Fields of Serendipity

Fields of Serendipity

Fields of Serendipity

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First Direct have taken me from empathy to offense in under two minutes and three Tweets

February 26, 2010 , , , ,

First Direct really should have thought about reputation management before they embarked on their Customer Sentiment and Social campaign.

This morning I opened up my twitter account to find that I was DMed by First Direct on ways to improve my sex life. I’ve heard of Customer Relationship Management but this may be taking it a step too far.

My immediate reaction was one of pity because clearly they were attacked by the Twitter Phisher. But then they told me to disregard this in a public reply.

Apparently they were ‘hacked’ last night. So now I think ‘hang on you’ve been hacked. But, I entrust my worldly wealth to you.’. Now I’m worried. With a re-read I notice a hint of complacency there and the anger begins to set in. But a second Tweet follows quickly. Perhaps this one will be better crafted.

Still no ‘sorry’, just a clarification that ‘all is well’. Still no DM to me explaining what’s happened. Good thing I was online at the time of the clarification. I’m not getting the ‘all is well’ feeling.
Ah ha. Now the apology but in the form of another clarification. ‘Just to clarify, it wasn’t a password issue at all. Oh, and sorry for the offense caused.’. No offense was ever caused because of the initial attack: spam happens. I am however offended by how this has been dealt with.
First Direct clearly has no crash bag. If you are going to base your entire marketing strategy on Customer Sentiment and a Social Strategy this is a massive oversight. Especially in light of what has happened with Toyota and Euro Star recently, and the fact that Twitter had warned more phishing is likely to happen.
It looks like First Direct is only prepared for when the going is good. In a previous post I used them as an example of a brand that should start to think about how they respond when the going is not so good, and this morning adds weight and a certain amount of urgency to this need.
In under two minutes I’ve gone from empathy to offense – that is the power of Social Media. First Direct I used to salute you, I no longer do.
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comments

Well assessed. I suppose I have to take it as read that they have assigned a 13-year old to run their Twitter channel. We'd all like to think of our bank as solid and sensible (even if it might have a sense of humour), and this incident illustrates the risks of using social media if you don't manage it just as seriously as any other communication platform. Thanks for the storyHoward

bohbehchow

March 9, 2010