Lithium CX Files: Consorsbank Explains the Importance of Being Customer-Oriented in Today’s Digital World
“We’re still on a journey to learn.”
Michael Herbst – Senior Expert Social Media, Community Manager, Consorsbank
Now four years since its official launch, the ConsorsBank Community has really come into its own, becoming a core piece of the business’s broader customer engagement and social customer care efforts. When the team at ConsorsBank came to Lithium to help build their new community, it was clear that being “customer-first” was their absolute priority. They wanted to create a space where not only quality information was available to customers in real-time, but also where they could easily engage their customers in relevant conversations about the financial services industry and elicit their input for improving their industry-leading products. That’s why we thought we’d squeeze in a few minutes with the bank’s Community Manager, Michael Herbst to learn more about how the community has evolved over the last four years – as well as what plans the bank has to grow its community in the future.
Baking Community into Internal Culture
Truthfully, one of the biggest challenges in building our community was making it a part of our internal culture. As you can imagine, making community a priority for a financial services brand like ours was a fundamental shift in how we would eventually approach customer engagement and customer service in the future. But it paid off – and started changing our internal culture in a big way, so much that our tagline is now (translated in English), “banking the way we live.” Why did we choose this? Simple. The growing shift towards digital has changed customers forever. They have high expectations and need us, especially with regard to real-time financial matters, to be there for them. So, it was our task to create an entirely different (read: “direct”) banking experience. You could even call it a new dimension of customer contact.
Being Customer-Oriented Matters
We are well on our way to becoming known as Germany’s most customer-oriented bank. That’s a huge accolade, not something you’d expect to see being said about a German bank. Investing in our community has been a big part of this. What we’ve learned – and what we now know – is that the biggest measure of our future success will be in relation to how well we’re able to keep in contact with our community members. We don’t want to just be the provider of information. We want to source experts who can bring their knowledge to the community just as much as we want to encourage our own members to co-create on our community platform. This isn’t our community, per se; the community belongs to our members. Building it was an incredible way to involve our customers into the product development process and, more broadly, even weave them into our business operations as a whole. Not to mention, it was a huge opportunity to create more of a self-service customer care environment, which, as we all know, digital-first customers really love.
Learning is the Only Constant
Even though our community has been live for four years, we’re still very much on a journey to learn. Fortunately, Lithium has been a great partner in this journey from the very start. We had a big vision for what our community and social customer care offerings could be. Lithium stepped up to the challenge by providing new and better ways to engage with our community members as well as to improve our internal systems and processes. They taught us how to turn valuable customer feedback and ideas into a better overall banking experience. That’s why we like to say that, thanks in big part to our partnership with Lithium, the relationship we have with our customers is now stronger than ever. Today, our community welcomes more than 580,000 visitors per month – home to over 70,000 members – and hosts close to 40,000 discussions. We are so excited to see our community continue to grow in the future and are proud to partner with Lithium to achieve our goals.
Want to hear more? Check out the video below to see what else Michael had to say:
ABOUT CONSORS BANK Consorsbank is a brand of the French bank BNP Paribas. As a digital direct bank, we want to empower our clients to better understand their day-to-day financial lives. We want to give them the opportunity to gain a clear understanding of where they can save and what they can invest in.
As a community and social media manager, I am the Link between our clients and the bank on the digital social networks.
Communication describes my entire career. Starting with telephone customer service, my career at Consorsbank over the last 18 years has led me to participate in trade fairs and events following by leading of customer seminars and webinars.
Since the emergence of social media as a new dimension of modern customer communication, I have been responsible for the moderation and the further development of Consorsbank in the social web.
The Consorsbank Community is the focus of my activities. Here we meet our customers on equal terms, learn from their experiences and benefit from their ideas.