Thursday, March 27, 2014

We're your friend

"To understand why Wells Fargo has set up a command center to better monitor social media sites, consider this: last year, the bank was mentioned more than one million times on social media sites — and not all those comments were flattering.

The nation's fourth-largest bank recently set up a war room in San Francisco — and a backup location in Charlotte — where employees sit side by side to watch eight large screens that display Tweets, Facebook posts and other social media content published about the brand, engage with consumers on topics that are trending and quickly respond to specific customer queries.

The constant monitoring — its two command centers are staffed five days a week, 12 hours a day while the bank also deploys tools that moderate mentions of its name around the clock — helps the bank keep tabs on how its customers are responding to various products and services, or initiatives like the recent roll-out of its smaller, more tech-heavy branches.

"It's a fundamental change to consumer behavior," says Renee Brown, the head of the enterprise social media team at Wells Fargo. "[Social media] is the new water cooler and street corner where people are gathering to talk."

The monitoring is also a way to stay on top of complaints and negative comments. Banks — especially large ones — routinely take heat for everything from poor branch service to questionable fees to their handling of foreclosures — it's crucial for banks to quickly acknowledge the complaints and make an effort to resolve them, observers say. As part of its social media outreach, Wells Fargo has a "social care" unit to which it refers many of its customer complaints."

Nice try, but I don't think this will do a bit of difference. The fact that they say they care about the customer has proved to be untrue time and again.

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