C Finance’s short-term loan service Meddelandelån Sverige has achieved a reputation with a 9.2 TrustScore and five-star rating. With Trustpilot, their conversion rates have also increased, meaning more revenue with more trust.
Now the team are looking to change the negative outlook on the entire online loan industry too.
We sat down with Ville Kymäläinen, Marketing Manager of C Finance, to find out what's behind their success.
What first attracted you to Trustpilot?
“We’ve got a long history, starting back in 2006 with our Meddelandelån.se [in Swedish SMSlån] service which offers short-term loans that are quick and easy to apply for.
“Since 2006 we’ve got great feedback from our customers, saying how reliable we are and praising how easy our service is.
“We wanted a way to incorporate customer feedback into our marketing - not just to show how well we treat our customers, but to show that payday loan companies can be trusted.
“We saw how strong Trustpilot is technically with widgets to display our reviews, and just how easy it is to set up. So we joined in 2014, despite some worries what people might say about us.”
Were your worries realised?
“Actually not at all. What happened was that we saw the positive customer reviews we had been getting in our customer satisfaction surveys being replicated online.
“With this, we automatically started distinguishing ourselves from lenders in the same segment in Sweden. We started building social proof of the service we offer by showing that we are trusted.”
How did online reviews change your business?
"Previously we received quite a lot of negative feedback towards our ads, on Facebook for example, with people saying we were fake or untrustworthy.
"The media too has been bashing the short-term loan industry for a while and their arguments sit deep with some people.
"Therefore it was important for us to increase the trustworthiness of our service with transparent and legitimate customer reviews. Trustpilot gives us a possibility to show what the users actually think."
What are the results of your renewed reputation?
“Our hypothesis, when incorporating Trustpilot on our website, was that potential customers would trust us more and hence they would be more willing to start the loan application process.
“We wanted to get accurate data regarding our website, so we decided to do an A/B test. We showed our original homepage design to 50% of our visitors and to the other half we showed a new design with Trustpilot reviews being shown above the fold [see image below].
Figure 1: Meddelandelån.se homepage control and variation
“The variation of our homepage with Trustpilot [the homepage design with reviews being shown above the fold] increased the conversion rate on average by 8.04%.
“This is not a huge increase but it should still in theory increase our yearly revenue by approximately €192,000 ($209,000) if all factors in the business remain the same as now.”
How have your competitors reacted?
"We now stand out above many of our competitors because of the social proof through online reviews. Traffic that comes to us converts into loan applications on average at 35%.
"But we actually encourage our competitors to join Trustpilot. We enjoy competition and it pushes us to do better in the future as well. If our direct competitors collect online reviews, it shows that there are companies which can be trusted. Slowly, those who cannot be trusted are identified and avoided.
"We don’t see that there is a reason to stay away from Trustpilot unless you’re hiding something, since it’s very easy to implement.”
What are your future plans with Trustpilot?
"We now have almost 1,100 reviews and we want that number to increase. The more feedback we have, the better service we can provide, and the more trusted we become. It benefits our customers and us as a company.
"The TrustBox designs really suit our site, so we're going to keep working with them and adding more where we see them fit well.
"We will also continue A/B testing to see exactly what impact Trustpilot reviews have. This will include A/B testing on our new product, Flexlimit.se. We're confident that reviews there will have great results."
Would you recommend Trustpilot?
"We totally recommend Trustpilot due to its easy implementation, increased conversion rate and added social proof. In this industry, you have to be trusted and transparent. You have to show you're reliable. Trustpilot gives us the opportunity to do that."