As more high-street banks turn to social media to help with customer queries, the perceived quality level of customer service among these institutions has increased.

That’s according to a study by Virgin Media Business, cited by freshbusinessthinking.com, which found around two-thirds of UK high street banks are responding to customer queries within an hour thanks to micro-blogging service Twitter.

NatWest was found to have the fastest response time on the social network, with an average response time of four minutes for a customer query. HSBC came a distant second with 14 minutes. When it came to followers, Co-operative Bank nailed first placed with 11,500 followers; compared to RBS’ 1,500.

Phil Stewart, director of customer services at Virgin Media Business, believes banks need to engage their user base – which could interest Twitter marketing professionals.

He commented on the survey on cbronline.com: “It’s really encouraging to see the banking industry is taking a lead on this with every major high street bank using Twitter to engage with customers.

“Social networking sites are a great way to engage with customers in real-time, but simply having a presence is not enough. Organisations need to make sure they’re interacting with individual customers and responding to queries within an appropriate time from when they first get in touch,” he added.