The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Where are Banks in Community Management?

James has a good post on the shift from traditional PR to Community Management, and he explains that mechanics quite well. His example of Debbie at Wesabe is an ideal one.

BankerVision: PR shifts to Community Management

One final question is in my mind, though, is what use HSBC’s or Citi’s Community Outreach Coordinator will make of a competitive bank’s blogger like myself? Will they just ignore me, or take a leap of faith and realise that the community is powerful regardless of who is in it?

Relevance to Bankwatch:
His final paragraph says it all. With the lone exception of Ed Terpenning at Wells Fargo, where are the community managers at the big Banks? I know a large part of the reason lies in the fear of loss of control of the message. Any Banks care to comment?

Written by Colin Henderson

August 25, 2008 at 12:52

2 Responses

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  1. Wesabe, Mint, Rudder, Geezeo et al. and many of the new financial management services are built on the idea of connecting people.

    Traditional banks face a couple pretty big issues… to start:

    1) Loss of control of message: obviously
    2) Unsure how to deal with negative messages and comments from people: traditional banks are not used to doing customer service in public forums, and are very risk-averse in branching out to deeper community management
    3) Banks are risk-averse towards helping customers share information between each other about many financial issues since the banks bear the burden of protecting personal financial information and being the “sponsor” of the information that appears on their forums
    4) Organization coordination: still a lot of uncertainty where “community management” should reside within internal silos
    5) Banks still have yet to realize the power of the “community” contained within their customers

    I’m not saying these are all relevant concerns or good reasons behind bank’s resistance into creating and managing communities; but it will take some work to convince the banks on how to move forward.

    Taylor Davidson

    August 26, 2008 at 10:58

  2. @Taylor …. good list. You have nailed a few issues I am working into another piece. It is hard to see how all Banks can jump out of that hole. I guess that some will manage but not them all.


    August 26, 2008 at 11:38

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