Social Media is a boon for brands. It is a free medium where brands get to interact directly with their customers, and in some cases, they can even partly port their customer service function to it. Some brands, and Safaricom is a good example here, have done this excellently.
Barclays one of the most well known brands in Kenya joined the social media jungle, to handle the customer issues and complaints through twitter account @Barclays_kenya. Personally I have not been following what has been going on the Barclays account until they decided that the World should know the balance of one of their customers through the twitter public timeline..
Here is what they said which you would not find on their account at the moment because they were quick to delete after an outcry from Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT)
What was absolutely shocking about the tweet was the obvious breach of confidentiality and this was made apparent by the fact that that particular tweet was eventually deleted. Let’s be honest, some people don’t reveal the true value of what they have in their bank accounts to even their spouses but here comes Barclays Bank which reveals it all to the world and on the twitter public timeline no less.
It is an open secret that Robert Alai is a controversial fellow and many people would attest to that but Barclays owe him an explanation in this case. Well, I am not a lawyer but some have suggested that he should sue Barclays for this. Which basically I feel that they are right…
— Mr Steve Biko Wafula (@SokoAnalyst) July 6, 2012
How does @Barclays_Kenya mulika a ninja’s (very negative) account balance live on the TL? What happened to confidentiality?
— Archer (@ArcherMishale) July 6, 2012
Barclays later came to their senses and replaced that tweet with the following
@RobertAlai Hi Robert. We will have a Barclays representative call you to explain the charges.
— Barclays Bank Kenya (@Barclays_Kenya) July 6, 2012
Maybe Barclays Kenya at this point in time need some social media “actual experts’ to show them the way..
— aisha (@bintiM) July 6, 2012
Eh, @Barclays_Kenya, learn from Safaricom’s twitter account to DM some information, not the public timeline!
— Savvy Kenya (@savvykenya) July 6, 2012
Thanks to James Wamathai for contributing to this article.