There was much noise this morning about how an Australian Twitterer was able to get a home loan issue resolved and the loan approved via Twitter. The bank in question Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) was put forward as a shining example of Australian organisations getting into the social space and using tools like Twitter to deliver a superior customer experience.
Given that I’ve blogged in the past about how poor major Australian brands are with adopting Twitter, my bullsh**-detector was shrilling like a banshee. And it turns out the detector was right.
The facts of the matter are masked by the minor tweet-storm with CBA taking the bait and coming out with a vague quote from one of their exec’s about how brilliant they are. Rather than CBA painting themselves in glory, they should have their heads down looking at their shoes saying “holy bankcartels, Batman! we dodged a bullet that time”
Fact #1 – the banks internal processes broke down with the application being bogged down due primarily to (what appears to be) processor incompetence. The person responsible for processing the application doesn’t have the requisite skills to realise they had the necessary information (just stating the known facts here).
Fact #2 – the customer involved (@coogeecoup – Alison Godfrey) is a journo for the paper that published the story, and she was contacted by @ozdj (Derek Jenkins) a person who works for the bank in a customer service role. He’s clearly not an official CBA rep and doesn’t even mention his employer in his profile. If anything, he’s a normal Twitter user with a diverse range of Tweets.
Fact #3 – the CBA Twitter presence is, well, FAIL – @CBAOnline.
Here’s their profile page.
Do you like their tag line – determined to be different?
The fact is, if it wasn’t for Derek’s manual intervention this would have gone unnoticed and been yet another example of a bank failing to deliver on their brand promise. CBA is lucky to have someone like Derek working for them; I suspect he’s one of thousands at the bank who care. Clearly he’s a diligent hard working employee who’s simply not prepared to leave issues unaddressed. But Group Executive Ross McEwan was vague if not misleading with his comment in the article:
Ross McEwan, Head of the Commonwealth Bank’s Retail Bank said the bank would continue to reach out to customers via social networking.
“Commonwealth Bank sees the trend towards social networking sites as a channel for consumer discussion as a huge opportunity to extend our customer service beyond traditional channels,” Mr McEwan said. “It gives us the chance to understand our customers’ experience with us, to interact with them in real time and reach out for on the spot resolution. We’re seeing some really positive results and expect this to continue to grow.”
I know CBA has a profile on Facebook but this reeks more of an outlet for regurgitated PR. The CBA is not monitoring social media in the context of wanting to listen and engage. If they were they wouldn’t have a locked, soulless, friendless Twitter profile.
CBA, you dodged a bullet here today and have now tried to turn a near miss into positive spin in the press. If you want to understand what you should be doing, have a look at:
And there’s many more. CBA has a way to go before they truly start listening, or even engaging in conversational listening. Until then, I guess they have to rely on the likes of Derek to keep digging them out of these holes