Engaging with customers to answer queries, address account issues and improve general relations presents quite a few challenges, as well as opportunities, for banking institutions. With over a billion users on social media sites, banks can hardly ignore the huge potential this presents. Other industries are successfully using sites like Facebook and Twitter for customer service, which has led to a wellspring of positive public opinion since it demonstrates to existing and potential customers alike that they are “in tune” with their needs.
Although the number of banking consumers who presently utilize social media channels for customer service needs is minute at the moment, as banks begin harnessing the power of positive customer interactions on these types of sites, it’s expected that more customers will begin using them as a resource for everything from troubleshooting account problems to learning operating hours.
Here are just a few of the benefits we see for banks as social media continues to grow in popularity:
- It’s an ideal platform for healing relationships with less than satisfied customers. For customers who contact your company through Facebook or Twitter with a complaint, providing a quick and effective response ensures that the immediate problem is resolved, restoring faith in your bank (and perhaps even increasing it).
- It’s a cost effective solution in many ways. Customer service representatives responding to queries via social media channels will spend less time dealing with customers who can be directed to informational resources on the bank’s website. In addition, representatives may be able to assist multiple customers simultaneously. Social media platforms are also conducive to skills-based routing, meaning that the expert on a specific topic will be immediately tasked to address the need.
- It’s available 24/7. While traditional phone and personal customer interactions may be limited to certain hours or locations, a social media site that is properly staffed can address issues when it’s convenient for the customer. This heads off any undue stress or anxiety on the part of the customer, since they can get answers to their questions as they arise, instead of during set business hours.
- Social media engagement is often more honest than other types of customer interaction. Customers may be more willing to vent about seemingly insignificant or uncomfortable issues that they may avoid in a person-to-person conversation. This type of honest feedback is critical to improving customer service levels. Although some of the feedback may need to be filtered, recurring criticisms can be more easily recognized - and addressed.
- Helping a customer can shape public opinion. Customers who are engaged and assisted on social media sites may be willing to immediately voice their support for your bank. If your social media strategy is savvy enough, team members will be able to take those positive comments and use them to prop up your policies.