Banks that use social media to handle customer complaints might be doing more harm than good, according to a study released Tuesday by a Charlotte consulting company.
The findings by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group show that 90 percent of customers prefer to discuss problems with their bank in private, as opposed to on social media sites.
In another finding, 68 percent of consumers say they would never use social media to solve a problem with their bank.
The findings come as Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites have become popular outlets for consumer complaints. The trend has resulted in companies, including big banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, to monitor social media for complaints on a daily basis and respond directly to upset consumers.
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Banks, like other companies, also use often social media to tout their products and services as well as to share financial tips, such as ways to save money.
Those efforts might also be backfiring, the survey results suggest. In another finding, 87 percent of customers say banks’ use of social media is annoying, boring or unhelpful. Also, 52 percent of customers say the use of social media by banks is ineffective.
Among customers who might turn to social media to complain about their banks, 54 percent prefer Facebook, while 18 percent prefer Twitter. LinkedIn ranks third, preferred by 12 percent of customers, followed by blogs at 10 percent and “other” and 6 percent.
The survey was based on online interviews in September with 1,002 U.S. consumers.