By Emma Fitzpatrick
Publishing consistently engaging content is crucial to your bank’s success on social media. But that’s only the start. Once you hit “post,” the flurry of likes and comments trickle in. And that’s when social media can truly become social. Then, the two-way conversation can begin.
Inevitability, though, a comment will soon pop up about a customer service need or negative experience. How should you handle this? What do your customers expect from you in this scenario?
Here’s the recent data on customer service on social media.
- For 34.5% of people, social media is their top choice for customer care. (2016 Sprout Social data)
- Of consumers between the ages of 18 and 29, 43% use social media to get answers to specific questions or get a problem resolved. Only 39% of those 30 to 49 use social this way—and 18% of those 50 and older did. (2013 J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study, SM)
- There has been an eight-fold increase in customer complaints made on social media since January 2014. (2015 Institute of Customer Service report)
- 87% of messages customers send to those in the banking/finance industry go unanswered. (2016 Sprout Social data)
- From 2013 to 2016, the percentage of people using social media for customer service dropped 7%. Why? The top three reasons were because it takes too long to address issues, there’s limited functionality and it’s not feasible for complex tasks. (2016 Consumer Experience report released by NICE Systems and the Boston Consulting Group)
What do your customers expect?
Expectation: When customers tweet you a question, 53% expect a response within 60 minutes. If it’s a complaint, that number rises to 72%, according to a Lithium Technologies study.
Reality: The leading retail brands respond on social in an average of 157 minutes, according to Brandwatch research. For those in the banking/finance industry, the average response time is 552 minutes.
Expectation: Customers want you to hear—and ideally solve—their problem. While responding to customer complaints and comments on social media is time-consuming, the research shows it pays off.
Reality: After receiving a response from a business on Twitter, consumers are 44% more likely to share their experiences and 30% more likely to recommend the business. Plus, these customers respond an entire point higher on customer satisfaction surveys, according to data from a 2015 Twitter study.
Expectation: Customers listen to you. They follow you on social (often on more than one platform) and actively engage with your content. Because they consistently listen and respond to your content, they expect the same common courtesy when they reach out to you.
Reality: Yet, those in the banking/finance industry send, on average, 31 promotional messages for every one response they give to their audience, according to 2016 Sprout Social data. The discrepancy in this industry is 35% higher than the average across all sectors. This is the worst ratio Sprout Social found in the last three years of data—and it shows a severely lopsided relationship.
Because of the many regulations within the banking industry, you should meet with your bank’s compliance team to talk specifics. If your bank is considering handling (or wants to better manage) customer service questions on social media, you should create a detailed strategy. Then, have your compliance team review this.
As you’d imagine, there are multiple steps you must take to safeguard your customer’s security while also properly monitoring content and recordkeeping.
To prepare yourself and your social team, consider reading the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council’s “Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidance.”
And remember! Banks of all sizes are already using social media for customer service. If you choose to go this route, you need to make sure to dot your i’s and cross t’s with your compliance team first.
Emma Fitzpatrick is a Philly-based freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social media marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain at email@example.com.
Online training in digital, mobile and social media from ABA.