Social media has always been a platform for companies to communicate directly with their consumers. This organically leads into social media being an online outlet for customer service, and with all the recent buzz around chatbots and AI, this has lead to more and more companies being interested in automated customer service. However, companies need to first understand the basics before they approach automated solutions.
Some credit unions are only dabbling in social media messaging, for now. They have a desire to use social media as a platform to engage members but are unsure of how to do so effectively. This can be due to any number of factors, such as a lack of manpower or a reluctance to communicate with members online, which can be fraught with dangers.
From spam to harassment, irate customers to the occasional internet “troll,” social media messaging is subject to all the traditional pitfalls of customer service with a few new dangers. Now companies have an audience watching their every move, and a misstep could result in a PR disaster.
On the flip side, a good social media team can cut customer service costs and enhance a credit union’s reputation. Consumers have grown used to being able to ask companies questions online, and having this outlet can ease frustrations. Moreover, it underscores a company’s professionalism and trustworthiness.
Priorities for social messaging should be choosing the right platforms, recognizing the importance of speed, delivering good communication and a consistent message, and knowing when to resolve issues offline.
If they haven’t already, credit unions need to start leveraging influencer networks to amplify their messages and draw in followers. Credit union marketers should identify the influencers who hold sway in their industry or community, but a common mistake is equating influencers with celebrities. This is often not the case.
Currently, there is a real focus on micro-influencers, those influential people on social media without the legions of followers and fans but who can still make an impact on their networks. For credit unions, micro-influencers can be far more important than celebrities who may not be as passionate or knowledgeable about how and where they bank.
Personal messaging on social media offers the promise of fast, direct engagement with members when they need it most. With a process and clear vision in place for this type of engagement, it can be a real asset to any size credit union.