A few weeks, back, largely out of habit and slightly out of frustration I tweeted: “I thought that ICICI Credit Card staff is worse in the country until I ran into HDFC.” The background is that I wanted to own a Visa/Mastercard credit card, and applied with ICICI Bank, where I have two current and a saving bank account for the past three years. Two weeks after the application, I received the no reply. I followed up, and was told that my CIBIL record was not clean. When I got my CIBIL investigated, it was clean. Simultaneously, I applied at HDFC for a credit card. The process became so tacky that I had to give up on that too. Last, I applied at Standard Chartered. Though with relatively lesser hassles, it seems to be working till now.
Coming back to the tweets, the social media crawlers of both ICICI and HDFC replied to my tweets in the following manner:
HDFC: Let us know if ur facing any issues with our credit card services, we’ll assist u.
ICICI: May we know the reason behind your opinion? Is there anything that we can help you with? Please DM (cont)
One look at Twitter handles of both ICICI and HDFC and you know that they are busy calming nerves of anxious tweeple (translated to: busy repairing and maintaining their social image). I tried to find Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank; they were not present on Twitter. Even the better ones like Citibank and RBS are absent from the popular microblogging site. I searched trending for Kotak Mahindra Bank, and guess what I found. Mouthshut had tweeted a negative review of the Bank, which made me follow Mouthshut twitter handle. The latest tweet from Mouthshut was a user lambasting Letsbuy.com!
Eventually, apart from ICICI and HDFC, no other Indian bank (basis my findings) has dared to go social. This makes me admire ICICI and HDFC that they are willing to take negative reviews upfront and solve them (hopefully; I haven’t had replies to my reply in more than 24 hours). They are at least fixing their social image. Also, let’s also accept the fact that a customer will more often than not tweet (I was tempted to use the word ‘sociocast’) his dissatisfaction than praise for a service provider.
My opinion: Service providers must go social. Even a dissatisfied customer, if addressed properly, will be converted into a wilful ambassador of a brand. But before service providers make their social media marketing roadmap, they must have a system in place to address those grieved tweeple!