Nowadays, customers need not wait long, holding the line, in order to pay a bill, voice a concern, or report a lost or stolen bankcard. Somehow, your tweet is almost immediately responded to should you wish to address your bank, a magazine, or restaurant. It is truly astounding how information has become instantaneously relevant, and the speediness to which larger corporations catch on to the social trend is even more astounding. Communication is no longer between entity and individual, yet entities and companies are considered as individuals in the daily interactions of an organization’s activities being broadcasted via social media channels, and, moreover, responding to their customers’ needs.
Companies worldwide are creatively utilizing social media, and The National Bank of Kuwait is a prime example demonstrating the power of yielding strong consumer interaction via their social media channels. Marketing campaigns are smartly integrated via other communication channels, yet consumers wildly react to the fun trivia questions posted on facebook, and the chances readily available to win instant rewards. In this enlightening interview with Badria Al Reshaid, an NBK’ Social Media specialist, we shed light on NBK’s social media channels, their purposes and the keys behind their success
When were NBK’s official Twitter account and Facebook fan page first launched?
NBK’s social networking channels Twitter and Facebook were both launched in early 2008 as part of our ongoing endeavor to communicate with the various segments within society in every possible way. We took this step because we thought social media had great potential to put us in direct contact with our customers. Better communication with our customers means better service to them.
How many users do you currently have on both channels? Is participation limited to specific age groups?
NBK directly interacts with about 43,000 social media users. The number of fans on our Facebook page is approaching 30,000 members while the number of NBK’s Twitter followers is 13,000. Both figures top the numbers of most local banks’ social media channels. Contrary to what is generally believed, participation is not limited to specific age groups, we have a large and diverse base of users.
What kind of news do you normally post on Facebook?
Normally, our posts and tweets include latest NBK offers, winner announcements of various draws, updates and security alerts regarding online banking, notifications of salary deposits dates, new ATM locations and much more important information. We also have competitions specifically made for Facebook and twitter, in addition to the interactive aspect that covers responding to customers’ enquiries and handling complaints. The wide range of services NBK offers via new social networking channels is increasing in popularity amongst customers because of their convenience.
Are there any specific activities or functions for NBK on Facebook?
We started with a first-of-its-kind photography competition on our Facebook fan page to commemorate NBK’s 58th anniversary. The competition provided our fans with the opportunity to participate with photos about the bank. The winning photo received a KD 250 prize. We later launched several other competitions like “ habibityyakuwait” about the Kuwaiti dailect, “Back to school” and “AdhaEidiya” with valuable prizes. We really are proud of the high level of personal interaction achieved with our customers who participate in our social media competitions.
How can customers deliver their enquiries or questions via these sites?
They can simply post their inquiries on our wall. We also devoted a special email address (email@example.com) to enable Facebook fans to send their enquiries directly to us. Twitter followers can mention us on twitter or send Direct Messages to get in touch with us.
What are the prospects of such channels? Will they become major communication channels for NBK?
NBK assigns great importance to social networking channels such as Twitter and Facebook as part of its endeavors to keep up the pace with the latest development that suit and meet customers’ needs. We value social media simply because we believe in using technology to improve our value-added services. It is about our customers’ satisfaction more than anything else.