Customer Services channel: Banks need to be social

How are today's financial institutions making use of social media to enhance their customer experience?

Social Media and its role in financial customer services

“Let’s check in on Facebook!” How many times have you heard this?

Every day we are surrounded by social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn among many others. We are social butterflies yearning for a connection; interaction and warmth. Now social media has become an important way of building relationships both with people and business.

“No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine.”

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions – John Donne

We could say we miss the real interaction with people, we miss the time spent together rather than spending time with phones, cameras, but we have to accept that this is globalisation.

In light of this, I have begun to wonder how should financial institutions use social media?

Social media is a perfect way to engage with people and create a community where each individual could feel accepted.

This is the Tesco’s innovative social media strategy: Customer Service first. Data shows that Tesco became a leader in Twitter for customer service last year winning the CCA Excellence Award for Best Use of Social Media.

With 188,000 followers, 31,300 following and 588,000 tweets, Tesco is one of the companies that provides the quickest answers (response rate of 65.88%) to customers’ questions.

What does this mean?

This means Tesco is not afraid to be open, transparent and honest with their customers, it wants to create engagement, reach each customer and take care of him, because every single person is important.

Banks in UK are following this path. In 2013, research showed that the financial services industry had become the most “socially devoted” business sector: banks in the UK have embraced social media with open arms. As we can see, they are involving employees, they are implementing the service responding quickly and on time to questions and maintaining a dialog with people.

Being looked after via social media

My bank is Barclays and I appreciate the way they take care of me, their customer, via social media; the way they update me about news and apps, they show me their availability and warmth. Especially with the Barclays Digital Eagles, the new service to help people with digital services. Barclays is showing they are constantly on top, considering the client as the priority and trying to take care of customers by anticipating their needs and desires. Last but not least, I like when Barclays apologizes for a mistake, not all the companies do this and values like honesty and humility are always appreciated.

Banks in UK are building their customer strategy based on social media: adding, following clients, creating connections and making customers feel important.

Offering a branch service on the internet

Banks are aware they are operating with customers’ support, so they want to provide them with something more than just a basic service: what they are able to offer in branch, they can now offer via social media avoiding transaction fees and other additional costs, saving both banks and customers’ time and money.

There are many companies that understand the importance of social media and are applying the possibility to make payments via them. For example, Turkey’s DenizBank was the first bank to offer customers access to accounts via Facebook.

In UK it seems that banks are taking advantage of social media! What do you think?