As our use of social media grows, consumer expectations for real-time answers also seem to be growing. It doesn't stop there though. Indeed, the ramifications can run deep and wide, as a Harris Interactive survey found with these four critical client servicing facts:[1]

1. Eighty-nine percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience.

2. Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers tell someone about their good customer service experiences all of the time.[2]

3. Only 27 percent of companies deliver high-quality customer service, according to global customers.[3]

4. Seventy-five percent of global customers have spent more with a company with positive customer experiences – as much as 13 percent more on average, compared to the previous year.

That's right. While many consumers might stop doing business as a result of poor customer service, the flip side is that great social media care can translate into great feelings about the company – and more spending. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thought, “Yes, I'd pay more just to have someone pick up the phone (or my chat or e-mail request) more quickly so I can move on to the next thing on my list.” See Figure 28.4.


What holds the financial industry back from providing great customer care? There are a few hurdles – some obvious, others less so:

The Rewards of Great Service

FIGURE 28.4 The Rewards of Great Service

Source: American Express: 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer; Clickfox: 2012 Brand Loyalty Survey, 2012SurveyResults-BrandLoyalty.html.

■ The Big R (Regulations) – JPMorgan Chase's Bianca Buckridee, vice president of social media operations, says that while Twitter use is now very common among a lot of people, the regulatory environment adds an overlay. “To a lot of customers, Twitter is very natural,” she said at the Wharton Social Media Best Practices Conference.[4] “They might want to send a DM (direct message, which may include personal information). But in the banking industry, your legal and compliance team says, 'Uh-uh. The only thing we can take via direct message is name and zip code.' So we have to route them through other channels.”

Privacy – Schwab's Lindsay Tiles echoes these concerns about sharing identifying information over very public channels. The firm will use Twitter's direct message function, and if something requires an exchange of information, will attempt to move the dialogue to the telephone.

Not So Quick – Tiles also notes that immediate answers to customer problems are a big challenge. “Most interactions you have with clients in our industry require some context and some discussion to get the details,” she points out.

  • [1] Harris Interactive, “2011 Customer Experience Impact Report,” RightNow, January 10, 2012,
  • [2] “2012 Global Customer Service Barometer,” American Express.
  • [3] “2012 Global Consumer Pulse Research,” Accenture, November 19, 2012, Research-Study-2012-Key-Findings.pdf.
  • [4] “The Ignored Side of Social Media: Customer Service,” Knowledge@Wharton, January 2, 2014, media-customer-service.
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