“I work for Bank of America, and I’m here to help.” Sounds legit, right? Well according to Gizmodo, the Bank of America Twitter account was tweeting this and other scripted responses to the @OccupyLA Twitter account and several others – leading many to believe the bank had automated their Twitter responses.
Bank of America later disputed this claim and said that all responses are made by one of their 100 person social media team. However, being able to understand the context of a tweet and what kind of response is required is critical. What’s next – tweeting back to foursquare checkins?
People have hated automated customer service from the moment it was introduced. How many times have you listened to a recorded IVR, selected options, waited, waited, waited, and eventually heard a prerecorded standard response. Drives you nuts right? Or a website that forces you to view a knowledge base or FAQs webpage before showing the contact details of the organisation (instead these pages should be easily accessible via Search).
Social media is about people, people, people. Introducing automated responses might be one way to handle volume, but even using an automated response initially will generate a reply, and eventually an actual person will need to deal with it anyway. It’s not worth the few minutes you might save.
And speaking of automation and Twitter, the company has recently changed their API so that automated follow backs are no longer supported, but did not quite go as far to ban those automated DMs which everyone hates. They might be a way to ‘thank’ people for following, but really they are just more unwanted spam. Please make it stop.
The very best news of all though is that Twitter this week started syncing DMs across all devices. No more needing to mark DMs as read on the web, on your phone, on your tablet, at home, at work and anywhere else where you might access Twitter from. This was probably the most irritating aspect of Twitter, so it is good to see they have finally listened to their users and fixed this problem. Users might even start reading their DMs again.