Banks continue to increase their social media presence, especially on Twitter. But for all the talk of 24/7 omnichannel experiences, the number of institutions offering a genuine round the clock, real-time Twitter service to customers remains small. For
today’s social-media savvy customer, that simply isn’t good enough.
But things are changing. Nationwide, the UK-based building society, has become the first in the UK market to offer 24/7 Twitter support through ‘@AskNationwide’. This leaves other providers lagging behind. Even market challengers such as Metro bank have
yet to make their Twitter service 24/7.
Banks should look to other industries to see how Twitter is being used to communicate critical messages to customers in real time. National Rail is considered one of the best examples. It uses Twitter round the clock to communicate the impact on timetables
of weather and other incidents. This shows Twitter being used at its best to communicate proactively with customers rather than responsively which is so often the case with banks. Customers who mention National Rail directly can expect a real-time response
from the team managing the Twitter account.
Responding to incidents and communicating proactively to customers in real time is critical. Both RBS and TSB recently used Twitter to respond to customers who were suffering from ATM outage issues, for example. Some banks, including NAB and Wells Fargo,
have created ‘social media war rooms’ to respond to customer queries and communicate incidents that impact services. Although if an incident were to occur out of operational hours, how would banks communicate such issues in real-time?
Meanwhile banks actively promote other 24/7 digital channels via the web, phone and mobile. So why do so many limit their Twitter services, preventing the delivery of a true omnichannel customer experience? Such time-limited services not only leave customers
frustrated but also increase the risk of brand damage.
It’s all the more surprising when you look at the costs. From a bank’s perspective Twitter is a relatively inexpensive channel to operate. What’s more, Twitter is supported by low-cost analytics tools that help optimize reach, influence and follower counts.
Yet still banks are choosing to limit their social media presence.
In short, the demand for 24/7 Twitter support has never been greater and banks must be in a position to respond to customers in real time. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when - and the sooner the better.