We live in an age of constant technological revolution, where new innovations disrupt established business paradigms and solid ground rarely remains solid for long. This shifting landscape necessitates a fundamental change of strategy in almost every commercial sector, including financial services. Social media is the crucible where new business practice is born, with consumers and companies engaged in a passionate conversation about the future of connected business.
At the core of our age of productive disruption is the connected customer, whose network of influence has the power to influence brand perception. Every interaction with customers now has potential consequences, placing a huge premium on intimate, empathetic customer relations and unimpeachable brand ethics. Financial institutions which fail to properly engage with and monitor this inbound stream of social conversations risk missing out and being left in the dust.
The problem of disruption, like all problems, is actually a solution: properly engaging with social media can deliver real benefits to financial institutions and companies of all types. Australia’s largest bank, NAB, is a fantastic example of how embracing disruptive online technologies can lead to material benefits: by setting up a dedicated social media command centre, every part of NAB has access to consistent intelligence and insight across teams, departments, divisions, and locations.
This allows them to:
- 1. Decrease operational costs via social and community customer service, which can replace impersonal, expensive call centres and postal response teams.
- 2. Grow revenue through lead generation and nurturing existing relationships, which can lead to an increase in ROI over time.
- 3. Be more responsive, innovate faster and differentiate the brand among its competitors, helping to establish a corporate personality.
This third point may not seem as attractive to bottom-line watchers as the first two, but if your business is going to be the disruptor and not the disrupted, your online strategy needs to be responsive enough to turn on a penny: the key to staying ahead in the social media marketplace and surviving the waves of disruption is flexibility.