New web relations team goes deep into the customer experience

Barclaycard identified a need to create a web relations team that could specialise in monitoring and responding quickly to online queries and conversations around its brand. The project represented an exciting test case for the business that would inform future social web investment. We helped to design the role, the necessary processes and developed a training programme that would enable a new web relations manager and team to hit the web running.

We help clients get to grips with the challenge of managing reputations online, balancing a strong, professional brand presence with the informal nature of the social web. We showed this huge organisation how to find the conversations and become involved, engaging on a human level while providing real support and maintaining firm brand protocol.

Nipping potential issues in the bud

The project had a big impact with customers, generating positive feedback on the brand experience. Examples included a customer using Twitter to discuss forgotten passwords, and a potentially negative tweet about teething troubles with contactless card readers. Both were immediately picked up and responded to, and both customers posted later comments sharing their satisfaction with how our client had acted.

Recognition of success at senior level

The web relations initiative quickly started a business-wide conversation at the highest levels within the Barclaycard, looking at social media and its value as a customer service tool. These new channels of dialogue have been recognised has having an ability to meet high-level goals around FSA regulations on customer service, and as a way of working with customers to improve products and services. The project also fostered the development of ongoing web relations processes.

“Online is where brands are most discussed.”

At NixonMcInnes, our consultants Ross Breadmore and Danielle Sheerin work with our clients in the financial sector. Ross explains:

This is a great example of how smart-thinking organisations can reorientate to meet the change in customer expectations created by the social web. This client quickly identified that social spaces are where their brand is most discussed and where opinion – good or bad – can develop and spread. They asked us to help grow a new customer-facing operation out of their traditional departments. Together, we set it to work, and got results.

Mining for conversations reveals a rich seam of brand commentary

In just three months, online queries detected and dealt with went from an average of 10 to more than 220 each month. The company now has greater visibility of customer feedback and conversations, and can track trends and hot topics via its empowered frontline presence online, resolving queries before they become problems. Furthermore, the data gathered provides powerful intelligence into the way people discuss brands and issues online, contributing to a more informed picture that enables customer service focus in the right places.

Facts and figures

  • Monthly online interactions with the brand increased from 10 to 220 in three months
  • The link from Facebook and Twitter to the company’s terms and conditions has been clicked over 600 times since Feb 2011
  • The initial web relations manager has been joined by an additional hire, with the third member of the team currently being recruited.