For example, an executive receives a message
seeking a wire-transfer approval but has a
question. on the same screen she clicks an
icon to bring up a contact list and calls the correct contact to answer the question. When she
hangs up, the wire-transfer screen reappears
and she can press the approval icon to transfer
the funds, all without leaving the application—
similar to the multiple communication choices
or an executive may be looking at the image
of a check and wants to share it with colleagues
in accounts payable to show it has cleared. The
new mobile apps now allow sharing images
via e-mails, santiago says, and as executives
become more comfortable with the capability, it
can be extended to other messaging options.
“Why are these social media networks so
popular? Because users can quickly and easily
communicate,” santiago says, adding that clients say the social media workflow patterns the
bank has incorporated seem designed to meet
their business needs.
And those features’ “discoverability”—their
intuitiveness—has been important in today’s
troubled economy, where employee turnover
may be high and new or existing employees
have limited time to learn new duties. “It’s
easier for associates to learn about the product,
because these patterns are so common,” santiago says.
He adds that Bank of America’s advisory
committee meetings still take place in person
or via Cisco TelePresence, which lessens
geographical constraints but still requires
participants to attend at a specific time. social media channels on the other hand enable
participation at virtually any time and from
any place. In today’s busy world, as upper-level executives become more comfortable
using social media channels, a virtual setting
to provide and exchange ideas would appear
Tinker says Wells Fargo used feedback from
its dozen advisory councils to design the mobile
services offered to commercial customers, pro-
viding the features they requested, such as ac-
cess to previous day and intraday balances and
the ability to approve wires and reset passwords.
The advisory councils also helped the bank craft
transition guidelines for customers navigating
the changes resulting from Wells Fargo’s integra-
tion of Wachovia, telling commercial customers
what was changing, how to
use the new services, and who
to contact with questions.
It seemed like a
logical extension to
move to an online
forum, so if someone
has a question
or idea but is not
in the room, it can
still be addressed.
—WELLs FArGo’s tInkEr
To facilitate that exchange of ideas, Wells
Fargo started up a social media service resembling a rudimentary Facebook that lets members of its advisory committees communicate
virtually. The bank has temporarily suspended
that service while it decides on the technology
to build a more robust platform providing access to all Ceo customers.
Tinker says the technology decision—likely to
be made in the first quarter—has less to do with
the user interface than the “ease with which
customers can get around” and communicate
with each other.
Citigroup has targeted the first quarter to
launch a social media channel designed to foster collaboration with clients in a secure environment and will use its own vendor-built proprietary channel instead of an existing service
such as linkedIn. Citi has also experimented
with other social media to engage corporate
customers in the last several years.
“For us, the next step is to create closed
communities for these groups of individuals
who either work together or know each other
from the more traditional channels and feel
very open about having a dialogue,” says leslie
Klein, global head
of marketing for Citi
Global Transaction ser-
Those communities are likely to
be highly popular if GTs’s internal
social media program is any indication. It al-
lows GTs’s 20,000 employees to collaborate.
starting two years ago, for instance, GTs intro-
duced “jam session” Web sites where employ-
ees can communicate with one another about
such topics as sales, operations, technology and
even how to best serve a specific client. Klein
says one three-day jam session generated more
than 6,800 postings from 4,000 employees in
88 countries, ranging from entry-level analysts
to C-level management.
For external clients, GTs leverages its ex-
pertise by producing videos providing up-to-
the-minute news and “thought leadership,”
which clients can access wherever they are.
GTs has also been using Twitter for a year
and a half to augment its public relations
efforts, and while those tweets have been
picked up mostly by journalists, industry
analysts and associations, the articles and
reports they write are ultimately read by exist-
ing and prospective clients, Klein says.
meeting with executives on Citi’s consumer
banking side, which has more experience with
social media programs, GTs decided to try their
recommendation that it follow tweets of its key
clients, who in turn would likely begin to follow
the bank’s tweets.
“Nine times out of 10 the person or cli-
ent company would end up following GTs’s
tweets,” Klein says.