Create a strong online presence for your financial firm by wisely using social media as a customer support channel.
While other B2C firms, especially those who are in the retail sector, were quick to establish a social media presence, the financial services industry lags behind. Mostly, it’s because they abide by a stricter set of regulations that limit the way they can communicate with the public.
The challenge that these institutions face is devising social media marketing and online customer support strategies that are in harmony with their regulatory framework. This requires delicate balance, especially as financial firms are burdened with the need to keep customer information secure and confidential. At the same time, however, the responsibility to provide high-quality services for clients also rests upon their shoulders. This means that they need to open new, tech-based avenues for customer transactions, one of which is social media.
Follow these five tips to ensure that your social strategy will be a success.
1. Know the industry policies by heart.
The mandates that you’re operating under must serve as the main guiding principles for your social customer support strategy. These policies can affect your response times to queries raised by customers and may limit the amount of information you can relay to them. You need to prepare for these instances, because they may compromise the customer experience.
There’s a bunch of laws you must adhere to: domestic and foreign privacy policies, information retention, payment methods (especially online), labor-related concerns, and industry requirements. It’s important to have a data backup mechanism so all details produced and transferred through social media will be recorded in a retrievable electronic format.
2. Start with goal-setting.
Once you’ve compiled and reviewed the regulations you must observe, the next step is goal setting. Often, when companies take their services online, they have three objectives: first, to provide a customer support channel; second, to boost social media marketing; and third, to make more sales. You can do all these three through the social platform of your choice, but it’s important to identify specific goals. They will serve as the benchmark from which you could measure your progress later on.
It goes without saying that your team—whether they’re outsourced or not—must be fully knowledgeable about your organization, the services you offer, and the policies you abide by. You must make sure that they’re well-trained and capable of carrying out their respective tasks. Those who provide customer service must be able to explain not just technical concepts but also some confusing policies.
But aside from having a competent team of agents, you may also use social media to educate your customers. Tell them about what you offer and the measures you’re taking to keep their information safe. You can veer away from the traditional, overly formal communication style typical in the financial services sector. Instead, you may use colorful illustrations and other visual materials to create a more fun atmosphere.
4. Listen and learn from your customers.
Social platforms are well-loved by consumers because these tools give them the opportunity to make their voice heard. Regardless of what industry you’re in, the biggest mistake you can make is to take your customers’ insights for granted. Instead, you should listen to your customers and put their feedback at the center of decision making.
5. Engage with care.
The reason why customers now prefer online customer support channels is that it’s a shortcut to bureaucratic procedures that often require a lot of effort. Social media sites enable brands to directly connect with their clients without delay, and your customers expect this at all times. So even if you can’t resolve a complaint right away, the most important thing to do is to acknowledge the customer. Let them know that you’ve heard their voice and that you’ll try to resolve their issues as quickly as you can. Generously explain what’s causing the delay, especially if there are company policies involved.
Although social platforms are far from being a catch-all customer service solution, the efficiency they provide will greatly empower those in the financial services industry. As channels that promote collaboration, social tools accelerate information exchange and strengthens the relationship between brands and customers.