Back in the mid-1800s, the Wells Fargo stagecoach delivered mail between St. Louis and San Francisco, offering a (relatively) fast and reliable way for people to stay connected. Today the stagecoach has given way to the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn—social channels that are fast becoming the way customers communicate, connect, and share their opinions. Always the innovators, the executives at Wells Fargo have been among the first to grab the reins of these social channels to help deepen customer relationships.
"We're a relationship bank," says Steve Ellis, the visionary head of Wells Fargo's Wholesale Service Group. "Many of our customers use multiple banks so our goal is to be the lead bank in every market we're in."
Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking has nearly 300 distinct products and services, and many of their business customers use a number of those products. That means customers are working with different people in the bank. To provide a seamless customer experience, Wells Fargo needs to make sure its people are connected to each other—across its regions and different lines of business. "It's not easy to find the person who knows what you're looking for or what you need help with, "says Ellis." It used to be that you could just call someone on the phone and you could make that happen. Now you just can't because we're so big and there are so many new people here. So we see social tools as a way to help people connect around customers, to connect around building products, and to connect around risk management practices." Enter salesforce.com.
With Salesforce technology, Wells Fargo can use social channels to hear what customers are saying, more quickly respond to customer questions and issues, and offer customers more insight into the bank's products and services. The result: Customer satisfaction skyrockets.
A lot of banks talk about making better customer connections—Wells Fargo put its money where its mouth is, and it's paying off. "Five years from now, I can certainly see how we will use social tools to help connect people because we are a people business. If I can use these tools to help link our people inside the company and provide a better experience to our customers, you know that's an advantage that our competitors will have a hard time mimicking."