Social Media - a Critical CRM Channel for Banks

Integration, collaboration and diversification have been the key guidelines followed by businesses across multiple industries. Service oriented industries have been slow in accepting the integrated approach to customer relationship management. Unlike product centric companies, Banking as a service industry has found it challenging to revive its communicated content over a fast paced environment such as the social sphere of digital media. Effectively integrating the Banking CRM system with social media channels becomes critical in modern day CRM strategy.

However, the impact of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn marketing cannot be side-lined considering their popularity, expanse and ability to influence buying decisions. Among the innumerable benefits of social media, its ability to cultivate an effective and honest feedback communication channel presents a worthy opportunity. Listening and responding to consumers over social media channels allows Banks to establish trust and overcome the reservations consumers have, with respect to the intangible qualities of the Web 2.0. It establishes a participatory environment, targeting the touch points where consumers are spending their time from their busy life. Social media is an expanse where consumers are emotionally invested and informal enough to share their support and complaints. 

Additionally, social media allows consumers to interact with others, allowing them to connect virtually on common grounds. In this case their common ground being, their opinion and experience with the bank. However, the mass reach of this non-monitored communication channel can prove to be a boon or a bane for the company. The viral effect of a complaint can prove disastrous for a company’s reputation over social media. One harmful thread of consumer criticism can nudge other consumer’s to express their complaints that they wouldn’t have in normal conditions. Banks can look at this downside as an untapped opportunity to realize consumer needs and discontentment, to tailor their offerings for future. Replying immediately and effectively to consumer’s active participation can generate productive results in the realm of customer relationship management.

Lastly, diversifying channels to communicate specific functions and benefits is the most effective way of reaching the target audience. This can be assured by incorporating social media intelligence into email marketing, assorting events as per the database generated by consumer’s social media activity and using online surveys as a means of strengthening relationships with consumers.

The multi-fold outlook to customer relationship management through the lens of social media integrated with the core Banking CRM system gives banks a tangential approach to retaining and acquiring customers. By collaborating branding, awareness and loyalty inducing strategies through a communication driven platform, Banks can implement their brand value through a consumer service directed effort. Inducing personalized focus on each consumer and providing them an additional channel for customer care can alter their perceptions of e-banking as aloof and confusing. It can also be viewed as tool to encompass the younger audiences with growing income levels. Altogether service focused, dynamic content can bridge the gap between the shortcomings of social media for a service industry and customer relationship dependent banking industry.

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