Banks Experiment with Customer Service on Social Media Platforms

Jan 10, 2012

Banks Experiment with Customer Service on Social Media Platforms


Javelin’s Report Delves into How Financial Institutions Can Use Twitter as a Successful Customer
Service Channel

San Francisco, CA, January 10, 2012 – Javelin Strategy & Research’s (www.javelinstrategy.com) latest report investigates consumer personal finance behaviors toward social media, including two groundbreaking case studies of three trail-blazing financial institutions (FIs) that are taking the conversation to the consumer on Twitter. While most Americans are resistant to mixing social media and personal finances, a new trend is emerging: one in ten consumers are comfortable using social media sites to review or check account balances. Javelin presents key recommendations on how FIs can develop effective strategies to engage consumers through social media, while addressing privacy and security concerns.

Throughout the weeks of vocal protest spanning Bank of America’s announcement and retraction of $5 debit card
fees, Bank Transfer Day, and Occupy Wall Street protests, Twitter volume jumped threefold at the customer service “handles” at these three banks: Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. Citi appeared to be doing the best job of providing direct answers to consumers’ questions via Twitter and was able to resolve 36% of its conversations within Twitter.  Confusion ensued as consumers were unsure which handles to access and too often received no response at all.

“As FIs begin to participate in social media channels they need to be prepared to allocate sufficient resources
to address and resolve consumer issues,” said Mark Schwanhausser, Senior Analyst, Multichannel Financial Services. “Other FIs can take a cue from trailblazers like Citi, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo and start
with the basics of branding and educating consumers through Twitter and other
social media platforms.”

“Social media is the next frontier for the FI and consumer relationship,” said James Van Dyke, President, Javelin. “FIs that seek to capitalize on social media should target the most open-minded customers first: Core Millennials (college-age consumers), Moneyhawks (active users of online banking, FI bill pay and mobile banking), Asians, Latinos, and African Americans. We’ve created a set of step-by-step recommendations that will help FIs interact effectively with consumers through social media, including how to balance responsiveness and regulatory compliance, how to handle private conversations in public places, and many other decisions.”

Javelin’s Banking and Social Media: Easy to Say, Hard to Do report is based on an evaluation of 5,489 Twitter
responses from FIs over the seven-week period from September 20 to November 10, 2011, an examination of 300 full Twitter conversations between FIs and consumers on November 28, 2011 (aka Cyber Monday), and survey data collected online from more than 5,102 consumers.

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About Javelin Strategy & Research

Javelin Strategy & Research is the leading provider of quantitative and qualitative research focused on the global financial services industry. Our extensive quantitative data and deep analyst experience enable us to forecast the direction of the financial services market and make recommendations that empower you and your business to succeed.

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