A recent report entitled Social CRM in German Retail Banks made the case for banks adopting social communications, saying: “banks that have an effective social-media strategy have a huge advantage in being able to develop a closer relationship with their customers”. They went on to map the performance of retail banks in Germany according to their social media engagement with customers (above).
Yet the same report went on to say ““The social-media platforms have also provided banks with a new channel of communication and a CRM tool that is being effectively used by only a few banks. While some industries, such as the lifestyle industry, telecommunications or the automotive industry, have realised the importance of social media, most banks are still struggling to get their social-media strategy right.”
In the emerging world of social CRM (sCRM) banks are faced with a raft of issues that go way beyond the technical, financial, logistical and cultural challenges of implementing “social business”. There are laws – both international and national – the prevent them from matching up customer data with social media records. There are industry regulations that prevent them from revealing that customers are in fact customers, or giving financial advice via a public medium. And, of course, there are the T&Cs of the social networks themselves, which restrict how (and where) businesses can communicate with their customers. They also need to contend with the rules of fairness, openness and courtesy that we all expect from them.
Many of these restrictions apply to banks everywhere – and, as a result, banks have been hugely reticent in exploring social media – hence my recent delight at discovering that several large banks in Asia are adopting Facebook and Twitter as primary communication channels. Yet there are some promising European examples too…
- Caja Navarra in Spain puts the customer at the centre of its operations, using Twitter, Skype, Facebook and YouTube to provide customer support and build communities around social causes.
- Jyske Bank in Denmark is has a social TV channel through which it provides interactive Q&A sessions with financial experts. It has also published iPhone and iPad apps to enable its customers to communicate more easily on the move.
It’s clear that some banks “get” social. It’s also true that the challenges it raises have dramatically slowed the adoption of social CRM in other industries too. Faced with myriad regulations, accountants, for example, have tended to shy away from social communications completely. The same could be said of utilities, though again, there are some pioneers emerging, such as the UK’s British Gas.
I’m going to be in Frankfurt next month for the latest of our Social CRM 2012 conferences – and given that it’s the centre of banking in Germany – I’m hoping we’ll provide some new insights for our financial friends. In addition to case studies of Telekom Deutschland, Deutsche Bahn and Playmobil, we have a session on “How Social Apps Innovate CRM in Banking and Financial Services” featuring an analysis of how Sparda International implemented a suite of innovative social CRM tools to stimulate creativity, boost efficiency, enhance information-sharing and improve collaboration at the bank.
To kick start our promotions around this event we’ve created a version of our hugely popular Traditional CRM vs Social CRM infographic in German (below). Please feel free to share this.
For anyone who can’t make Social CRM Frankfurt, the conference will be in Brussels on 26th September too.