Customer Service: Which Retail Banks are Most Responsive on Twitter? Marketing

By Adrian Swinscoe on May 16th 2012

This is a guest post from Adrian Swinscoe, who we have been collaborating with on this piece of research given his interest in customer service and social media. 

Our industry focus starts with the financial sector and, in particular, the high street banks.

As a result, we started a social media monitoring exercise from December 16th 2011 to March 16th 2012. Our objective was to investigate:

  • Who in the UK retail banking sector is using Twitter as a customer service channel?
  • How responsive are banks on Twitter  for customer service and customer related issues?
  • Are banks listening and responding and to what degree?

Through our listening exercise, we found out a number of things. Firstly, we discovered that customer service plays the dominant role in Twitter activity across all banks, validating its importance as emerging customer service and contact channel. (see chart below).

Note: this chart shows the distribution of Twitter mentions and the issues/areas that they related to across the banks surveyed. As we can see, the customer service element plays a leading role in the use of the platform.

Secondly, that Twitter is not unlike any other customer service channel and that responding and responsiveness to the customer are key to building engagement.

Lastly, our data capture and analysis has allowed us to construct a Response Index and league table for the main UK Retail Banks showing the level of responsiveness of the bank to a query regarding customer service and customer related issues.

It is a broad index and one that we aim to expand to include more banks, then repeat and refine on an ongoing basis to include, where possible, issues like time to respond and sentiment etc.

Both first in the rankings and direct with their responses, our initial findings suggest that First Direct is the most responsive bank on Twitter closely followed by Barclays and Lloyds TSB.

Surprisingly however, given its stated focus on customer service, Metro Bank is the least responsive bank on Twitter to queries regarding customer service and other customer related issues. Furthermore – rather aptly, regarding their performance in the Responsiveness League Table – Metro Bank failed to respond when asked if they would like to comment on our findings.

Let us know if your experience fits with our League Table findings and how you think we should be refining our analytics, or what else you think we should be measuring.

If you are interested in seeing the full results you can get a copy by clicking here.

Adrian Swinscoe


Adrian is a consultant and coach based in Brighton (just round the corner from our HQ) who writes about customer focused strategies to grow your business on his blog. When not doing that he helps clients with customer and employee engagement, customer experience, social media and digital marketing issues.

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  • Adrian, thanks for sharing the study. Interesting in light of some recent statistics from the PwC banking study which shows that 62% of respondents prefer the Internet as their banking method. It appears from your data that some banks are starting to understand the impact of this switch in consumer channel preference. (up from 40% in 2007).

    It would be interesting to see which banks start to actually offer Twitter or integrate twitter as part of the official customer service contact options.


    Source: PwC Study: Retail Banking

  • Brandwatch

    Thanks for your comment Jeff. We’ve seen a growing number of banking clients start to take social seriously, but there are still issues surrounding security and so on that can make it difficult. It’s good to see that banks are starting to explore using social media for customer service though.

    This was a guest post from Adrian so he may not respond here, but feel free to tweet him (@adrianswinscoe) if you’d like to talk to him directly.


    Jasmine (Community Manager)