Nationwide Building Society has become the first high street financial services provider in the UK to offer its customers 24/7 Twitter coverage, answering their questions and queries, as well as providing customer service information and support around-the-clock.
The UK mutual may have been a bit behind the curve in signing up to Twitter (the @nationwide handle is already taken by the eponymous Columbus, Ohio-based insurance group), but its @asknationwide destination has picked up a healthy band of over 7000 followers and a good rep among customers.
The team behind the service took a tip from Ellen DeGeneres Oscar stunt by posting a selfie to accompany the 24-hour announcement.
It may not have brought Twitter to a grinding halt, but the move is part of a progressive strategy by the building society to win over hearts and minds by embedding its services in the social mainstream
The Nationwide's CEO Graham Beale also appears to have caught the micro-blogging bug, live-tweeting the bank's half-year results in November and taking questions from journalists.
Tony Prestedge, Nationwide's chief operating officer, says: "Twitter has quickly become the channel of choice for customers who want to talk to companies, whether it is to ask questions or share their opinions. Yet so many organisations are either not using Twitter properly or see it as a poor relation to traditional channels such as the phone. At Nationwide we have embraced Twitter and are using it as an integral part of our customer service and support strategy."
Alongside the extended Twitter launch, Nationwide has also unveiled a new Website, which is designed to be fully responsive and automatically re-size to the device it is being viewed on, including computers, tablets and smartphones.
Chris Hulse, Nationwide's head of e-commerce and digital marketing, says: "For the new www.nationwide.co.uk we went back to the drawing board to understand what our customers really want and to ensure it was quick and easy for them to find it, whether they are sitting at home or sitting on the bus. For some people this means managing their money simply or quickly answering customer service questions, for others it means using guides and tools to help them plan their finances, whether it is buying a house or planning a wedding."