You can bank on us: Customer communication lessons to learn from TSB’s problems
It’s been hard to ignore recent headlines about TSB Bank’s IT problems. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of customers were left locked out of their online accounts after the bank’s planned IT migration didn’t go according to plan.
The lack of service, which can now be measured in weeks, would be bad enough. But the problem escalated when some people reported they could access other customers’ accounts and see their balances – one man granted access to £35,000 couldn’t even get through to flag the issue.
TSB’s problems underline the existing concerns consumers have with online banking – our own research revealed that 79% of UK consumers are worried customer service will suffer as a result of the switch to online.
TSB’s failure to update customers, or even hear their warnings, is a stark example of how important it is to stay on top of your communications and have enough staff available to listen in a crisis. The best approach for a bank to take in this kind of situation is to make the first move, proactively warning customers via multiple channels. For example, adding advice to telephone holding messages, or pinning a message to the top of their Twitter page, whilst relatively simple, would keep customers in the know, rather than having to find out second-hand.
To handle an incident like this in the future, banks should plan even further ahead. For instance, there could be plans in place to contract in extra workers to help across all communication channels, giving a better chance of controlling the deluge of incoming requests. Banks should also be looking into what parts of their systems they could automate, as building in processes such as automatically pulling information onto a website homepage, or directing visitors to their local branch, will again help to reduce traffic and provide the information people need.
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