The Power of Word of Mouth: Why We Trust Recommendations

In today’s digital age, where we are constantly bombarded with advertisements and promotional content, it can be difficult to know who to trust. That’s why word-of-mouth has become increasingly important. When a friend or family member recommends a product or service, we are more likely to trust their opinion and make a purchase.

According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising. Turns out, we are more likely to trust someone we have a connection with, rather than a faceless company or brand. Plus, we tend to believe our friends and family have our best interests at heart and wouldn’t recommend a product, service or company they did not truly believe in.

Unfortunately, the ability to tap into our personal network for insight and advice on more expensive purchases, such as a vehicle, or to obtain financial solutions, such as a personal loan, is often quite limited. How many of us can find more than a handful of people we know who bought a vehicle in the last year or two? How many of our friends and family discuss how, when and where they go for an emergency loan? This is when online reviews and customer service awards can help.  

“Online reviews help bridge the gap between a customer’s lack of knowledge and experience and their inability to access first-hand experience with a brand or product,” explains Romana King, Group Editor and personal finance expert at Finder. “By extension, when a company receives customer satisfaction recognition — either through an industry accolade or independent award campaign — it’s being recognized for consistently providing exceptional customer service.”

Why does customer service matter in the competitive lending market?

From a business perspective, customer service has a direct impact on the financial success of a business. According to a McKinsey & Company report, companies with experience-led growth strategies see a 20% to 30% increase in customer engagement and between 5% to 10% boost in profits. 

But what about from a customer’s point of view? 

“Canadians often look to get a personal loan when stressed and under financial strain,” explains King. “By working with a company that puts them first, customers have a greater chance of finding the right debt solution for their needs.” 

To help make it easier for Canadians looking for a personal or car loan, Finder launched the Customer Satisfaction Awards — a list of the best personal and car loan providers based on real customer feedback.  

“Working with a reputable lender that prioritizes customer needs is critical,” explains Adam Rice, CEO of LoanConnect. For the customer, it can be the difference between a  disappointing loan application process and finding the right debt management tool. “Because of our commitment to customer-focused solutions, our support team works hard to understand a customer’s needs before recommending the best solution — and sometimes that isn’t a loan.”

While that might sound like lost revenue, Rice considers these honest customer assessments integral to the LoanConnect business model — and the foundation of a customer-centric loan comparison platform.  

By putting the customer first, we become a trusted source, explains Rice. “This trust relationship is integral if you want to be the company that provides the right solutions throughout a client’s financial journey,” says Rice. Plus, there are added benefits — for both the consumer and the business. “By focusing on meeting customer needs, we dramatically reduce the risk of fraud while giving customers that ability to make better-informed borrowing decisions throughout various life stages.”

Most recommended for a reason 

It should come as no surprise that LoanConnect scored 82.22% in the Best-Rated Car Loan Comparison Platform category in the Finder: Car Loans Customer Satisfaction Awards and 81.25% in the Finder: Personal Loans Customer Satisfaction Awards’ Most Recommended list.

“Customer loyalty, and customer service, are paramount,” says Rice. “Our focus has always been customer-centric.”

This commitment to nurturing loyal customers means that more than 60% of LoanConnect’s business comes from repeat customers and word-of-mouth marketing — directly from friends and family of past customers or through online reviews. 

“Satisfied customers return for additional loans and other products and become our best ambassadors,” says Rice. 

Increased need to find the right loan

Like all comparison platforms, LoanConnect works with a network of lenders, and this allows customers a chance to review multiple loan offers after submitting one simplified loan application.  

“Customers come with a wide range of financial situations, so it’s important to find and offer the right loan products for their needs,” explains Rice. “We work to ensure our customers never see a loan offer they won’t qualify for while continually evaluating the Canadian lending landscape to find the most suitable loan options.”

This emphasis on finding the best debt solution is critical, explains King, given the significant increase in the cost of living that’s impacted almost all Canadians over the last year. 

While most Canadians understand the importance of finding a loan with the lowest interest rate or the most cost-effective fees, far fewer are aware of tools and strategies to help manage debt. 

While LoanConnect will consistently offer the most competitive rates and terms, Rice points out the additional tools customers receive. “Not only does our platform assist customers in finding viable loan options but provides educational resources that inform them about the nuances of financing. By bridging information gaps and presenting a wide range of choices, we empower customers to make informed decisions that align with their financial circumstances.”

Final thoughts

Debt is common with Canadians taking out loans to pay for higher education, purchase vehicles, as a downpayment on a home, and purchase consumer and household goods. However, with debt comes a level of stress that can exacerbate the strain on Canadians already struggling with the higher cost of living. By working with a loan search platform that puts the customer’s needs first, there is a much greater chance of finding the right loan product and partnering with a knowledgeable debt ally that can help guide you toward strategic financial decisions. The key is to rely on the experience of past customers — to seek out companies that value customer service. 

“Customer satisfaction awards help identify companies with a commitment to helping you,” says King, “and when it comes to managing your finances, you want to work with a firm committed to your well-being.”  

About Finder

Finder is a personal finance comparison site with a mission to help Canadians save, invest, spend wisely and grow their wealth. Each month, Finder provides half a million Canadians – and more than five million globally – with independent and trustworthy financial information. Our goal is to help people make better financial decisions by providing objective, comparative insight on thousands of products and services.

As a global fintech website and app, Finder provides consumers with free access to smart money content. Whether it’s expert insight, product or service comparisons or independent reviews, Finder helps consumers stay on top of their finances while saving time and money.

Finder is available to consumers in Canada, Australia, America and the United Kingdom. Initially launched in 2006 by three Australians – Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral – Finder’s global reach now includes thousands of products and services in hundreds of financial categories and provides expert content and independent reviews to more than five million users each month.

About the Author

Leanne Escobal is a seasoned financial marketer and publisher at Finder, boasting over eight years of industry expertise. Her impressive credentials include certifications in Canadian securities and personal lending from the Canadian Securities Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English literature and creative writing from Western University, showcasing her strong foundation in writing and finance. 

1 “Why Word of Mouth Trumps Traditional Advertising,” Business New Daily, October 23, 2023
2 “Experience-led growth: A new way to create value,” McKinsey & Company, March 23, 2023