Hi – Thanks for the great welcome - Today we have 90 minutes to spend together talking about participatory culture, customer service and taking your social media efforts to the next level. The format is this: I’m going to go over some details about what sociologists call our “Participatory Culture.” I will show you examples of how people are sharing communications today and explain what this means for businesses relating to their customers.I will:1. Define participatory culture and its impact on banks2. Discuss ways banks can adapt from push to pull communication (and what that means)3. Share 6 participatory principles for today’s banksAnd along the way, I’ll be sharing examples with you from all kinds of businesses and how they are winning or losing at communicating with today’s culture.
A great example of this is looking at the prevalence of user-generated content on YouTube. Here is an example of your average customer who received bad customer service at a McDonalds and decided to share it with everyone. That this video has 65,942 views is telling. Who knows what the other side of the story is? No one who watches *this* video. There is a reason that more and more people are moving to social media to complain and that is because their voices aren’t being lost in asking to speak to a manager. Instead they are able to vent to an untold number of people with the perceived vindication that they are making things right. This is the importance of monitoring and knowing how to engage your audience using social media. If someone posted a video like this today, how long would it take for you to find out? Would you hear about it before 65,000 other people did first? And how would you respond? Let’s talk a little more about working with a participatory culture…
Really quick, I wanted to make sure we are all pulling from the same context. In our previous webinar, “Who What When How and Wow: Social Media for Bankers from A to Z,” we discussed the vocabulary of social media and determined that organizations need a type of dashboard to monitor activity, how to set such a dashboard up, and the first steps in creating a social media plan for any size of bank – to review, those steps are to:Identify where you are in Social Media MaturityRemember the Three Musts: Monitoring, Planning, PolicyFocus on one area at a time, starting with monitoringTo Identify POST Goals for Social Media – The people, objectives, strategies, and tools for your planIdentify time allotted to social media developmentReview findings by end of the quarter, assess, and benchmark successToday we are building on those steps by exploring the Participatory Culture and examining how to use its characteristics to your benefit while following the steps we discussed. Are you ready for more?
As social media use has become ubiquitous, industries have been hard at work determining how to best take advantage of thesesocial network communities. With Facebook at over 500 million active users, Twitter processing over 155 million tweets per day and LinkedIn with over 100 million registered professionals, it is no wonder organizations are looking for ways to leverage what social networks bring - people. This example shows why having a presence on social media that is monitored to use for customer service is so important. In this participatory culture, people take the reviews of friends and peers seriously. Now, this is a CitiBank example which has poured money and resources into their online social media presence and customer service by hiring Frank Eliason, better known as the guy who turned around Comcasts poor customer service image. But you don’t have to be CitiBank to have this effect…
If you do a simple search on Twitter for the words “best bank ever” you will see that any bank that provides good customer service online can be the recipient of public acknowledgement for their good works. This is the reality of the participatory culture. These types of exchanges are happening EVERY DAY. Is your bank ready?Let’s go over today’s THREE KEY POINTS that you should take with you…
First, we want to define participatory culture and explain its impact on banks. I think we’ve covered participatory culture as far as definition is concerned: As businesses increasingly recruit participatory practices and resources to market goods and services, consumers – our clients and members - who are comfortable working within participatory media are at a distinct advantage over those who are less comfortable. The little old lady who still withdraws cash from the bank window may not want to use ATMs and will definitely not be the one who will post of her positive experience on YouTube. Not only do consumers who are resistant to making use of the affordances of participatory culture have decreased access to knowledge, goods, and services, but they are less likely to take advantage of the increased leverage inherent in engaging with businesses as a prosumer. [professional or producer-consumer]All of that boils down to this: we don’t want to ONLY concentrate our efforts on social media and tech. We need to acknowledge that while the culture around us is changing, that diversity in our customers and their tech savviness will remain. The numbers say we need to be sure to recognize the participatory culture as it is large and growing. But we don’t want to forget about the people who choose to avoid the new technologies, which touches on the topic of the digital divide…a serious issue for everyone today.
The 2nd learning we need to takeaway from today is how we, as businesses, transition from simply pushing out information and move into a pulling kind of communication – which sounds a lot like active engagement and dialogue to most people. Different industries lean towards different types of communication: For example, a quick stop at a convenience store (that typically uses a pull communication strategy) on the way to work would not require much in the way of customer service and only an extremely good or bad service would move the average consumer to voice their feelings. On the other hand, at a mobile provider’s store (that typically uses a push communication strategy) they would expect to have the advisor’s full attention and receive the appropriate amount of information. The customer’s expectations shape the experience and the eventual feedback. A great tip is to Ask for feedback in online and social spaces and to promote that you are doing this: Customers are often pleased when a business proactively seeks feedback. That may occasionally improve a customer’s perceptions and sentiment or feeling toward the company by itself and lead to better customer service promoting. What we’ve seen with banks successfully using social media, is that as long as you have someone monitoring your presence (which at minimum for a smaller bank could take 30 minutes a day for one person and maximum, for a large bank or group of banks could be a whole team’s job), you can generate positive feedback and enhance your bank’s reputation, providing a greater sense of trust and community for customers.And so what about key learning number 3?
IN a bit, we’ll go into six participatory principles for today’s banks. How your banks can improve customer service and build on your member or client base using what we now know about today’s participatory culture.
An important reality that everyone involved in banking or debt collecting needs to understand is what you can and can’t do. Privacy is a huge issue, so just because you can access way more information about a person online by looking on social media, doesn’t mean you have free reign to use that information. I’ll share a quick story with you.In August 2010, Florida resident Melanie Beacham sued debt collection agency MarkOne Financial LLC after the debt collector used Facebook to allegedly harass the consumer who was delinquent on an auto loan. According to the lawsuit, in addition to aggressively using traditional collection methods, the debt collector also used Facebook’s messaging function to contact the delinquent borrower as well as to contact her relatives to ask that they have her contact the collection agency. According to the lawsuit, MarkOne Financial LLC used Facebook to intentionally harass the debtor in an “outrageous format.” The debtor, who fell behind on her loan payment during a medical leave from her job, stated that she was shocked when she learned that the debt collectors used Facebook to track down her whereabouts and contact her family. The debtor claimed significant embarrassment related to the disclosure of her bad debt to her family.In April 2011, while the lawsuit remained pending, W. Douglas Baird, the Judge hearing the complaint, ordered MarkOne Financial LLC to cease the use of social networks for the purpose of contacting the debtor and the debtor’s family and friends. The order, considered groundbreaking by many in the field of debt collection, shows how social media is increasingly becoming the basis for lawsuits. The challenge to debt collectors that use social networks is not so much federal and state collections laws do not address the use of social media. Instead, the challenge is one of compliance and training.
So let’s focus a little more on point 1. (and Great job and staying with me this far!)
Here are a couple of examples of Twitter presences to consider. Susquhenna bank does a great job of posting regularly - in this example we see that they aren’t pulling or asking for much information, but they do have a presence and in looking through earlier posts we see that they respond to questions on Twitter, as well. This is a good first step in how to handle your bank’s Twitter presence. On the right hand side, we see who it is important to monitor your bank’s name and all of its variations…if you were listed on this Bank_Complaints Twitter page, how would you respond? Would you even know?
Every business, every association, every mom and pop store needs these three elements in social media to survive. A Policy, A Plan, and regular Monitoring. The Policy is of course the policy you create and share with internal staff and volunteers. It covers what is allowed and not allowed when communicating online with members or the public at large. There are a number of different variables that go into this and while it can seem like a daunting task, there is help available and I’ll get back to that in a minute.Planning and having a social media plan is critical. Even if your idea is to remain passive, you still need to address how you will handle any sort of social media crisis or customer service issues that will arise. No one can escape the need for a social media plan, if anything, to give the staff an understanding of the direction the organization is headed using social media tools. Without a plan, you’d be surprised at the trouble that can come into play. Fake Fan Pages. Fake Twitter handles representing the name of your org. Monitoring. Monitoring can be done very easily, but it is probably the easiest social media task that everyone ignores while needing the most. If you do nothing else, monitoring your brand online is critical to providing your organization with due diligence. It is like having a telephone ringing in your organization that no one answers. Someone has to listen to what is being said…in this case on the other side of that computer screen. It may be good. It may be bad. Worse yet, it may be absolutely nothing. ---So let’s now look at (assuming you’ve thought about the rest of this: policy, plan, and monitoring) how push and pull communications work…
So I think we’ve got push and pull down…what about our participatory principles? And for the observant among you, you’ll porbably note that I had 6 listed earlier? Well, I did…but I want you to concentrate on these five and then I think you’ll be able to guess what the 6th is…
So what have we learned? People expect to participate now and not just consume. We can take that to mean that banks must be more proactive with communication and must do better to create customer relationships along the way…allowing for input and being there and listening when customers talk.
We’ve also learned that the ways that bans can engage is by monitoring mention of their brand and inviting discussion on social media spaces.
We’ve talked about what living in a participatory culture means and how we can adapt to that by changing the way we think of customer relationships and training. And what’s the 6th principle? You have to do it.
Keep blogging, tweeting, and finding you social media sweet spot; you customers will thank you for it.