Today, 75% of consumers talk about brands on social media. Whether they are happy, sad, angry, or satisfied, they use social media as a platform to amplify their feelings. That being said, banks can use customers feedback and comments to address customer service needs and solve issues before they become huge problems. But what does that look like? How can that be accomplished? What do you need to set up in order to use social media for customer service needs?

Let’s learn how to create an effective social media strategy for great customer service at your bank.

First, Your Bank Will Need A Plan.

Start by pinpointing how you can use social media to maintain relationships with your customers. Next, figure out what tools you are going to use. In the beginning, you may simply just monitor the platforms (as you might see little engagement). However, as your following increases you may need to think about using a dashboard to monitor all the interactions in one place.

Lastly, develop a crisis plan. Develop a step-by-step process to be taken in order to communicate with the customer. Many customer service issues will happen outside typical business hours. Because of this, there needs to be a plan in place to make initial contact with the customer so that a post doesn’t sit there for several hours with time to see significant growth.

What do we mean by this? Take for example a complaint on Twitter by a customer about Bank A’s (example bank) customer service being awful. This customer has around 280 followers and Bank A hasn’t responded yet. Here are some questions we should be asking ourselves; What is their process for fielding such complaints? In turn, what if this were a positive comment, or a neutral comment? What are the steps they should be taking to address customer feedback?

Second, Train Your Staff.

Some of the banks have implemented social media. However, many of the people in charge of these accounts don’t use social media regularly or are unsure of how it works. If you are going to have social media within your institution the people who interact on social media need to be trained.

In this training you want to walk your employees through using social media as a customer service tool. You want to talk about each individual channel, how it works, and how comments on these platforms can affect your business.

Use this time to brainstorm possible questions that would be asked on social media channels – then craft responses to these questions. This will act as a framework for employees when fielding customer concerns.

Third, Take Action.

Don’t just apologize. Take action. This all plays into coming up with a plan to deal with customer feedback. Take for example a Tweet by another customer complaining that everyone and their mother is at her bank today, Bank B, and their ATM is broken.

Ok, this customer is probably is a little annoyed, but she also doesn’t sound like she’s about to go close all her accounts. This post was created but nobody addressed it. We’re sure that had they had a process in place they could have handled it. By handle it we don’t mean simply apologizing. Instead, they should take the necessary steps to get the ATM fixed and tell this customer that thanks to her Tweet they are aware of the problem and have taken action.

The follow through is as important as the acknowledgement.

As you get better at customer service on social media, you will begin to see an increase in positive reviews and feedback. These result in stronger branding and consumers will start to judge and trust your institution based on the comments people leave and the reviews they share. In fact, 92% of consumers trust earned media from social media over advertising.

Good customer service leads to happy customers. Happy customers lead to earned media. Earned media leads to increased trust and brand loyalty. In fact, 92% of consumers trust earned media from social media over advertising.

Is your bank still paying for advertising? Perhaps using social media to improve customer service could do much, much more. Let us know what you think in the comments below!