Social customer care for retail banking


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Retail banks need to extend their customer service to every important channel, including social media. This paper describes a model through which banks can plan their social care strategy from concept to launch and elevate their customer engagement to new levels.

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Social customer care for retail banking

  1. 1. Social Customer Care for Retail Banking cognizant 20-20 insights | september 2013 Executive Summary Social media is fast becoming a significant game changer that is shaping the future of retail banking customer care. Customers, especially the younger demographic, are more comfortablethaneverbeforeininteractingand seekinghelpfrombanksoversocialchannels. However, the success of your social customer care will depend on a wide variety of factors such as scope definition, governance, organization setup, KPI definitions, etc. This paper makes the case for establishing social customer care in retail banking and elaborates on the required critical success factors. Social Media Adoption Patterns There is no doubt that social media has expanded the traditional boundaries of customer service. Consider the following trends: • Nearly one in three social care users use social media for customer service on a weekly basis.1 • Consumers that have positive social care experience are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand to others.2 • Consumers expect a rapid social care response – many within 30 minutes.3 • Shifting customers to social media channels is more cost-effective and produces higher satisfaction than traditional models – 35% of companies experienced a 10% reduction in support costs from implementing social care.4 The New-Age Contact Center for Retail Banking Contact centers have already experienced a sea change over the years. While retail banks have prioritized lowering cost-to-serve by integrating end-to-end customer service processes, they have also focused on improving customer retention through convenient, consistent, personalized service. Now they are witnessing an evolutionary shift whereby the contact centers are more efficiently integrating social media to build loyalty and enhance the customer experience. For decades, retail banks have encouraged customers to use contact centers to resolve any banking issue, because in-person customer interaction was getting increasingly expensive. However, in the wake of the social media revolution, customers are now less willing to make use of contact centers because of the hours of waiting and • Cognizant 20-20 Insights Retail banks need to extend their customer service to every important channel, including social media. This paper describes a model through which banks can plan their social care strategy from concept to launch and elevate their customer engagement to new levels.
  2. 2. automated responses. They are making their voices - and displeasure - heard via social media channels. The voice of customers today has an unprecedented reach. There are now more than 500 million Twitter users and more than one billion Facebook users. Thus, banks have no choice but to incorporate social media into their customer service strategy, so they can connect with consumers, increase the level of understanding and strengthen relationships. Social Customer Service Model (SCSM) People want a high level of engagement from the companies with which they do business. Even the best of what formerly passed for good customer service is no longer enough. You have to be a veritable “customer concierge,” doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated and heard. The fact is that 21% of the time customers ask for their customer service representative’s name5 which clearly indicates the customer’s preference for personalized service. In retail banking customer service, whenever the customer connects with a contact center a very high level of service is expected every time. Accessing bank accounts anywhere anytime, phone banking, ATMs, etc. are no longer considered innovations. While banks have introduced high levels of automation, with everything ranging from IVR to self-service platforms, it appears that personalized customer service is emerging as the true goal.6 Considering the above, we have come up with an interpersonal social interaction model (Figure 1) that builds on personalization – hence, greater social value and loyalty. When and How of Social Customer Care Enabling social customer care should be a well-planned journey with some thought given to defining the following key activities: Plan: This is a key step where you devise the social customer care strategy and define the scope to align it with the organization’s social and customer service strategies and goals. In addition, you will also define the organizational structure, social media guidelines (including compliance to regulatory requirements) and SLAs for social customer care Listen: An important step in setting up social customer care is to define the company’s listening strategy. A social media strategic listening program needs to be designed to cover all the key channels where there is active discussion about your company’s brands/products. Participate: It is important to answer questions around who manages the social queries. A social command center is a great means to listen and participate over social channels. Organizations can choose to have either dedicated agents who will service only over the social channel or blended agents who have access to and service for customers across media types. For example, a blended agent can answer incoming phone calls, answer support emails and also do chats. Evaluate and respond: An agent would analyze and evaluate all types of incoming queries and, if they cannot respond themselves, route them to relevant departments. Thereafter a two-way conversation can be initiated resulting in a higher engagement. It is important to ensure that the IT organization is fully involved in the company’s social media monitoring and participation practices. Figure 2 depicts the stages in social customer care and the activities within each stage. Setting up social customer care could be a challenge for organizations. In Figure 4, we present a framework for managing the social customer care setup. Enabling Social Customer Service How is “new age” customer service better than traditional customer service? What are the different social media techniques that enable new age service? cognizant 20-20 insights 2 Figure 1 Social Value Satisfaction with Contact Center Interpersonal Social Quality Loyalty to Retail Bank Social Customer Service Model
  3. 3. cognizant 20-20 insights 3 To answer these questions and more, we have classified the new type of services and their enablers into five broad groups (see Figure 3). Social Media Command Center The social media command center is a dedicated area where a company’s social media team can monitor and engage social conversation around their brand and market.7 The command center helps create order out of chaos. People at the command center can gauge the social health of their brand in a single glance. Steps to setting up the command center: • Define business goals and social strategy. • Establish a listening model. • Create a routing model. • Create a resolution model. • Establish social media policies and guidelines. • Create a system for social media crisis management. • Offer training. Plan Listen EvaluateParticipate Respond Process and Scope Definition Team Setup Other online content Web forums Social Media Channels World Wide Web Post updates and engaging content Join and Follow Create Social Pages and groups Create Social Profiles Attitude / Opinion Market Intelligence Respond to Brand Advocates Respond to Prospects Customer Service Request /Product Service enquiry “How to” related General Enquiries Account Related Share the appropriate Blog link Provide YouTube video link related to query Respond to Prospects Ask customer to share contact number When and How of Social Customer Care Figure 2 Proactive Visual Collaborative Personalized Anticipatory ENABLERS Proactive Listening “How-to” Videos Consumer-to- Consumer (C-to-C) Help Mobile/Facebook Apps Crowdsourcing Customer Feedback Listen out for mentions of your brand or business. Get creative to leverage the power of proactive listening. E.g.: Search for customers visiting a town/city send them a welcome tweet, with the locations of ATMs or branches. Create a repository of how-to videos on step-by-step process. Use video agents using Google Hangout. Create forums of your customers. Enable and encourage them to help each other. Use mobile apps preconfigured with dedicated hashtags for automation. So whenever a customer raises a request using that app, an automated response would be received by the customer without any hassle. Anticipate issues by listening to the customer’s feedback. Enable CSRs to be better equipped with the trending issues. E.g.: Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, the first social credit card to be designed and built through the power of community crowdsourcing. New Age Customer Service Figure 3
  4. 4. Agents While a social media command center will typically include clusters of social-only agents or “stand-alone agents,” it can also include “blended agents” who can reach out to customers across channels. Governance The governance body works on predefined SLAs and KPIs such as the following: • Bring social media policies and practices into compliance with regulations regarding product marketing, new account opening and all credit decisions. • Coordinate the bank’s social presence with supporting materials on traditional Web platforms. • Monitor the bank’s presence on the social Web. • Ensure that the IT organization is fully involved in the bank’s social media monitoring and participation practices. The governance and compliance team also has to follow the relevant regulatory bodies for financial institutions, i.e., CUNA and FINRA. Figure 5 offers a snapshot of CUNA and FINRA guidelines for the use of social media. cognizant 20-20 insights 4 Figure 4 Typical Social Customer Care Setup Other online content Web forums Social Media Market Intelligence Attitude, Opinions Customer Service Sales/Marketing Public Relations Reputation Management Reputation/Loyalty Response to Prospects Response to Advocates Social Media Command Center Listen Monitor Route/Respond Agents Blended Multi channels Stand Alone Social Only Governance(Compliance, Legal) Transforming Traditional Contact Centers for Social Customer Care Customers today are increasingly comfortable getting served via social media customer service. Let’s consider how we can reduce the number of inbound calls to a retail bank contact center using social media within a typical banking context. Inbound calls for a retail bank broadly fall into the following categories: • Account details modification. • Account transaction. • ATM/debit card. • Credit card. • Check. • Fixed/recurring deposit. • Internet/mobile banking • Statement. • Request status. • New service activation. • Complaints. These customer query/complaint types can be further grouped into four overarching categories:
  5. 5. •Maintain records (For business communications made via social media, even if only distributed internally, records must be kept.) •Supervise ( Before approving a social media site for use by your registered representatives, be sure that your representatives fully understand and will comply with the applicable rules regarding such communications.) •Careful When Posting3rd Party Links (You have to trust that your registered representatives can use their own judgment when determining if a 3rd party link is OK to post.) •Spot Check Your Data Feeds •Understand that “Suitability” Applies Social Media Regulations - Snapshot • Risk Management Program (To identify, measure, monitor, and control the risks relatedto social media.) • Reputation Management (Preparedness to address the potential for negative comments or complaints that may arise within all the social media platforms) • Oversight Process (For monitoring, information should be posted to proprietary social media sites administered by the banks.) • Employee Training for Social Media Usage (Policies and procedures for official, work-related use of social media, and potentially for other uses of social media, including defining impermissible activities.) • Disclosure of Privacy Policies as per GLBA • FCRA restrictions requirements when using Social Media Social Media Guidelines- Snapshot Governance Team Adheringto Regulatory Guidelines • Confidential or account-related questions: Transactions/queries that need some confidential information like the account number, ATM/credit card number, FD number, etc. that customers might not be comfortable sharing on an open forum. • General enquiries or feedback that is non-account- related: Enquiries on new service action, product/ service details, ATM location search, benefits of new account opening with bank, etc. • “How to” questions: Change login and profile password, get account summary/statements, modify demand draft and tax transaction limit, make third-party transfer, add/view billers, view online bill payments, request a new account/ checkbook, manage favorites, raise a ticket in customer care, etc. • Product/service enquiries and other general knowledge: Along with all other information enquiries, customer complaints would be the most important segment here. Based on business priorities, query types should be put into a matrix form that indicates what types of queries can be better handled through social customer care rather than traditional contact centers. Figure 6 offers a generic classification of query types that can be handled via social customer care. cognizant 20-20 insights 5 Query type Contact Center Social Customer Care Social Customer Care Medium Confidential or Account- Related Questions √ √ Twitter (direct message) General Non-account- Related Enquiries or Feedback x √ Twitter/Facebook/Blogs/ Forums “How to” Related Questions x √ YouTube/Facebook/Twitter Product/Service Enquiries and General Knowledge x √ Blogs/Twitter Figure 6 Preferred Social Media Channels by Query Type Regulatory Guidelines for Social Media Figure 5
  6. 6. Listen Participate Evaluate Plan Respond • Set up a dedicated Twitter handle. • Research on possible # tags to monitor. • Promote the twitter handle on bank website. • Track the tweets based on the handle and # tags • Encourage customers to post questions • Start participating in the conversation over social channels • Evaluate the mentions/interactions and classify them accordingly into service request, opinion, market intelligence etc. • Route the conversations to the respective teams • Concerned departments respond to the customers with resolution or with alternate steps • Direct message feature#(DM) can be used by banks to respond personally and to maintain confidentiality • Set up a Facebook page for customer service. • Create apps like one-on-one personalized chat; book your appointment with bank officer, • Monitor the Facebook posts on the page • Concerned departments respond to the customers with resolution or with alternate steps • This channel is good for general on-account-related and nonconfidential enquiries • Start a bank’s customer service dedicated blog • Encourage customers to share their views on products and services over the blog • Listen to blog posts across the Web • Use the social user interface to log in to Set up blog • This is a good medium to spread awareness and educate customers • Setup a YouTube channel • Create and upload all the “how to” related videos • Encourage customers to search the solutions over YouTube • Track the Youtube videos that customers are viewing • Proactively reach out to customers based on their browsing history • Respond to users’ comments on the videos • Set up a listening program by incorporating a social media • Track the bank-related keywords and understand what has been said over the Web • Proactive servicing • Sentiment analysis Figure 7 Challenges /Risks of Using Social Media in Customer Care Risks: Banks engaging in social media must confront challenging fundamental issues, such as how to balance responsiveness and regulatory compliance, how to handle private conversations in public places and how to effectively direct customers to information. Social media creates unique risks for banks, including the following: • Compliance risk. • Fraud risk. • Negative online reputation. Technology selection: Selecting the right technology for social customer care requires care and due diligence. The technology landscape must gel with the organization’s IT ecosystem. Reputation management: In today’s hypercompetitive world, most of the top banks – e.g., Bank of America and Wells Fargo - have become present on Twitter (and other social channels) with the help of a dedicated social customer service team. In this arena, banks’ reputations are directly proportional to their response-rate effectiveness. A bank needs to have an expert reputation management team in place, to constantly monitor, evaluate and manage the organization’s reputation. Ownership: Customers usually end up talking to several department reps while using multiple channels of communications like e-mail, phone call, Tweeting, etc. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction and a very high probability of customers switching banks. To resolve this challenge, we recommend establishing a social command center. Commonwealth Bank Australia has created a social command center-based mobile app by which a customer can either talk or Twitter chat with the same individual with whom he/she spoke earlier. Sample Social Customer Care Landscape cognizant 20-20 insights 6 Figure 7 provides a high level representation of the key processes, tools and actions to be performed while implementing social customer care.
  7. 7. Best Practices to Maximize Benefits of Social Customer Care • Launch a quality assurance process: The quality assurance team should be scoring each engagement. The items outlined in Figure 8 need to be analyzed when reviewing each post and agent response. • Track, report and measure success: Figure 9 provides a list of some of the social customer care KPIs for a social customer care setup. Based on individual scenarios the KPI list can be modified or augmented. Figure 8 cognizant 20-20 insights 7 Greeting • Be transparent and introduce as the official customer service team for the Bank, And jump into and address issue based on the forum and tone of the customer Body • Offer an apology to customer for inconvenience and sincerely display empathy that was recognized by the customer and update CRM Closing • Resolve the issue and close Guidelines for Social Channel Interaction Social Customer Care KPIs KPI Definition Calculation Tangible/Intangible Amplification How likely an individual is to re-tweet or repost. Quantitative score from Twitter and similar services on social networks. Tangible Response Rate Response rate -- by team and advocate. % of number of responses/number of posts. Tangible Service Level The % of incoming posts that an agent answers in a predefined amount of time. SL = (Σ posts responded within threshold time) / (Σ posts answered)* 100 Tangible Abandon Rate The % of posts never responded to or looked at by the social team during a predefined interval of time. AR = (Σ posts not responded to / Relevant Volume)* 100 Tangible First Post (Tweet) Resolution The % of posts resolved in a social media channel on first response. FPR = Calculated via a customer survey. Tangible Quality of Response Measure of the quality of an agent’s written communication. QoR = Calculated via quality assurance and customer survey. Intangible
  8. 8. Figure 9 Benefits The important benefits of social customer care include: • Lowered costs of customer service. • Increased customer connection and the potential for brand advocacy. • Quickened response to customers, leading to enhanced customer experience. • Increased customer loyalty. Target Market Retail banking customers across the U.S., Europe and APAC that are looking to leverage the power of social media to service their customers and to fulfill their customer care priorities. Audience Retail banking CIOs, social media managers, customer care owners, I/T managers, chief social media officers. Summary While it is imperative to adopt social customer care in retail banking, it needs to be implemented and deployed strategically. A slew of factors can affect and define the social customer care roadmap. Our social customer care assessment helps the customer realize their strategy from concept to launch. Our assessment can help the retail bank arrive at the right balance of social customer care vis-à-vis the other customer service channels. Enterprises have much to learn about using social media effectively. Here are a few recommendations that are becoming industry best practices: • All customer-facing and policy-setting groups should work together to build an inbound and outbound social media strategy. • Establish a formal program for handling social media interactions, and staff it appropriately. • Identify and measure a bank’s responsiveness to social media interactions, to ensure the maximum satisfaction level of customers, prospects and the public. • Train the team that handles social media interactions. • Evaluate the impact of social media on a bank’s contact center so that necessary changes can be accommodated while increasing the use of these channels. • Adhere to banking and financial compliance and regulations. Banks need to develop a true social servicing strategy in which all department roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. cognizant 20-20 insights 8 Redirect Rate The % of responses that redirect customers to a private conversation such as chat or voice. RDR = Should be calculated automatically via social customer care technology platform metrics; if not, then calculated by comparing the incoming channel vs. outgoing channel for all the posts during an interval. Tangible Customer Loyalty The success rate of retaining the existing customers. This can be calculated based on repeat buying behavior of existing customers. Intangible Positive Sentiment/ Complaint Count The % of positive comments and complaints out of total mentions. This can be calculated using a social media monitoring tool like Radian6. Tangible
  9. 9. World Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Phone: +1 201 801 0233 Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Email: European Headquarters 1 Kingdom Street Paddington Central London W2 6BD Phone: +44 207 297 7600 Fax: +44 207 121 0102 Email: India Operations Headquarters #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Chennai, 600 096 India Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: ­­© Copyright 2013, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. About Cognizant Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 delivery centers worldwide and approximately 164,300 employees as of June 30, 2013, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the SP 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. Footnotes 1 2 NM incite Social Care Survey 2012 (panel data provided by Nielsen, n-2000 U.S. social media users) 3 Oracle Global Survey, Q4 2011, n=3111 4 MGI Web 2.0 survey (2011) 5 6 7 About the Authors Govind Seshadri is a Partner and Offshore Head of Cognizant Business Consulting’s Customer Solutions Practice. He can be reached at Prashant Ramars is a Senior CRM Consultant with CBC’s Customer Solutions Practice. He can be reached at Anil Jangra is a Social Media Analyst within CBC’s Customer Solutions Practice.He can be reached at