French bank Société Générale uses Twitter customer service as brand differentiator

societe general tv adFrench bank Société Générale is taking an interesting approach to using Twitter for customer service, by promising customers that it will answer any queries they tweet within 30 minutes, as long as they are sent during business hours.

It’s a great idea – customers expect to be able to communicate with businesses in many ways and it’s quite frustrating if businesses only use social media to push their messages, rather than listen.

Managing expectations in the form of a guaranteed response time is a good move for Société Générale. And with banking brands really struggling to differentiate themselves to customers, you can see why Société Générale has made its Twitter promise part of a major advertising push. (The ad’s in French but it’s not a stretch to get the point of it.)

On the other hand, you can imagine for some businesses it would be prohibitive to make any such promises. Look at the @ replies feed of any of the mobile phone networks and you’ll likely find a stream of furious tweets from customers who’ve got no signal – an issue that can be caused by a fault in the mobile network, but by myriad other problems that take time and need information to diagnose.

You can read more about the campaign on the Twitter blog.