Social media is a customer service Channel whether you like it or not, brands and people are moving most of their interactions online more than ever before.I remember my dad used to tell me stories of when they had to walk Kilometres to access services offered by companies more so financial institutions which had one branch per district(If you remember districts?). I am still wondering if this was an exaggeration?,just like when they would tell us that they used to walk over 20 kilometres to school and back, but that’s just beside the point.
In this day and age, some people, especially millennials have never stepped into a bank with the aim of forwarding their complaints on a service or product offered by a bank since they are a tweet away from “customer service on keyboards”.To gauge effectiveness, most brands are now using social media audit services to gauge the interactions between their customers and their “on keyboard customer care agents”.
One of the brands in East and Central Africa that is not taking this lightly is KCB Group, Kenya Commercial Bank is the top ranked bank in Eastern Africa with capital of Ksh74.4 billion (US$717 million), according to the 2017 survey by the African Banker. KCB continues to use social media effectively to reduce the foot traffic to their branches especially traffic that is geared towards inquiry on basic services the bank offers. Their content has been curated to achieve specific objectives layed out by the institution which changes frequently depending on the product being pushed.
Here is how this Bank’s social media account is beating it’s competition pants down in content curation and messaging:-
1.The responses to customer inquiries are quick and detailed?
Have you noticed that most brands use general “we will get back to you” “Thanks” “We will get in touch” typa replies, this sucks especially when a customer wants to get instant information about a specific product or service, from our social media archives, Onesha has noticed that KCB Bank has one of the highest response rates and personalized replies to customers as shown in their sample tweet below.
One of the key things you could pick from these series of Tweets is how KCB account managers keep the customer engaged without dropping them off too early, by KCB asking the user to “Kindly clarify” , they are trying to bring out a problem that the customer faces so that other KCB customers can get in touch with them if the same problem arises, hence reducing complain rates on KCB’s twitter feed.
Other brands should implement some of these strategies if they want to have a good breathing space with #KOTs and #KOFs(It doesn’t exist yet, Kenyans on Facebook?)
2.Removing the mask of professionalism when talking to the customer??
Social Media is one of those places if you put on a mean face and decide to have a serious and professional conversation with a customer, your engagement will be as good as dead, your content and replies should elicit some reaction from your target audience.Fun and humor is one of the greatest drivers and motivators on why people go online.KCB achieves this in Two ways:-
1.Using memes to communicate their message about a particular product they are pushing.?
2. Having a damn good time with their digital audience in their comments section of twitter and Facebook.?
Brands have to make a deliberate decision and choose which language of communication perfectly communicates their product to their customers and more so, a language that creates a deeper connection with your brand online. If there is no brand-audience engagement, growth for new customers from these channels will be close to zero.Whether you choose to be a “meme” expert like KCB or communicate like a literature professor, customers will decide what matters to them more, so you have an obligation to understand core drivers of your customers and what language best fits them,ANALYSE YOUR ENGAGEMENT DATA.
3.KCB uses different Pages and Tags to communicate different brand messages and brand sub-products of divisions within the Parent company?
Some brands are so big that using one channel may overwhelm its audience with content about different products being offered.KCB bank has a 13% market share in Kenya’s finance & Banking sector, which clearly indicates that they have a pretty big portfolio of products being offered and a large customer base. To handle effective distribution of content, KCB has set up the following pages and hashtag drivers to keep their customers informed:-
2.#KCB2JIAJIRI to drive it’s social inclusion agenda.
3.KCB social media accounts per country where they operate in.
5.KCB Lions’ Den programme to drive it’s agenda to invest in small businesses.
The emergence of social media has given consumers a whole new way to interact with the brands they love — and a forum to complain when brands disappoint. But what many companies have learned is just how powerful connecting one-on-one with customers can be when those consumers take the time to post.