This morning I came across the WSJ article Citi Won't Sleep on Customer Tweets which describes how Citibank is using Twitter for customer service. It shows how Twitter can be used to speed up customer service such as in this example:
Frustrated by the 40 minutes she spent on hold with Citibank customer service, Stacy Small tweeted her displeasure. To her surprise, a Citibank agent tweeted right back. "Send us your phone number and we'll call you right now," read the message.
Citigroup is one of many banks that has put a lot of resources into social media like Twitter and Facebook. The motivation behind that investment isn't just to improve customer service. It may have more to do with marketing and PR. Social media can quickly spread examples of bad customer service. By staying on top of what is mentioned on social media sites, banks can prevent issues from going viral and can reduce bad publicity.
Getting Started with Twitter
You might want to consider using Twitter to supplement the banks' direct customer service contacts. This GoBankingRates.com article has a good overview about how you can use Twitter to improve your finances. It provides an example of how you might use Twitter to get the attention of a bank. Here are the four basic steps:
- Sign up for a Twitter account
- Follow your bank on Twitter
- Tweet your issue to the bank using the @ sign
- Wait for a reply
It's important to understand that these Twitter messages are public. So you never want to disclose personal or account information on Twitter. When it's necessary to resolve account-specific issues, you should call the bank directly or use the bank's secure chat or secure email service.
Twitter Direct Message (DM) is a private message that is not visible to the public. Sometimes you may be requested to DM your phone number (like in the WSJ example). However, you should never be asked to send social security numbers or other confidential info via Twitter.
Examples of Contacting Banks via Twitter
The WSJ article lists 10 banks in addition to Citibank that are on Twitter. Two banks that are very active are @AllyBank and @INGDIRECT. I reviewed their Twitter feeds for some examples about how their customers have used Twitter. Here's one example in which an ING DIRECT customer asks about sending cashier's checks (a new service that ING DIRECT recently added):
Here's an example from an Ally Bank customer asking about a future upgrade:
Using Twitter to report a minor account issue can be useful. These are issues that don't require immediate action and are likely to be affecting others. Here are two examples from both ING DIRECT and Ally Bank customers:
Have you contacted banks via Twitter? Have you found it useful?
DepositAccounts.com on Twitter
Twitter is often used more for reading news than for getting help from companies. That's how you might want to use Twitter to stay in touch with DepositAccounts.com. If you just want to read our main blog posts, follow us at @Depositaccounts. If you want to keep on top of all blog posts and featured forum posts, follow us at @BankDealsBlog.