Banks and Social Media: The Customer’s View

March 21st, 2014

What do real customers say about what they expect from their bank on Facebook or other social media sites?

We simply asked them. 

The quotes you'll find throughout this article are from a series of “man on the street” style marketing research videos recorded by StrategyCorps in Nashville, Tennessee. The people who participated in this research were asked questions about how banking fits in with their lifestyles, one prominent topic being social media. 

The answers can help shape not only your social media strategy but your bank’s entire customer connection strategy. 

What customers have to say

If I’ve gotten really good service from somebody, I’m going to actually care about going to their Facebook page.

Facebook is simply an extension of your bank’s customer service personality. That's why companies that are best at customer service are also naturally best at Facebook. They’ve given customers a reason to care about them.

By making customers fall in love with your service, they'll fall in love with your bank. That's where social media connections start, word of mouth takes off and loyalty to you beats out other competition.

I don’t look for my bank on Facebook ever, and I don’t associate those two things.

Think about the people you follow on your personal Facebook account. You have an interest in those people and what they’re up to. You care about what they care about. 

It’s the same for a customer choosing to interact with you on Facebook. What has your bank done to make that customer have an interest in you? How have you added some type of value to their lives? How are you connecting with other things they like?

By providing services that are appealing to their current behaviors, your bank becomes more and more relevant in their everyday lives.

If there was a clear deal or a clear bonus to giving them my attention or time, then yeah I’ll do it.

But...

If it’s an advertisement, I don’t ever really pay attention to those.

Customers say that to connect with you on Facebook, they want to see what you can offer them, but they also say it’s equally important to not be bombarded with only promotional and advertising content. Some customers won’t look at it at all.

Smart retailers know that using social media to promote products is a necessary outlet today, but where banks have an advantage over the average retailer is with their opportunity to use non-promotional content, the type of content that simply celebrates people.

This is where you can share real stories of the relationships you have with your customers. Good customer service stories on social media can be infectious, and you can use them to prove that you really do put customers first.

They’re out supporting this artist, or they’re out supporting this event… I don’t mind seeing success, like if they’re doing something great.

Customers like to see when banks connect with other things they care about.

Use Facebook to let them know what you’re doing in the community. Help spread the word about a local business or charity. Brag about the positive things happening in your area and the people that make it great.

Share customer stories, like how your loan helped the young family buy a first home or how you helped someone set a goal and save money. You're still advertising your products here but doing it in a much more personal way.

Spotlight your employees and share a story of what someone did recently to take care of a customer. Despite all the investments we make in technology, lots of customers still define their relationship with you based on the people they interact with in the branches. Let your employees’ stories be the voice of your bank in social media too.

Some people may not check anything from their bank regularly, but people are on social media all the time.

Facebook is now one of the key ways to communicate with customers, but getting them to make the first connection starts with teaching them to care about you.

Provide exceptional customer service to make people want to see you on Facebook. Continue to promote your products, but post non-promotional stories even more. Remember to talk to your customers regularly to learn what they enjoy hearing from you on social media.

For more topics in this customer research series, including mobile banking habits, trust in banks, digital vs. branch interaction and more, visit strategycorps.com/idea/thepeoplebehindthestats.

saxton

Sicily Axton is the communications manager for StrategyCorps, a Nashville-based company that works with financial institutions nationwide to deliver mobile and online consumer checking solutions that enhance customer engagement and increase fee income. Follow Sicily on Twitter and LinkedIn.