Customer Service: Which Retail Banks are Most Responsive on Twitter – Brandwatch study


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This was a guest post that I did for Brandwatch, the social media and monitoring tools business, and originally appeared on their blog here. I have been collaborating with them on a piece of research around 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).

Conversation banks subjects twitter

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.

Producing this report was, in part, a collaborative (or crowd-sourced) effort. Thank you to the following for contributing, commenting and offering constructive feedback on our data gathering and analysis:

  • Jo Causon of The Institute of Customer Service
  • Guy Stephens of CapGemini
  • Maz Iqbal of
  • Hazel McLellan of
  • Martin Hill-Wilson of
  • Amanda Brown of first direct
  • Betony Taylor and Lauren Anthony of HSBC
  • Mark Shaw of
  • Delfin Vassallo of Barclays
  • Craig McKay of RBS/NatWest
  • Thanks to circusvoltaire for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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