About Ken Tumin

Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Using Twitter to Enhance Customer Service from Banks

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:

  1. Sign up for a Twitter account
  2. Follow your bank on Twitter
  3. Tweet your issue to the bank using the @ sign
  4. Wait for a reply

If you're new to Twitter, this About.com article has a good intro for getting started with Twitter, and this About.com article explains Twitter terms.

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):

ING DIRECT Twitter customer service example

Here's an example from an Ally Bank customer asking about a future upgrade:

Ally Bank Twitter customer service example

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:

Ally Bank Twitter customer service example

ING DIRECT Twitter customer service example

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.

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  |     |   Comment #1
citi may respond but it will probably be with incorrect info or added runaround.  one hand dosnet know what the other does at that now pathetic bank
  |     |   Comment #2
Customer Service centers stink.  High turnover (In US or overseas), not knowledable and if on the phone with an overseas company can be a painful attempt to commuicate with someone who is rehersed with canned questions and answers.  I had problems logging onto my BOA Charge Card account (I had the userid and PW inf ront of me).  All of a suddden a chat came up.  I gave the person info.  They asked for the last 4 digits of my card.  Told me the account did not exist 3 times (I had the card in front of me).  They told me to call the service center about my "business" card .. It was a personal card.  Waste of 10 minutes

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