May 12, 2009, 11:59 AM — American Express is turning to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter in an effort to better manage customer relations and boost customer service levels.
Speaking at CeBit in Sydney Tuesday, Jeffrey Evans, head of business intelligence and data management at American Express, said the company is to begin trialing an integration of Facebook and Twitter into its Salesforce.com CRM system with the goal of capturing customer feedback unavailable through traditional channels such as its call centres.
The trial, expected to begin within a week and run for up to two months, follows customers' increasing use of social media as an outlet for their frustrations in life, such as dealing with banks and credit card agencies, Evans said.
"Customers are more likely to use social media to discuss their dealings with financial institutions, rather than talk directly to the institution itself," he said.
"When people talk about American Express [on Twitter or Facebook]... and are frustrated with our service, we can actually pick that up in our service area and start to then deal directly with those people."
Evans said the new capability would provide a way of increasing connectivity between the financial institution via its call centre staff - who would be trained up on using social media as a customer service tool - and customers.