Twitter as a Customer Support Channel in the Neobanking Industry
Neobanks use Twitter as a customer support platform to provide fast and relevant responses in an informal style. Do digital banks offer detailed solutions on Twitter or do they view it only as a channel for incoming requests?
To find out, we've analysed 105.5 thousand tweets – and here are our findings.
We collected all the tweets posted by 12 neobanks and 2 personal finance apps (Bankin' and Linxo) in 2019.
This amounted to 105,500 meaningful tweets, excluding those that featured only gifs, images, and emojis. The bar chart shows how these tweets are distributed among different banks:
Note that there are 2 different N26 accounts on the chart: one principal and the other for support. We decided to keep both of them separate for the purpose of a more reliable analysis. Atom and Tandem have dedicated support accounts, but they don't have enough tweets to be included in the study.
As the diagram shows, far from all neobanks are active on Twitter. Some prefer to use other social media platforms to communicate with their customers. For details, see our study Neobanks' key traffic channels.
12 out of 14 neobanks use Twitter to provide tech support. Some, such as N26, Atom, and Tandem, have dedicated support accounts in addition to their primary accounts.
Digital banks like introducing their team members to the audience by means of mentions and signed tweets. This helps to personalize communication.
The support team needs to use Twitter since customers regularly use it as a channel to report their issues. How Twitter interactions are organized depends on each bank's internal business process structure. In some banks, the support team responds directly on Twitter and in others, the SMM department registers incoming requests and creates support tickets.
The following diagrams illustrate the average number of characters in each neobank's tweets. The mean length is between 100 and 130 characters out of the maximum of 280 characters allowed per Tweet.
Apps such as Atom, Bankin’, Gohenry, and Lunar Way prefer to use all the allowed characters to post long, detailed tweets. In contrast, tweets by Tandem and Starling are short and to the point. They use less than 100 characters to convey their message.
Popular Words Used in Neobanking Tweets
Below you'll find a list of the most frequent words and phrases used in each neobank's tweets.
In order to identify frequent words, we used N-gram analysis to study unigrams, bigrams and trigrams – sequences of 1, 2, and 3 words.
336 tweets in 2019
Atom has a dedicated support account with the handle @AtomHelp but we didn't include it in our analysis because it has a low number of tweets. The chart below is based on the bank's primary account only.
Atom actively uses Twitter as a hiring tool. Words like iwanttowork (the bank’s HR email address), info, and CV lead on the unigram list.
Number one among the bigrams is 'first time'. These tweets deal with people's first experiences in various areas of personal finance – such as buying one's first house.
Some of these tweets use the dedicated hashtag #Firsttimebuyers.
907 tweets in 2019
All of Bankin's tweets are in French. The style is very polite, as shown by the presence of bonjour and merci at the top of the list. The team always greet customers by name, thank them, and attach personal signatures to show that a real staff member is providing help and not a bot.
No.4 on the list is the unigram DM which stands for direct message. We analyzed the tweets containing this abbreviation and found that the bank often asks users to send their personal information via a direct message to help resolve the issue.
Another interesting unigram is compte (account, no. 6). It's used in tweets that deal with user accounts and bank accounts. Other popular words – fintech and startup — are hashtags that accompany quizzes.
3000 tweets in 2019
Bunq doesn't solve tech issues directly on Twitter. Instead, it uses the social platform as a channel to identify user issues and pass them onto their support team. The list of frequent unigrams lacks the standard dm (direct message). However, it includes support, email, and send. Roughly 1 out of 6 tweets contain the bank's email address.
This strategy of channelling incoming requests to the support team is also reflected in the list of the most frequently used bigrams: Support.com leads by a very large margin.
1420 tweets in 2019
The unigram lists of Qonto and Bankin' are very similar. Both neobanks respond to tweets quickly and politely, address the customer by name, and suggest switching to direct messages.
Interestingly, the list of the most frequent unigrams also includes société (company). This shows that the bank works not only with private clients but also with B2B clients, which require a more complex support system.
Here are the popular bigrams:
The bigram petit déjeuner (breakfast) shows that the bank regularly arranges informal meetings with its customers in the office kitchen.
1330 tweets in 2019
Apart from the standard greetings and requests to send details in a DM, the list includes the unigram Leslie. This is the name of the support team member who often responds to user comments. All of Gohenry's employees sign their tweets:
This way the customer knows that they are dealing with a living person and not with an impersonal account. Introducing oneself by name is standard practice for call center employees. It helps build trust and customer loyalty.
The interaction script is quite standard. The team member greets the customer, registers the question or request and, if possible, provides an immediate solution to the problem. Otherwise, the customer is asked to provide additional information via DM, email, or by phone.
589 tweets in 2019
Linxo's unigrams are rather standard: a greeting, thank you, and an email address. The top-20 also includes the words patience and compréhension (understanding) which form part of the phrase that is used in many of the tweets to respond to customers' tech issues: 'thank you for your patience and understanding'.
133 tweets in 2019
Lunar Way is less active on Twitter than other neobanks. The Dutch startup uses this communication channel less than all other social media platforms. It doesn't solve technical issues on Twitter, and customers themselves rarely ask questions there. Even when they do, their requests sometimes go unanswered.
Interestingly, the list of frequent unigrams includes the nicknames of the neobank's team members: villums is used by the CEO and phennex stands for the neobank's head of research.
Unigrams often indicate which country a neobank's head office is located. In the case of Lunar Way, the location is identified by the words dkbiz, dkfinans, (DK being short for Denmark) and vores (ours in Danish).
1930 tweets in 2019
The neobank redirects those customers who have reported a problem to their tech support page.
A particular feature of Monese's Tweets are reminders that the tech support can take longer to respond when it's very busy.
The bank provides almost no support on Twitter but it doesn't leave customer queries without an answer either. The standard reply goes along these lines: 'Hello, thank you for your message, you can contact our support team here'.
22 640 tweets in 2019
One interesting thing about this unigram list is the word app at number 3. The popularity of this keyword is explained by the fact that whenever a user reports an issue with the app, the Monzo team advises to reinstall it. Anyone who has ever called the support of an ISP or other tech provider has probably experienced this approach to problem-solving.
At the bottom of the top 20, we find the word love, which is not found in any other neobank's unigram list.
744 tweets in 2019
The account @n26 doesn't provide tech support. Whenever a customer reports an issue, the neobank redirects them to their dedicated Twitter account @N26_Support.
Nevertheless, we decided to analyze the frequent unigram chart for this account.
11 450 tweets in 2019
This account provides support in 5 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian. No other neobanks we've reviewed offer multilingual support on such a scale. This probably incurs high costs for the bank, but the opportunity to contact support in their own language increases customers' loyalty and satisfaction.
One of the most frequent unigrams is DM. Roughly one-third of all tweets include a request to send a direct message to solve the issue. The tweets advising the customer to send an email are only half as frequent.
45 540 tweets in 2019
The most frequent unigram is DM (direct message). It is found in 25% of all the tweets from 2019. The Twitter accounts of N26 and Revolut have similar unigram lists, except for the fact that Revolut only provides support in English.
155 tweets in 2019
Soldo doesn't provide tech support on Twitter and is generally less active on this social platform than other neobanks.
The startup often mentions the CEO in its tweets. The unigram CEO is in the 9th spot, while his Twitter username, cgualandri, is no. 15.
14 860 in 2019
The unigram team is no.2 on the list: Startling Bank calls its support customer service team and advises users to contact them in case of issues.
485 tweets in 2019
The unigram tandemhelp refers to the bank's dedicated support account on Twitter, launched in August 2019. It's mentioned whenever a customer is advised to contact the support team.
Neobanks use Twitter as a fast response channel to solve customer issues. Once a user describes their problem and includes the neobank's handle, the bank usually responds with some advice and feedback.
There is no universal pattern for how neobanks run their Twitter accounts. Some prefer to refer users straight to the support team, using standard responses and adding links to the website, email, or app. Others resolve issues directly in a Twitter thread or via direct messages.
Neobanks might be a very innovative niche in finance, but the way they deal with customer complaints is quite traditional. They greet the user, apologize, comment on the issue, and create a support ticket.
Some neobanks get creative on Twitter to stand out among the competition or show that they really care. Some use team member signatures at the end of tweets, while others introduce multilingual support to promote customer loyalty.
300 Most Frequent Unigrams
These 300 words should be enough to compile a response to just about any customer support request on Twitter.
Neobanks' Twitter Activity
The following bar charts demonstrate the seasonality in the number of Twitter requests.
An exception is Revolut, their number of tweets continues to grow regardless of the season.