As the NatWest technical “glitch” turns into a saga, many people are still left without wages and money transfers 6 days in. Following up from the 3 Social Media Lessons Learned from the NatWest Crisis we posted on Thursday, as NatWest are working hard to fix the problem and resolve customer issues, there are further lessons business can take from this crisis.
Due to the tight regulations and compliance issues that financial services, banks and advisers have to abide by, social media has been slowly adopted by this industry. While a cautious approach might have its merits, not claiming your company name across these networks can lead to other problems.
Own your own brand: Claim your company’s name on the social media platforms before somebody else does.
@NatWest, a 22 year old teacher named Natalie Westerman, has risen to fame because of the crisis and made ITV news. She opened her Twitter account to keep in touch with college friends in May 2008, before NatWest decided to use Twitter as a channel for communications and customer service.
Understandably she is receiving a lot of complaints and Tweets relating to the bank as people express their opinions about NatWest the bank. Natalie is taking the helpful approach and is patiently redirecting people to the official NatWest account @NatWest_Help.
But it’s not just people who have been accidently thrown into this crisis that can be helpful and have their profile raised when a news story breaks.
Generating useful, relevant and timely content raises your profile. By posting helpful articles across social media channels, other businesses raised their their own profile – and for the right reasons.
Martin Bamford, MD of Chartered Financial Planners Firm—Informed Choice is one of the thousands of business professionals affected by the NatWest situation. In fact, he has yet to disperse wages, which were due last Wednesday. Instead of throwing a fuss and bad mouthing the bank, he responded to the NatWest crisis by writing a helpful piece on ‘what to do when a banking system fails’.
Martin Lewis and the Money Savings Expert team have also used Twitter to constantly communicate with customers affected by NatWest’s technical problems. They posted a piece, valuable information and guidance.
Jonathan Hemus, Insignia Communications, specialises in Corporate Communications, used social media to share his ‘expertise’ and views on the situation as he’s “looking to help other corporations manage their ‘crisis’ learning from NatWest”. The Guardian, Sky News and other press took up his story.
Nurture brand advocates: Build and maintain a great relationship with customers online and build brand advocates. I can’t help but think about all those angry customers within the RBS Group who said they’re going to change banks as a result of this crisis. Who are they going to switch to and how are they going to decide? How much of their dialogue on social media is going to help them make that decision? Which brand advocates for other banks will influence their decision? Make sure your business builds good relationships and uses best practices following situations like this—especially if you are a direct competitor!
While the NatWest crisis wreaked a lot of havoc, there is so much that businesses can learn from the situation to adequately prepare for the unexpected.