Customer Service Quandary: Two-Thirds of Social Media Messages Ignored by Banks

Danielle Filippone
Senior Marketing Associate

Even pre-pandemic, it was clear that social media had assumed an essential, if not the most essential, role in banks’ customer service chain of command.

Your customers’ inquiries are no longer relegated to a 1-800 number or anonymous customerservice@ email address. Customers can tweet about their issue in a matter of seconds, tagging your brand for all to see. And as Sprout Social reports, most customers expect brands to respond to their message quickly.

According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index, 40% of consumers expect brands to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media, while 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours.

The data shows that most companies are not measuring up to these expectations. While banking and finance companies have better response rates compared to other industries, your peers are only responding to a mere 28% of social media inquiries received at all:

That leaves a lot of unanswered questions for customers and a big opportunity for banks to strengthen customer relationships. Given the sensitive information customers entrust with their bank, it makes sense that banks would want to get in touch as quickly as possible by any means necessary if something goes awry. Any frustrations on the part of customers may harm brand loyalty if they feel uncared for or ignored. As the article notes, “customers are significantly more likely to stick with a brand long-term when their service expectations are met.” And given the significant investment banks make in onboarding new customers, any risk of harming that loyalty should be addressed.

Sprout provides a list of recommendations for quickening social response times, including chatbots, consolidating inquiry channels and some of their own analysis tools to compare engagement response rates. We also wonder about internal responsibility for social channels traditionally, social media has been categorized as a marketing activity. But communications teams are starting to take a different shape as social media managers balance content and campaigns with customer service support.

With many of us bound to our homes due to COVID-19 — paired with a number of temporary and permanent branch closures — customer service via digital channels will only continue to grow for banks. If service and communications teams are siloed in your organization, as they often are, this is the time to integrate and create a unified front going into the service unknowns of 2021.

Read the full report from Sprout Social.

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Danielle Filippone
Senior Marketing Associate
Danielle.F@McGuffincg.com