If you have a Barclays account you may have noticed some difficulties in using their mobile app or even using your own debit card over the weekend to withdraw cash. And while the issues have been fixed this morning the situation has left more than a few customers disgruntled and dissatisfied about the whole situation.
A Barclays spokesperson said that the difficulties were due to “technical issues” and an “internal systems problem” it does highlight the importance of tech and apps to companies and their brand.
Now, as mobile app developers we can fully appreciate that glitches can happen and as a London Digital Agency we know the value to a brand and the importance and integral nature an app can be to a brand. If things do go wrong then it is necessary to have other functions in place such as a on the ball customer service to ensure that the brand integrity is kept throughout.
The Speed of Social Media
This weekend’s Barclays issue is not the only example of bank’s applications coming under scrutiny. At the end of August NatWest suffered from similar difficulties with its banking and payment app as well as its website and received many complaints via Social Media in the immediate aftermath of the incident. At the time NatWest blamed the issue on outside interference i.e. hacking but this wasn’t the case. Similarly on Saturday Barclays promised customers that the issue would be fixed by a 5pm but that was not able to happen.
While glitches, bugs etc. will happen it is how you deal with them that is often the litmus test of a brand’s strength. Invariably massive brands such as banks are open to large swathes of opinion on Social Channels as well as in general and there is always a case of ‘you can’t please everyone’ however blaming someone else or making a promise you cannot keep has a big tick in the ‘no’ column in terms of brand dos and don’ts.
You cannot say that either bank got it right but there are certainly clear improvements in the brand image of banks in general especially in terms of technology and the tech available to customers. Sometimes these will go wrong such as with Barclays at the weekend and it goes to show that companies large and small must keep at the top of tech trends, and certainly app security and functionality to avoid a potential Social Media backlash when things go wrong.
What the Barclays episode shows, if nothing else, is the importance of maintaining and developing an integrated system between technology and workforce. Another way to put that would be to sing from the same hymn sheet and ensure that good, bad or something in between the team; including the tech (website, social media and app) are all pulling together.