Social customer care banking. Lloyds TSB Supports its Customers on Twitter! Fine, but Now the UK Bank Should Learn from the Best.
I had a great time working at Lloyds TSB in Online and Innovation. I left the bank almost two years ago (time flies) to focus on a topic I am passionate about, social media in Finance (banking, financial services, insurance), and set up Visible Media Ltd the legal entity of Visible Banking.
In the last few years the UK bank has been focused on delivering an improved more flexible internet banking platform, based on a SOA approach, then integrating HBOS.
For those reasons, plus the bank’s concern of having to deal with user generated content, Lloyds TSB hasn’t really tried to leverage social media and engage in conversations with their clients or the UK market to that respect.
Earlier this year, they launched a facebook application, Lloyds TSB Smart Saver, which didn’t get much traction (35 monthly users as of today) because of its very own purpose and the lack of communication from the bank. It is interesting to mention that the bank still doesn’t have an official page on the popular social networking site.
No Social Media Champion (yet) in the UK
In the meantime, their key competitors in the UK have proved more active in the social media space and in particular on twitter and facebook. As part ofmy Visible Banking Twitter Watch, we are currently tracking in the UK: 65+ twitter accounts from FIs, 25+ facebook pages and apps, 15+ blogs, 10+ youtube channels (we are tracking 2,300+ initiatives in 65 countries).
At that stage, I can’t really identify “a social media winner” among the largest UK banks.
* Barclays Bank: In the last 18 months, Barclays have started to significantly increase its presence on facebook and twitter and launch a few other initiatives such as 100 voices or Barclays Live. The bank is keen to establish itself as one of the most engaging brands in the UK.
* HSBC Bank: Over the last few years, HSBC have launched a few initiatives too such as yourpointofview.com (now offline), the HSBC Business Network or more recently their facebook student page with a bursary contest.
* First Direct: Of course, every blogger and journalist would claim that first direct is the most transparent bank in the UK with initiatives such as fd live,fd interactive, their social media newsroom or their twitter account@first_direct (dedicated to PR). It is great to see them “innovating” online, being the first to better leverage social media than their competitors, and especially cleverly communicating about those initiatives. They have a great brand, they established themselves as the most recommended bank in the UK for years.
I personally believe that first direct could, and should, do better. They should focus more on customer support on twitter or facebook.
Lloyds TSB Started Supporting its Customers on Twitter since May 2010… Did you know?
So, let’s get back to Lloyds TSB. A few months ago, I was glad (and surprised I must say) to find out that the bank had launched a twitter account dedicated to customer support, @LloydsTSBOnline. Congrats to my ex-colleagues.
They are officially the first large bank in the UK to launch such a dedicated account, but they are not the first in the financial services space. So you wonder:
* which other FS firm supports its clients on twitter (and why they do it better than Lloyds TSB)?
* how well is LTSB doing?
* How has the bank organized its twitter activity?
* How frequently does the bank tweet?
* How (pro)actively does the bank reach out to their angry customers?
* How helpful is its response?
* How do they compare to the leaders in the US?
I invite you to find all the answers to your questions in my 15mn video which includes stats on the most followed customer support accounts from the banking and insurance industries.
In case the video doesn’t display correctly, I invite you to watch it directly on my Dailymotion account.
Companies mentioned: Lloyds TSB, American Express, Bank of America, Barclays Bank, Barclaycard, firstdirect.
Please contact us to discuss into more details: firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter, linkedin,facebook. We would be delighted to help you to successfully leverage social media, in a pragmatic way.