NatWest is using Vine to answer some of the most frequently asked questions its customer service team gets.  It’s a PR hit – if you search for NatWest + Vine, there are a huge number of search results from everyone like E-Consultancy (where I heard about it), to MarketingWeek, even “Retail Banker International”!

NatWest Is Not New To Vine

It launched a humorous series of Vines aimed at students back at the start of August.  Not sure if they are a success or not – I don’t see any hook for them to score new business.  What I do see is a high street bank attempting to get down with the kids … using handy hints, which is already a proven Vine success by already done by Lowe (bottom of the list here).  I’m not scoffing at NatWest here, I’d just be very interested to know if the number of student accounts opened this year increases.

I think the customer service initiative is very good.  What NatWest is attempting to do (I suspect) is free up their agent’s time in addressing all those simple questions that get asked time and time again, such as “how do I activate my online banking account”.  How novel that the agent can send a Vine to the interested party, not a series of tweets.

Note that there are allegedly a number of Vines addressing multiple customer service issues – but I’ve only been able to find the one! If they have really just done one Vine, seeded it out, then hit the PR wires, they’ve done extremely well! And I think the message going back to the Pinstriped Men At The Top Of NatWest Towers is that it’s a hit, and let’s do some more!

This is all very reminiscent for me of a pilot project I worked on during my time at Tourism Ireland. CSTV – Customer Service TV – the idea was to answer frequently asked questions in a novel video format. We were looking to produce a sort of mini TV show with FAQ’s being answered, as well as destinations being featured. The idea was that we could send out shorts of the FAQ’s to people via YouTube link and answer their question in a more visual, novel and meaningful way. CSTV never got off the blocks. A great idea. The pilot was a success. But the redevelopment of the website was a big project just getting underway, so everything else got sidelined.

This latest use of Vine is like CSTV on slimming tablets!  I think it is a hit.  Note to anyone out there: we are still in the early days of Vine (and indeed Instagram video) so anyone who makes novel use of them is almost guaranteed to score on PR.

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