BofA Takes Twitter to Next Level with CRM

Bank of America has been working on a CRM solution to monitor and manage its Twitter-based customer service efforts. It appears the bank has teamed with Salesforce to deploy the customer-service computing company’s Service Cloud 2 product that was introduced earlier this year. You can see a rather bizarre looking exchange of test “tweets” between a temporary account (@aobtest) and BofA’s VP of Social Spaces.

The CRM package automatically creates “service cases” whenever someone says something on Twitter matching a set of pre-defined keywords. A support agent can search an integrated “knowledge base” for resources addressing a customer’s query, then attach any relevant information in a reply tweet that gets logged and tracked.

BofA has been helping its customers on Twitter since January, making it the first bank to use the social media tool as a customer service channel. After experimenting with the idea for nine months, it’s now clear BofA believes in Twitter and sees enough future promise to make this deeper level of commitment.

It would seem BofA’s Twitter CRM initiative addresses a concern some social media analysts have raised about financial institutions that don’t track the customer service interactions via Twitter.

BofA was reluctant to discuss details of the project until it was further developed. It’s unclear precisely when the bank will actively deploy the CRM system.

Other Salesforce clients deploying its CRM solution include Dell, CNN and Orange.

Key Questions:

  • How are multiple users handled, since some financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Amex have a team of staffers manning their Twitter accounts.
  • Will Twitter interactions logged through CRM systems like Salesforce be integrated into a financial institution’s broader customer data file — something all employees could view and access?

Bottom Line: If you want to prove the value of something, you have to track and measure it. How else could BofA know whether its customer service efforts on Twitter will be paying off if it didn’t deploy a CRM solution (or something similar)? Simply saying, “It seems we have a lot of happy customers” isn’t enough.

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