Building Trust in the Digital Loan Business: LendKey + Trustpilot

Thursday, 24 August 2023
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College tuition prices are through the roof, and figuring out how to pay for higher education these days can be stressful. When you’re researching student loans, you want to be sure that you’re finding the best possible rates and selecting a loan provider that will provide a positive overall experience. 

In other words, you want to know that you can trust the financial company providing your student loan. 

LendKey, a digital lending platform, knows this is important—and that trust comes not just from what a company says about itself, but from what other people say about it. Gathering reviews on an open platform that millions of consumers use is a perfect way to build that trust and expand brand reach, which is why the company is working with Trustpilot. LendKey knew Trustpilot would help attract new customers and that Trustpilot-gathered reviews would provide customer insights and analytics that the loan company could use to optimize its growth.

Making the switch to Trustpilot

LendKey’s primary focus is on borrower-friendly private student loans and student loan refinancing. It matches consumers with community banks and credit unions to provide transparent, accessible, and low-cost online borrowing and lending opportunities. To date, it has helped more than 155,000 consumers borrow $6 billion. 

Reviews have always been an important part of the lending process. In the past, LendKey worked with Yotpo, but found that it brought in a low volume of reviews. After doing some research to find a vendor with better brand recognition, LendKey found Trustpilot.

“Trustpilot is very highly regarded. They're trustworthy, reliable, and have good name recognition. That was a big driver in getting us to switch over. Our previous review strategy wasn’t working. We had to be more upfront in asking for reviews, and our Trustpilot account rep was very helpful in giving us strategies for how to do that.”
Rebecca Freeman
Marketing Director at LendKey

Using reviews to attract new customers and engage with existing ones

Through its partnership with Trustpilot, LendKey has been able to create a positive feedback loop that’s good for customers and the company: They are able to display reviews more prominently on their website, helping potential customers feel more confident about the loan process; this has led to an increase in new business, and therefore more opportunities to collect new reviews.

LendKey uses Trustpilot’s TrustBox widget at the bottom of its homepage to display its current star rating. The widget shows how many reviews have been received and displays the most recent comments. That’s significant because Trustpilot visitors report they are 71% more likely to make a purchase from a website that displays Trustpilot reviews. TrustBox widgets help companies boost conversion rates as well as increase basket size and reduce abandonment.

At LendKey, a team goes over every Trustpilot review, using them to map customer journeys and responding to specific reviews when needed. Employees look to see if there is anything they could be doing better and what changes might need to be made. Monthly, the company looks at reviews as a team. 

“We go over some of the reviews that stand out and discuss what we can do better. Or sometimes we just say, ‘We did a great job.’ Those are the best months. All the way from the bottom up, we're looking at the feedback we get from Trustpilot.”
Rebecca Freeman
Marketing Director at LendKey

A/B testing Trustpilot ads

Earlier this year, LendKey introduced Trustpilot stars and reviews into digital ads for their refinancing product as part of a pilot program and were pleased with the results, getting more impressions and interest from potential clients. The company also did A/B testing, running their usual refinancing ad and a Trustpilot-branded one, and the Trustpilot ads out-performed the ads without Trustpilot content. 

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LendKey also uses Trustpilot reviews to establish its credibility for refi and private student loan products and enhance its email marketing strategy: Currently, when someone checks a rate for refinancing a student loan at LendKey’s website, they go into one of the company’s drip marketing campaigns and receive an email series. At email five or six, LendKey starts touting its excellent rating on Trustpilot to build trust with the person checking rates. 

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Importance of brand reputation

Eight years into their partnership, switching to Trustpilot continues to pay dividends for LendKey. Brand reputation is an important factor in the digital lending space; without trust, it's hard to see any meaningful customer conversion. The whole business is built on relationships—both with credit union partners and with the people taking out loans through those credit union partners. In a field where service is of the utmost importance, having that layer of trust that Trustpilot provides is key to LendKey’s success.

Curious to learn more? Contact us to book a demo with an expert to learn how Trustpilot can help your company.


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