HSBC tops UK bank social media customer service table

HSBC tops UK bank social media customer service table

HSBC is Britain's most engaged bank on social media, using the likes of Twitter and Facebook to provide prompt customer service, according to research from IMGroup.

IMGroup trawled the Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts of the UK's 10 biggest banks, ranking them on how each platform is used for customer service.

HSBC tops the table, with 27 points out of 40, followed by Barclays on 22 points and RBS on 21. Bank of Scotland manages just six points, Tesco Bank one point and The Co-op zero.

On Twitter, HSBC pumps out an average of 68 tweets a day, responding to 85% of queries and averaging a response time of just 30 minutes, far faster than the worldwide finance industry average of six and half hours.

Last year the bank developed a dedicated social media monitoring team in the wake of a major IT outage which convinced management of the huge reputational risk of not taking a proactive approach to interacting with customers online.

In contrast to HSBC, Nationwide takes more than seven hours to reply to customers on Twitter and the Co-op, despite having an account, does not even tweet.

HSBC also scores well on Facebook, where it responds to all questions promptly. Barclays has 294,000 'likes' - three times as many as HSBC and responds to the vast majority of questions but is let down by its slowness, letting an average of 11 hours elapse before getting back to customers.

Both banks, along with Santander, the Co-op and Tesco have open pages while Lloyds TSB, Halifax, RBS, Nationwide and Bank of Scotland have closed pages.

All banks have a presence on LinkedIn but many pages appear to be dormant or used for recruitment purposes - only Bank of Scotland and Nationwide use it to provide customer service.

Similarly, only a few banks have a relevant Google+ presence - including Barclays, HSBC and Nationwide - and none is currently publicly engaging in customer service or responding to queries on the platform.

John Brookmyre, head, capital markets, IMGroup, says: "With two thirds of the UK population now on Facebook and almost one third on Twitter, social media is an obvious platform for companies to engage with their customers and gain valuable insights from a customer's social data."

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