Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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'Vodafone UK best at Twitter customer service'

Vodafone UK has the highest response rate to customer service queries via Twitter than any other brand in the world on the site, according to a report.

Vodafone Twitter Account

Analytics company Socialbakers’ “Socially Devoted Q4” report marked Vodafone UK’s response score ahead of other high profile brands such as Nike and American Airlines (see top 10 below). It ranked brands based on the number of questions answered minus the number unanswered.

A Vodafone UK spokesman says its success can be tracked back to its strategy to primarily use Twitter as a customer service rather than marketing medium. The company’s social customer service team is about a dozen strong, covering Twitter, Facebook and Vodafone’s own and third party forums using a series of dashboards.

Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO, says Vodafone UK is particularly well set up for social customer service because it applied itself to the format early on by structuring up its internal trained team to handle queries.

Rezab says: “Brands should apply themselves, it’s more authentic when it’s a trained employee of the organisation answering your queries. Companies have to be ready - and it’s actually cheaper to reply to questions via Twitter than it is a phone call.”

Overall, about 32 per cent of the questions asked on Twitter by consumers are answered by brands - up from 31 per cent in the previous quarter.

The average response time to customer questions asked on Twitter increased from 5.1 hours in the third quarter to 6 hour, suggesting responding on time is becoming more challenging as consumers realise the power they wield when questioning brands on social media and have begun to look to digital rather than traditional customer service channels.

Socially Devoted Top 10

Readers' comments (7)

  • Although the report is interesting, is ranking brands based on the number of questions answered minus the number unanswered sufficient? Surely the type of response and customer's satisfaction at the response is more telling?

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  • I agree with Lauren. Whilst there is some value in this measure it's very basic. An analysis of sentiment following interaction would provide more meaning and wouldn't be that hard to measure.

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  • Hi Lauren we completely agree, how you respond to your customers and the resolution of issues is very important. In terms of measurement, we must take into account that customer service issues are often directed to other channels after the initial post. When we started measuring nine months ago, we discovered that the main problem was that brands hardly responded at all! Only 30% of Facebook questions and 28% of Twitter questions were responded to on average. Now we see brands addressing 55% of the questions posted on Facebook and 32% on Twitter. So there is still a long way to go, but we think the increase in response rates is an encouraging first step in social customer care.

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  • A good headline for VF and good to be top of the table but as Lauren says, the So What? of the numbers doesn't necessarily mean the "Best Twitter Customer Service".

    On the quant alone, I'd be quite happy to be the company ranked in 10th - a high response rate and markedly quicker with it. As a customer, that's the sort of thing I value. What do the customers think and feel as a result rather than what the pure data says happened at a functional level? That's more likely to influence what they do next time.

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  • Like everyone else I absolutely agree with Lauren, the quality of response and whether that resolved the issue is vital; but surely an even worse experience would be to just leave the customer hanging?

    I think we may be missing the point. Using 'Social' as a dedicated customer service channel is still a fairly new concept.

    In a world where many organsiations still can't get the customer experience right using more traditional methods, celebrating organisations that are already using 'Social' signals the maturity of the channel and the way of things to come.

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  • Quality of service is a good point. From my experience @vodafoneUK get the thumbs up on that too. They regularly survey Twitter contacts with a great simple mobile optimized survey. Please see my blog on the topic.

    http://www.maritzeurope.com/2012/11/27/hats-off-to-vodafoneuk-for-a-customer-centric-approach-2/

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  • Brand's shouldn't have 'good Twitter customer service' in my opinion. No.1 rule - take it offline as quickly as possible!

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