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Every so often a customer or user encounters a process, or experiences an interaction, that makes them feel all 1990s.
It makes them feel like the whole world has moved on, leaving only them, stuck, trying to find a black biro, or trying to communicate with a customer services department.
On the Econsultancy blog, there's been much talk of digital transformation. One of the most startling changes, cross-sector, is the almost complete agreement that web operations must be completely customer focused, as should the rest of business be.
So when, at Econsultancy, we receive the occasional notice of a disputed payment from a Barclaycard or AmEx customer (as do most online businesses), asking me to fax or post back information, I rant and tramp around the office, shouting 'can't we just ****** email it?!'
Why do we have to do this? Is this an indicator of a false dawn; an indicator of how far we have to go until the customer is the number one priority?
Ok, this is going to be a boring article about faxes, but at the heart of it is the 21st Century assertion that 'you must be where your customers are'.
For many organisations, social represents one of the most drastic changes in communications since the advent of email.
Savvy businesses now effectively use the power of social to interact with their customer bases, prospect for new business, deliver services and obtain customer and market insights.
Indeed, this shift in communication has led many large enterprises to employ teams of social experts, tasked with monitoring the social airwaves at all hours and in multiple languages.
A colleague passed something on to me last week: HootSuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes' quote on social in regulated industries – “For highly regulated sectors like finance, social media can be a legal minefield”.
Whilst this isn’t anything new, I guess it goes without saying marketers in regulated sectors are the most cautious of our breed.
Within first direct, there is an understanding that social media is a channel we should be developing and engaging in, so in essence, that ‘internal sell’ is the easy bit.
The hard part however, is overcoming the way people think about regulation and compliance, and having both the confidence and strategy to feel comfortable working within these confines.
I don’t think I’m being too controversial when I say that, over the last few years, trust in the banking system, banks and bankers (three very different things that have been unhelpfully lumped together by the mainstream media narrative), has taken a battering.
The financial sector as a whole has huge job to do and in my view, social media is going to play a key part in getting it done.
This post will look at two key issues around trust and social media: how to measure it and how to build it.
Since 2009, it has been active on various social media channels.
I've been talking to head of digital Phil Allen about the bank's social media strategy, the unique challenges for financial brands, and how he measures the results of social engagement.
In a series of three posts about first direct, I've been talking to key figures at the bank about its integration of social media.
In the final part, head of marketing Paul Say talks about how changes in online behaviour affect the way companies engage with the outside world, and the social media projects undertaken by the company.
In a series of three posts, I've been talking to key figures at first direct about how the bank has integrated social media across its marketing efforts.
Having looked at how first direct made the case for social media in the first post, first direct’s head of brand Natalie Cowen presents five steps for getting started with social media...
In the first of a series of three posts, we've been talking to key figures at first direct about how the bank has integrated social media across its marketing efforts.
Here, Amanda Brown, first direct’s head of public relations, talks about how the case for social media was initially put forward within the bank and the challenges involved...
Pensions, as with many other financial products, can require a good deal of research before users can make a decision on which is right for them, so how easy is it to do this online?
With the help of user testing videos from whatusersdo, we have been looking at the online user experience provided by two of the largest UK institutions, Barclays and Nationwide.
We asked users to look for products that would act as a nest egg for when they retire. Having very different online personalities, we wanted to see which fared better in their ability to gain people’s trust and understanding of options available.
Banking is one sector that seems to have been relatively slow to see the potential uses of social media, and there are relatively few examples of this.
I've listed five ways that banks can benefit from the use of social media, while I've also been asking Amanda Brown from first direct about its use of social media....
Today I'll begin to reveal how service-focused businesses can move forward and realize tangible, meaningful returns using social media & mobile marketing. Results like leads, sales and increased customer value that creates loyalty.
Here's how in two words: Build utility.