Royal Bank of Canada : Reassuringly open

A customer reviews section shows an unusual amount of transparency.

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The Site

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), a major North American financial services company, gives searchable access to customer reviews of its services. RBC's retail site features a 'Read client reviews' page in its Online Banking sub-section. The page features a list of recent reviews of the bank's online services, with controls at the base of the list indicating it is the first of 471 pages of reviews. At the top of the list is an 'Average rating', which shows the current average to be 4.09 out of five. Also here is a dropdown menu that allows the reviews to be reordered according to date, rating, and whether or not the review is recommended or contains a moderator’s comment.

The Takeaway

For those looking to use the Royal Bank of Canada’s online services, or even for those just researching the company, the presence of a client reviews page already promises a reassuring openness. However, where other sites might present a select few – often favourable – reviews, RBC offers what appears to be an untouched exhaustive set of customer comments. Adding to the feel of transparency is the ease with which users can access unfavourable reviews –’Lowest rating’ is one of the dropdown options, giving users plenty of one-star reviews to browse. The reviews also appear to be well monitored, with many featuring comments from moderators, who frequently answer questions or resolve issues. RBC has clearly embraced the spirit of the age and decided the pros outweigh the cons of allowing users to comment openly on its services. It has also given itself a fighting chance of coming out of the exercise in a favourable light by actively responding to comments and being candid about negative ones. An intriguing aspect is that it has done so on its website and not a blog, forum, Facebook or Twitter channel. This gives it an extra degree of control over management and presentation but one that it astutely tempers by following good practice for whatever the medium – be genuine, be ‘straight’ with enquirers, be responsive.
First published 13 September, 2012
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