Aviva UK Rethinks its Twitter Presence and Focuses on Customer Support

Aviva UK Rethinks its Twitter Presence and Focuses on Customer Support

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One of the key questions I always get asked about twitter is what’s the best strategy regarding number of accounts: one multi-purpose account ‘a la UBank’ in Australia versus specific accounts for PR, HR or customer support ‘a la Bank of America’ in the US.

Today, Aviva UK took its twitter presence to the next level.

Today one of the leading UK insurers, Aviva, not only rebranded its main twitter account, @AvivaUKGI (GI for General Insurance) launched back in April 2009, into the shorter and more versatile @AvivaUK, but also launched a new twitter account, @AvivaUKSupport, dedicated to customer support.
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My Take
As part of our Visible Banking Twitter Watch series (over 1,600 accounts in 70+ countries), my team now track over 100 accounts in the UK.

Of those, we monitor 8 accounts dedicated to customer support, including Aviva’s new addition and @LloydsTSBOnline.

It is arguably an innovative move in insurance -Aviva became one of the first firms in Europe to launch such an account-, but more importantly I believe it is a smart move.  Indeed, more and more customers use twitter to express their disappointment or seek a quick response from their favourite brands, including financial services firms.  It is critical for financial brands to be where their customers are, and demonstrate they care and they are willing to help.

The launch of a dedicated account usually reflects whether the level of social media maturity within an organization -spreading from Marketing or PR to other departments such as customer care- or the growing volume of customer requests.  In order to maximize engagement, it is critical to design and implement a smart and well balanced content strategy: you have to ask yourself how impacted your ability to build a sizable and engaged follower base would be if most of your tweets were focused on customer support?

Aviva did a good job parking its old account, protecting its feed, and inviting tweeps to follow the two new accounts depending on your interest.  But one of your key goal as a brand on twitter, especially in customer care, is to make the tweeps as comfortable as possible to engage with you on the popular micro-blogging service.  You also want to make the experience as personable and friendly as possible.

Similarly to Barclays Bank which launched @BarclaysOnline last week, Aviva’s customer support account doesn’t leverage any of the key characteristics of the best practices worldwide such as introducing the team or implementing all the basic steps to increase the overall level of trust.

I am not surprised, and despite the fact that social media is all about live and learn and that I am hopeful Aviva will improve its presence in the next few months, I can’t help but think it is somewhat of a missed opportunity.  A missed opportunity to do better than the other UK financial institutions from day 1.

I am curious to find out how engaging and how responsive Aviva’s customer care team will be on twitter, the syntax, call to action, and tone of voice they will use, and how their SLA will look like.  Stay tuned!

Global Report – Customer Care on Twitter
In my opinion, customer care on twitter is more than ever one of the applications with the biggest potential.  A few months ago, I’ve asked my team to monitor the customer accounts dedicated to this topic, over and beyond financial services.  We are currently gathering data and identifying key trends from over 250 customer service accounts worldwide.

I aim to produce the most comprehensive report available, packed with actionable insights.  Exciting times.  I invite you to contact us and confirm your interest asap.  And it is still time to contribute, should you want to be included in the report and share your experience with your fellow Customer Care Directors.

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