How to Manage Social Customer Service in The Banking Industry

By: Sofie De Beule

July 29, 2016

Tags:
banking
customer experience
customer service agents
Finance
financial services
services
social customer service
social media presence

Social media is shaping the financial industry just as modern-day technology (e.g. online banking) for large banking corporations has disrupted the industry. In an industry that has many different touchpoints with customers, social media has become a key differentiator for delivering customer support. Financial services such as BNP Paribas Fortis are rethinking the way to manage social media as a channel for social customer service.

1. Centralize Your Social Media Presence

Many companies in the financial industry have adopted a decentralized approach to social media, and are now struggling to oversee their entire social media presence. With different teams across multiple, international locations, it’s key to create a single hub and centralize all aspects of social media such as monitoring your entire social media presence, engaging with your customers, and reporting on your activities. You must also share your efforts with the entire organization.

BNP Paribas Fortis takes the philosophy of streamlining your social media presence to heart. They have worked hard to make their social media strategy the heart of the company. Their central, dedicated social media team defines the company’s social strategy and defines best practices for the other teams using social media to use as an essential framework. Even though 8 different teams in the organization are responsible for social media, it’s the social media team who manages and owns their overall social customer service program.

2. Build A Well-Rounded Social Media Team

A bank typically offers a wide range of products (tailored towards different age groups) and has various areas of expertise. In some cases, they even offer insurance and other financial services. As a result, many customers from different demographics reach out with a variety of complex questions. That’s why it’s important to improve social collaboration and make sure first- and second-line social customer service agents and relevant departments are multi-skilled and engage in a language that resonates with customers.

Upskilling and ensuring colleagues are all social savvy is no secret to BNP Paribas Fortis’ social media team. For example, teams within the communications departments, as well as customer care agents and community managers for both retail and commercial banks, have been trained for their brand’s specific tone of voice. Community managers for “Hello bank!,”  their brand targeted to millennial customers, interact in a witty and fun tone of voice, whereas those from BNP Paribas Fortis communicate in a more direct tone.

3. Provide An End-to-End Customer Experience

Banking customers interact via many different channels and across many different touch points (e.g. website, mobile app, in-store, emails, etc.). It’s critical for brands to differentiate themselves from competition by providing a consistent experience across every touchpoint. When issues arise, it’s essential to identify them right away and pass them on to the right department. As social media picks up easily on customer issues or concerns, it’s the perfect customer service channel to help transform and optimize your business.

BNP Paribas Fortis has managed to create this kind of end-to-end experience via social media by reducing the number of social tools they use to streamline and reduce the complexity of their their social customer service processes. They now have a global overview of their social customer experience. For example, incoming customer queries and comments are automatically routed to the right stakeholder or department for immediate follow-up by the most knowledgeable person to respond.

We recently chatted with Aude Bonaert, the Head of Social Media at BNP Paribas Fortis, about her experience managing social customer service and her thoughts on the future of banking. Learn more how the company developed their social customer service program in our case study.


Sofie De Beule is Content Marketing Specialist at Clarabridge. She helps establish Clarabridge as a thought leader for Social Customer Service and Customer Experience. Sofie’s an Engagor expert,  Clarabridge’s best-in-class social customer service solution, inspiring brands on how to manage and get their social customer service program off the ground. Sofie holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations & International Marketing from Artevelde University College Ghent. Read more from Sofie on Twitter @sofiedbeule.

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