|Twitter seen as successful customer service channel|
While most Americans remain resistant to mixing social media and personal finances, this may be changing. A recent study found that one in ten consumers are comfortable using social media sites to review or check account balances. Javelin Strategy & Research’s latest report investigates consumer personal finance behaviors toward social media.
For example, 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 financial institutions begin to participate in social media channels they need to be prepared to allocate sufficient resources to address and resolve consumer issues,” says Mark Schwanhausser, senior analyst, Multichannel Financial Services. “Other financial institutions 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 financial institution and consumer relationship,” says James Van Dyke, president, Javelin. “Financial institutions 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, billpay and mobile banking), Asians, Latinos, and African Americans.”
Javelin’s report is based on an evaluation of 5,489 Twitter responses from financial institutions over the seven-week period from Sept. 20 to Nov. 10, 2011, an examination of 300 full Twitter conversations between financial institutions and consumers on Nov. 28, 2011 (aka Cyber Monday), and survey data collected online from more than 5,102 consumers.
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