3 Social Customer Service FAILS By @BarclaysOnline's That Can Help You

By Rob  |  17 Jun 2014, 10:30am  |  Category: Tips

So recently I have had a number of problems with my Barclays Bank account. Not a surprise to many, I'm sure.

They keep blocking my debit cards due to payments they perceive as suspicious. This happened first as a result of one of the many regular monthly payments I make to various hosts such as GitHub. I know, who in tech has heard of GitHub..?

But on Saturday night the same happened after I tried to use Taxi App @Uber. Supposedly Barclays think @Uber are associated with International Terrorism or something... Maybe they've been listening to the London Black Cab drivers... Either way this left me stranded in North London -- I live in South -- with no money and no ride at 1 am... As you can imagine I was slightly annoyed.

So the following morning after a 3 hour journey home I once again took to Twitter to discuss this issue with Barclays. Here is the conversation...

As can be seen. The response from @BarclaysOnline is generic, does not attempt to engage with me and offers no solution to my problem -- or real sympathy. It almost looks automated...

This to me is simply awful. Their actions caused me actual real world problems. Thankfully I am a resourceful man, over 6 foot in height and have a particularly good scowl when required. So when wandering around Tooting on my own looking for another night bus at 3 am I'm usually ok. But imagine if I'd been a young woman...

Is Barclays response appropriate in that context? Probably not...

There are three rules to good customer service on social that I advise @BarclaysOnline to consider...

Engage & Listen: Your customers are actual human beings with actual problems. That's why they're on social media sites like Twitter. So treat them like human beings. Listen to their problems, try to understand the specifics and engage them in a conversation about it. Don't just talk at them or tell them.

Help: You can't always help your customer or user directly. But you can always attempt to. Once the problem has been defined. Connect them with the person or the the resource that can. This might be a free phone number with a specific person or department or a specific help page. Note this does not mean, "here's a link to our FAQ page"... And you certainly don't define the end point for the help process -- see above "2/2".

Value: You want to keep your customers. So show you care and value them. If you make a mistake hold your hands up and offer some form of compensation. It doesn't have to be a lot. Just a little something to take away the bitter after taste of poor service. Just because you work in a semi-monopolised, over regulated industry like British Banking is not an excuse.

If you don't wish to do the following, that is absolutely fine. Your company, your policies. But seriously if you're not going to take social customer service seriously just don't bother. It's only going to make you look even worse.

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