I’m all for personal service, but since when did my bank become my friend?
On my birthday last weekend, I received well wishing messages and calls from friends and family both here and abroad.
It’s always fantastic to get a phone call or text and it’s something that makes me really miss the people I don’t get to see that often.
But when suddenly a Happy Birthday message appeared on my mobile screen from my bank, the only emotion I felt was surprise, closely followed by disappointment, as it was no more than a few kind words and not a message offering me an interest-free loan as a birthday treat!
Banks and customers have long had a very formal relationship.
People used to put on a tie to go see their banker – and probably still do – while not too long ago being a banker was seen as a prestigious position within society.
Today however, not only have bankers lost and destroyed their “holier than thou” reputation, the formality that has long gone along side banking has been reduced to a thumbs up “Like” button on Facebook.
Apparently banks are cashing in on social media sites and trying to befriend customers via sites like Facebook.
Currently about 25% on financial firms are using social media to connect with customers, while about 90% admit that they are earmarking funds to follow suit.
Getting rid of stiff formalities and getting chummy with customers seems to be the order of the day for modern banks, hence Birthday text messages and friend requests from financial institutions.
However, being a virtual friend of your bank may have benefits.
They aren’t going to bring you over hot dinners if you’re feeling poorly, but if you have got a bank-related problem, it’s now possible to skip the frustrating hold music and tweet your complaint for faster service.
Some banks are even offering Refer-A-Friend contests and rewards and we definitely “Like” that!
Check out what your bank has to offer.