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Posts Tagged ‘Citi’

STUDY: Banks Don’t Find Much Value in Social Media

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Two questions: do you follow your bank on social? More importantly, why?

A Carlisle & Gallagher survey published in The Guardian this week found that, while some Americans do pay attention to their banks on social, they don’t much care for what they see. 87% of those questioned described the social accounts of said financial institutions to be “annoying, boring and unhelpful.”

One BIG qualifier: only 7% of those surveyed actually follow their financial institutions, yet many mention them by name in public complaints. The issue, then, comes down to customer service on social—or a lack thereof.

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The World’s Greatest Brands: 2013 Edition

StarbucksNike Just Do It Welcome back, dear readers! We hope everyone had a great holiday and survived the crazy season in one piece despite hectic travel schedules, extended visits with the in-laws and borderline alcoholism.

The first of the many, many stories we accumulated over the break is an interesting one: a list of 2013’s 27 “World Champions” of the global branding game, brought to us by Citi and Business Insider.

According to Citi, these 27 brands have beaten all others when it comes to creating “significant and enduring business models over the long term”–and we covered quite a few of them in 2012. Our thoughts on some of the winners after the jump:

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Apple’s ‘Made in USA’ Plan: Good PR, Bad Strategy or Both?

Tim Cook and Brian WilliamsApple CEO Tim Cook made the media rounds this morning to hype a major announcement: For the first time in well over a decade, Apple will be manufacturing a certain number of its products within the United States.

As cynics, we see this move as a blatant attempt to counter all the bad PR that Apple received over the Foxconn outsourcing/slave labor/suicide scandal (though we would note that this awful story didn’t really prevent anyone, least of all ourselves, from buying Apple products).

The fact that late CEO Steve Jobs supposedly denied a request for more domestic production from none other than President Obama strengthens this theory. As much as we’ve accepted outsourcing as a part of the modern business landscape, everyone loves to hear about good new jobs for Americans. So this is great PR, right?

Maybe–but investors hated it, and we have a feeling certain Apple advisers did too.

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Corporate Customer Service Doesn’t Set the Bar High Enough

“Often companies think their customer service experience is better than it really is. However, most corporate customer support fails because it’s not human and is run through the marketing or PR departments.” That was the stark assessment of Frank Eliason, SVP of social at Citi. As a presenter at the Brands Conference on Wednesday in New York he outlined general problems facing the area along with ways to address the issues.

The customer service function is not new, but social media has changed the dynamic. “Social media has provided outlets where customers can vent, so they are taking back the power,” Eliason said. However, the existence of social platforms has led to another situation, he added. “Companies are in effect sending the message that if you want something fixed, then be as loud as you can about it.” He thinks the long-term answer is creating a feedback loop to fix the underlying causes of the complaints.

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Citi Is Trying to be Consumer-Centric

Citi's chief executive Vikram Pandit using the video chat at the new NYC branch. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty images

For the New Year, Citigroup is introducing a number of new credit cards, eliminating a few old ones, and offering consumers new perks. However, understanding and fully taking advantage of those perks – with a variety of fees and rules tacked on – could prove to be difficult, according to the New York TimesYour Money column.

The bank also made a big show of the grand opening of a new branch in NYC last week, which the Times says is one of many planned for cities nationwide in an effort to “bolster its consumer business.”

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