Many credit card lenders are starting to ramp up their online presence, particularly through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and in general, consumers are fairly happy with the experiences they have when dealing with these companies.
In all, two-thirds of consumers who made comments about their online credit card experiences on open websites and social networks said that they left feeling positive about them, according to new research from the firm DigitalMR. Based on the results of the survey, the most popular credit card issuer in the U.S. was American Express, which generated 35 percent of all positive comments in the entire industry, followed by Citi with 21 percent. Overall, AmEx had the highest overall sentiment score with 63 percent of its responses coming in as positive ones, and U.S. Bank wasn't far behind at 61 percent.
Citi (42 percent), Barclays (35 percent) and JPMorgan (30 percent) rounded out the top five in consumer sentiment, the report said. U.S. Bank had a 24 percent score, while HSBC and Wells Fargo had ratings of 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Conversely, Bank of America had by far the most negative comments, accounting for 28 percent of all such feelings posted online, and its negative response share (28 percent) was more than twice that of its positive share (13 percent), the report said. Bank of America also had the lowest consumer net sentiment score of all the major credit card lenders in the U.S. at negative-4 percent, the only bank with a rating of less than zero.
"Online sentiment continues to show contrasting pictures of two banks: AmEx which is very positive and Bank of America where sentiment is highly negative," said Ryan Rutan, the president of DigitalMR USA. "This represents a huge challenge for Bank of America to turn this around."
Can social media help lenders going forward?
Already, many credit card issuers have found that the use of social media is an effective way to engage with customers in a way that may be less stressful than phone conversations, the report said. However, it's important that the companies still engage in one-on-one dialogues and invite costumers to join groups that allow them to express their feelings about the company more clearly.
But social media also gives lenders insight into a number of other details beyond just what customers are feeling, the report said. It can also be used to create advertising, particularly where positive experiences are concerned, and it may help the lenders to adjust existing financial products or even create completely new ones based on consumer feedback.
Consumers who are having trouble with their credit cards might want to check their credit reports to determine if anything is awry. Sometimes, unfair markings can have a negative impact on consumers' credit standings, but working with a credit repair company can help to clear up these problems.