increasing review counts and the average star rating, and implementing a better customer feedback process. Before Podium, TAB Bank struggled to collect reviews with email response rates close to 0%. After implementing Podium the team saw a 12x increase in reviews and a nearly 2x increase in Google star rating in just three months. Plus, with targeted text review requests instead of email blasts to the entire customer list, TAB Bank has seen a 300% increase in review response rate. Implementing Podium has helped TAB stick close to its mission—a customer-first experience.
About TAB Bank
Headquartered in Ogden, Utah, TAB Bank is focused on relationships, not transactions. TAB—an acronym for Transportation Alliance Bank—started as a banking service, operating exclusively for the trucking industry. Through the course of more than 20 years, demand grew and TAB Bank expanded their services, offering a wide range of personal and business banking solutions. As a truly mobile bank, TAB has always offered an easy-to-use banking experience with customer experience at the forefront of every new product or service offering.
Before Podium, TAB Bank struggled to both request and collect positive customer reviews. With only 30 reviews on Google, most were unsolicited and negative, posted by disgruntled customers. New product campaigns struggled with low public awareness for the brand—the impact of social proofing showing up again and again as TAB Bank tried to expand its customer base and offer products and services to a wider audience.
Challenge #1: Investment in brand awareness was stuck in online reputation
As the marketing team worked to build up awareness for TAB Bank, even with ongoing campaigns, the most popular searches online included “What is TAB Bank? Who is TAB Bank? Is TAB Bank legitimate?” According to John Huntinghouse who oversees all of the marketing activities at TAB Bank, “We had this amazing product that was out in the market, but people needed to know more about the bank itself.”
These searches lead traffic to TAB Bank’s Google Business Profile. Before Podium, the bank only had 30 reviews on Google and the average star rating sat right at 2.4 stars. “Clearly something had to be addressed—whether that was the actual experience of customers or we just weren’t capturing more of what was actually going on,” explained John.
Because the bank is online, the TAB Bank Google Business Profile created the front door to customers’ opinions. “We needed to make sure that we improved the Google rating we had,” said John.
Challenge #2: Online reputation hurt deposit campaign performance
The team at TAB Bank launched an important marketing campaign, developed to promote a new, best-in-class checking account product and drive new deposits. Hopes were high that conversions would follow—it was the best checking account in the country with a 4% interest rate. The campaign drove a large increase in traffic, but the team noticed the traffic wasn’t converting. When they looked into the data, they found that prospects were getting hung up on the bank’s online reputation. The lack of review quantity, positive reviews, and star rating were all contributing to the campaign’s low conversion rates. John explained, “When you offer such an amazing product with really low awareness, people start to ask if it’s legitimate. We were dealing with a gap of trust.”
At the time, this marketing campaign was the bank’s largest marketing investment and primary marketing campaign. The lack of public response made it clear that, even with a compelling offer, online reputation would be a key driver of future success for the bank.
Challenge #3: Online reputation was not an accurate reflection of customer service/experience
As John and his team set out to identify whether customers were having a poor experience or if the online reviews simply didn’t reflect an accurate customer experience, they found that their reviews on the Google Play and App Store averaged around 4.5. NPS data also confirmed that TAB Bank customers were extremely happy with their experience. “We realized we just weren’t capturing the actual experience that most of our customers were having with our bank,” said John.
With thousands of customers and only 30 Google reviews, TAB Bank’s online reputation was suffering. The primary focus became finding a solution to help TAB get more customer reviews online and ensure those reviews reflected a typical customer experience. “To be able to build a review request program, create and generate those campaigns quickly, and then send them out in a timely manner so we could get those reviews from customers—that became our primary goal,” explained John.
Challenge #4: Email review invites yielded little-to-no results
The team had tried to generate reviews from customers in the past. They sent emails and made verbal requests, but success rates were low. The review request program often looked like a quarterly email with a blanket ask for customers to submit a review online. And the response rate? “It was almost zero—we generated roughly 15 reviews total and we only had 30 online reviews,” said John.
But beyond a better process for asking, the team needed a solution that would make it easier for customers to actually complete the request. “We felt like a lot of our customers wanted to give us reviews, but the process of trying to instruct them, guide them, walk them through how to go into Google, how to find us, how to leave that review—the entire process of educating and training them was more work than it was worth for them to provide the review,” said John. The team needed a solution that would make it easy to generate and capture more customer reviews, seamlessly and intuitively.
Challenge #5: Competition was high in the loan industry
The sales cycles for loan products vary for TAB Bank customers and the competition is high. And as a mobile bank competing against other mobile banks and even brick-and-mortar banks, customers are interested in getting third-party feedback on which bank they should select. “Social proof matters in the loan space, especially with larger loan amounts—many over a million dollars,”said John. The bank’s lack of online reviews was impacting their bottom line.
The Podium Solution
After identifying online reputation as one of their main challenges, TAB Bank set out to find a reputation management platform that could help them request, collect, and respond to reviews. They needed a solution that would make the process easy, seamless, and convenient for both customers and the TAB Bank team. Podium was their answer.
Solution #1: Customer interactions trigger review invites
Instead of sending broad requests for reviews to all customers, Podium is helping TAB Bank send requests based on specific customer actions. By segmenting customers and their specific actions, review request campaigns can target a specific audience with a specific request for reviews.
“We’re generating a lot of reviews from customers that have PPP loans during COVID,” said John. “Segmenting outreach campaigns is the biggest difference of how we utilize Podium versus how we were doing it before. When one round of review requests finishes we send another.”
The team plans to automate review requests in the future. But for now, even manual sends based on segmentation and real-time interactions are creating a positive impact on review responses from customers.
Solution #2: Customer feedback loop implemented for reviews
Within the digital banking department at TAB Bank, the voice of the customer group is now responsible to take feedback—from online reviews, NPS, and customer service—and find ways to solve customer issues. “This team triages and prioritizes the feedback and what needs to be fixed first. Then they route the specific instructions to the right team to change or fix those areas,” said John.
Enabling a team to manage negative reviews is critical for a businesses’ online reputation. And with this new process, the TAB Bank team can not only respond to customers that have had a negative experience, they can take that feedback and integrate it into their plans to make the customer experience better.
Solution #3: A reputation management solution they could trust
As the team evaluated reputation management solutions, they knew they needed a solution they could trust and could see worked for others already. “I knew more about Podium, and so did my peers. Everyone I reached out to knew about Podium and gave the same positive feedback.”
“We were looking at Birdeye as a potential offering, but when it came down to it, we really just needed something that worked,” said John. “We trusted Podium based on other people’s experiences and their results, and we felt like Podium would give us our best chance of getting a win with reputation management.”
Results and ROI
Result #1: 95.8% increase in average Google star rating
Before Podium, the average star rating for TAB Bank was 2.4. After implementing Podium, the average star rating soared to 4.7, a 195% increase in just three months. “Podium worked phenomenally in terms of generating reviews,” said John.
Result #2: 12x increase in total reviews
The team’s initial goal, after they implemented Podium, was to go from 30 to 100 reviews. After segmenting their first group and requesting reviews, they quadrupled their initial estimate and brought in over 400 reviews. John explained, “the response we got was crazy! We beat our goal by four times the amount and it was all in just three months.”
Result #3: 300% increase in review response rate from text vs. email
By utilizing text messages, the response rate for review requests skyrocketed. Email brought in close to a 0% response rate and texts blew past that by 300%—rounding up at least 3% of all review requests that went out to customers. “Previously, we would send the requests to the entire bank, to all of our customers. And we wouldn’t see any reviews. Now, we don’t even send to the entire bank and the response rate is incredibly high.” John explained that if they were to send out review requests to the entire customer base at the same time, “we would be overwhelmed with responses and we like to respond to every review—whether it’s positive or negative, we try to respond to all of them.”
Result #4: Transformed brand awareness
“We’ve developed social listening tools with Podium. Instead of defending ourselves, we’re now seeing TAB Bank show up on Reddit and other social platforms with people recommending us,” said John. Even more incredible is how the online community shows up to advocate for TAB Bank. “We’re seeing individuals championing TAB Bank, saying, ‘It’s amazing! They are a great bank and they have really high reviews.’ The specific mention of our high reviews is really incredible,” said John.
The bank has even seen an uptick in press since their reviews increased. Tier-one publications like CNBC and The New York Times have started picking up on online conversations, including TAB Bank in “best online account” and “best checking account” articles. John explained, “Podium has become a really strategic part of the success we’re seeing.”
Result #5: $200M in new deposits from marketing campaign with improved online reputation
While it’s difficult to quantify the specific impact of new customer reviews and increased Google ratings, as well as what portion of new sign ups should be attributed to them, the team saw a clear correlation. After making some adjustments, including using Podium Reviews to improve their online reputation in terms of review quantity, recency, and quality, TAB Bank’s product launch campaign generated over $200 million in the first six months, far exceeding their original deposit goals and time frames. Using Podium to drive higher review counts and a higher average Google rating created the third party validation new customers need to trust TAB Bank.
“There’s definitely a correlation to the success of our recent product campaign. Search didn’t change—we still saw people asking, ‘Who is TAB Bank?’ ‘What is TAB Bank?’ But now, we have a much stronger story to tell about who we are with online reviews,” said John.
Result #6: Record-setting growth for the loan portfolio
“We’ve seen a lot of success and growth on the loan portfolio side of the business,” said John. “Quarter four in 2020 and quarters one and two in 2021 have set the record as the best running quarters in the bank’s history. When you beat your all-time record by an additional 10% in one quarter—it goes to show that social proofing, highlighting and emphasizing the overall customer experience, it’s a great way to do that.”
Reviews typically mention TAB Bank’s differentiators—quick funding, flexible loan deals, and positive customer experience. “People want a partner and when they read about how we can be that for them in reviews, when they see a score that reflects a positive customer experience, it all adds to their decision making,” said John.
Result #7: Improved feedback and customer experience
From a customer service standpoint, collecting more reviews has allowed TAB Bank to get a better view into the customer experience. Before Podium, reviews swung from one star to five stars—from the extremes of what a customer could experience at the bank. Now, the reviews are filled with three, four, and five-star reviews, detailing what makes their experience with TAB positive, and what areas could use improvement.
“Reviews have really helped us to look at what areas need to be improved and what we need to fix,” said John. “It’s feedback that we weren’t getting before Podium. Now we’re getting additional insights and actual feedback from reviews.”
TAB Bank has seen incredible success in improving their online reputation with Podium. A higher review count, higher average star rating, and a better process for collecting customer feedback have all aided in the brand awareness the team set out to improve. “Our executive team sees the results we’re getting from Podium and they’re really happy. A quick Google search shows that we can highlight how well our employees are doing and how we provide a great experience for our customers,” said John.
Now, John and his team don’t worry about reviews. It’s no longer a major roadblock for the business and they’ve been able to shift their focus to other strategic activities. “For us to not only exceed our initial goal of 100 reviews by four times that amount, but to also have a 4.7 average star rating—from an ROI standpoint, you can definitely see why Podium is a positive.”