People expect certain businesses to be available 24/7 and especially their customer service departments. Many banks offer customer service phone lines for 24-hour support, but more and more are turning to a new medium – social media.
These social media platforms, specifically Twitter and Facebook, are becoming a permanent outlet for customer interaction. As digital banking continues to disrupt the financial industry, traditional banks and credit card companies are wise to get more involved in this form of communication.
In the recent Huffington Post piece “How Social Media Is Shaping Financial Services,” Lenddo Limited CEO Richard Eldridge offers several examples of financial organizations that have used social media to interact with their customers appropriately and effectively.
In addition to customer service, banks are discovering that there are also profound marketing opportunities. As other industries are finding, social media can’t be an afterthought in marketing anymore; it must be an important part of the overall marketing strategy.
American Express is a great example of this. The credit card giant recently rolled out an award-winning social media driver with Facebook and Foursquare apps that allow customers to receive deals based on their check-ins and activity. They’ve also done a Twitter promotion, in which card members could tweet a hashtag to buy specially-priced American Express Gift Cards and popular products like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Xbox 360, Sony Action Cam, and many more. Both initiatives were met with great success.
This trend isn’t limited to American financial institutions, either. In Turkey, DenizBank has been offering banking services through Facebook since 2012. Specifically, DenizBank customers can check funds, wire money and manage their money through Facebook.
The biggest hurdle for financial institutions using social media has to do with privacy and security risks. Banks using social media are implementing sophisticated policies to ensure their customers – and the bank itself – are protected. As the industry develops, they will undoubtedly become more regulated.
Right now, however, there is no doubt that social media has a big impact on customers’ decisions today. Whether they have a question, complaint or want more information on a product/service, they are not just picking up the phone anymore or stopping in a business location. Now, banks and insurance companies have a chance to build their social media platforms and engage potential and current customers online.