Build a Member-Centric Brand with Social Care

Service via social media can be more efficient and effective than other channels.

April 8, 2013

Want to improve member service while building your brand? Try “social care,” advises the consumer research firm Nielsen.

Good social care—answering member questions, responding to complaints, and offering solutions to problems via social media such as Facebook and Twitter—can set your credit union apart from its financial service competitors.

In social networking, where it's easy—and common—for consumers to broadcast outrage or advocate for favorite brands, quality customer service can affect your reputation.

“The lines are blurring between customer service and marketing,” says Gadi Benmark, senior vice president of client development for Nielsen.

Companies that are adept at social care, according to Nielsen, are able to:

In addition to operational efficiencies—customer service via social media is generally cheaper than traditional customer service channels—social care allows companies to influence the conversation and appease critics.

Companies can even address issues that aren’t directed to them

You can even take a crack at queries that aren't directed to you. If a social media user expresses confusion about a financial services product, for example, you can join the conversation and offer assistance.

“If you're not responding, you're putting your brand at risk,” Benmark says.

A report by NMincite, “State of Social Customer Service,” shows the growing importance of social media as a service tool:

To set up an effective social care program at your credit union, you must conquer four things, according to Nielsen:

1. Enable organizational collaboration. Incorporate existing and traditional member service personnel. Create avenues of collaboration between member service, marketing, and business units to allow for effective issue resolution.

2. Write a playbook. Current and prospective members want rapid responses via social media channels, so be ready.

To get started, look at past issues presented to you via social media. Develop case studies and dig into the issues and frustrations.

Create a detailed social response plan. Build response approaches by issues, as well as by social media platform, and determine a balance between public and private responses.

Don’t use canned responses—cold and formulaic responses can worsen a service situation. Instead, be personal and sympathetic.

3. Establish metrics. Track your performance. Review what works and what doesn’t, and keep track of common questions and concerns.

4. Leverage your data. Investigate the root-cause of reoccurring member issues and try to solve the underlying problem.

(Via Credit Union E-Scan)