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Banks and Twitter – A Perfect Partnership


Banks and Twitter – A Perfect Partnership

Consumers who may be having difficulties resolving problems with their credit card issuer might not have to wait as long for the complaint to be resolved if they post it on Twitter.

Bank of America, CitiBank and Wells Fargo, are just three of the major banks who have launched accounts specifically for customer complaints on the popular social media website, where users can communicate through short messages of just 140 characters or less.

Christophe Langlois, the man responsible for tracking financial institutions social media use for Visible-Banking, stated that “Customer service is one of the most logical and valuable uses of Twitter”, and because of this credit card companies and banks are using Twitter to “change brand perception and reduce the volume of inbound calls to their customer care centers.”

Even though the concept may seem a little bizarre for the more traditional credit card user, it certainly seems to make sense, as when problems are aired in public there is a tendency towards them being resolved that much faster. Using Twitter to let people know you’re unhappy with a certain bank, card issuer or dealing with them, will typically result in the specific lender resolving the situation so that more positive publicity for the lender can be gleaned from it.

It takes an average of approximately 30 seconds to post a complaint on Twitter consisting of the full 140 characters, whereas some complaints made over the telephone can literally last for hours. Coupled with the fact that when people get positive results from Twitter, they are likely to post those too, and other Twitterers reading the posts will be more likely to follow suit with regard to their own problems or complaints.

American Express Vice President of Corporate Communication, Keri Buster, stated that “During a servicing interaction via Twitter, if a customer needs more detailed follow-up through a secure channel, that same customer care professional will stay with them through resolution, without transferring him or her to anyone else.”

The Twitter effect certainly seems to be catching on as more financial institutions, such as MasterCard, now use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to help keep complaints and unresolved issues to a minimum.

MasterCard’s senior business leader, Jim Issokson, says that “We’ve had to expand and monitor all these channels to make sure we appropriately engage when issues arise.” It also has the added effect of making the larger institutions more human and approachable.

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