CIO Symmetry

Jan 16 2012   10:25AM GMT

Banks on Twitter? Don’t bank on it

Scot Petersen Scot Petersen Profile: Scot Petersen

Recently, I was with my son to open an account at the local branch of my once mighty but now struggling Mega Bank. The customer service rep ran through the “product” options we had for creating his account and linking it to our main accounts. This product was free but required a minimum balance, or this product didn’t require a minimum balance but was not free. And so on.

These products used to be called services back in the day, when banks made enough money on their own investments that they didn’t have to wring every last nickel out of their customers in order to stay solvent.

But since when did banks ever really “get it?” Their latest foray into the real world is with Twitter. I’m not sure about you, but banking and health care are the two areas where customers should avoid communicating through Twitter. Data privacy and effective communication would be the first reasons to avoid it. As it turns out, a research firm recently looked at banks on Twitter and concluded that the social media platform is not a good tool for customer service.

One comment on the New York Times story summed it up best: “Or, perhaps banks just struggle to help customers. Scripted responses, failure to listen and trouble getting customers to the right people to help them are all standard when dealing with banks — face-to-face, phone, email, website — Twitter is just the newest arena for failure.”

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