Have You Visited Bank of America's Twitter Branch?


Have You Visited Bank of America's Twitter Branch?

Back in December I wrote a story about Twitter. At the time, I had just started using the service. In fact, I had exactly zero followers when I posted my story (link here). Today I have around 360 followers who receive my dispatches throughout the day. Meanwhile, I follow some 180 people, including David Knapp, a Bank of America employee who serves as point man for Bank of America's Twitter operation.

Bank of America certainly isn't alone in using Twitter to connect with its customers (Wachovia and Wells Fargo have Twitter accounts), but Bank of America does it well and it does it best.

I was curious to see how Bank of America and its Twitter team keep up with customers (and questions), so I recently contacted David Knapp, senior vice president, national customer experience, to find out.

CreditMattersBlog.com: Is there a benefit to a customer contacting you at Twitter? Do you give more personalized attention? In other words, is there a benefit to talking with David Knapp at Twitter as opposed to talking with Jane Doe in the New Mexico call center?

David Knapp: We see ourselves as another point of contact for customers. We work with an experienced team to research and attempt to resolve customer issues. And we’re able to provide a quick answer or direction if needed.

CreditMattersBlog.com: Why does Bank of America have a Twitter presence?

David Knapp: It provides an opportunity for us to listen, learn, and help our customers in a dynamic social space. Also, we do see social spaces as a potential channel of choice for our customers.

CreditMattersBlog.com: How many questions does Twitter BofA field during a typical day?

David Knapp: It varies, but for the most part volume is significantly lower compared to traditional channels at this point.

CreditMattersBlog.com: Can credit-card customers use the Twitter platform to resolve issues?

David Knapp: At the moment, we are concentrating on helping consumer and small business customers who have questions or issues with our products. In most instances our traditional channels (banking centers and call centers) can help our customers, but if our customers prefer contacting us in this channel we’re here if they need help.

CreditMattersBlog.com: What are the limitations of using Twitter -- from the customer's point of view?

David Knapp: First and foremost, customers should never share account information in unsecured locations. For this reason, we take these conversations offline so that customers can give us details of their issues and we can take the time we need to research and resolve the issues. Availability may be perceived as another limitation. In other words, our call center or banking center associates may be more accessible because of the number of associates working within those channels. But we do check for tweets 6 days a week and respond to serviceable @Replies.

CreditMattersBlog.com: How safe is it for customers to contact Bank of America through Twitter? How does Bank of America safeguard customer information?

David Knapp: As mentioned earlier, customers should never share account information in unsecured locations. Twitter is a public space. While conversations are more private when interacting via a Direct Message, we encourage sensitive customer information (such as last 4 digits of an account number) to be exchanged only once the conversation is taken offline. Also, customers should make sure to only contact us through Twitter at BofA_help. At this time, we do not have a presence in any other social spaces.

CreditMattersBlog.com: You have a life outside of Twitter. What are your normal "Twitter hours?"

David Knapp: I’m not always online; I do have to sleep a few hours a night. But I do go back to the previous day’s sign-off to look for any opportunities to help our customers.

If I was a Bank of America customer, I wouldn't hesitate to contact David Knapp through Twitter (link here). Twitter users who deal with David seem to be quite happy (as evidenced by some of their messages). If you're looking for a customer-service team that cares about customers, David and his group might be just what you're looking for.

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