How Virgin Media is using social media for customer service

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A presentation about what Virgin Media is doing with social media customer service. Presentation to the Institute of Customer Service at Birmingham NEC on September 21, 2010.

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  • Launched February 2007 Amalgam of the UK cable industry (old NTL and Telewest, which themselves were made up of 55 merged cable companies), the UK’s largest MVNO (Virgin Mobile) and Virgin.net Biggest Virgin company in the world Almost 10 million customers across our broadband, digital TV, home phone and mobile services Second biggest Pay TV provider in the UK First to launch broadband in the UK (2000) and offer the fastest services … 50Mb now and 100Mb to launch by year end. Over 4.2m broadband customers. The UK’s first ‘quad play’ provider 12,500 employees
  • Twitter Tweam are even called that officially on our HR systems 
  • Launched Aug 2009 5,000+ posts weekly Relevant & frequently updated content = Google friendly Focus is on peer help and customers helping themselves ‘ Kudos’ system to recognise power users – recognition drives behaviour Dedicated customer service resource E-mail migrations Firmware testers
  • Closed community (open to invitees only based on NPS survey feedback) For customer feedback and to share product details, for trials etc Direct input from product teams, marketing etc Some customer service queries received – tend to be policy related rather than individual problems Escalation channels formalised to deal with queries Low volumes (closed community with c800 members at present)
  • Used to promote V Festival, Shorts, Pioneers and one off campaigns Conversations are ‘friend to friend’ and we often can’t see them Engage with campaigning groups direct, dealing with group operators (who pass info onto others) – Plymouth capacity upgrades Senior complaints team staff deal with issues Room for future expansion of Twitter team model
  • Followers: 13,647 customers, media, prospects, celebrities we have direct contact with Tweets out: news, product launches & updates, sales offers, portal articles, general education, competitions, acquisition hunting Tweets in: feedback, questions, complaints, service recovery issues, compliments and appreciation Proactive engagement: VMTwits (staff members – over 400 of them) search for comments on ‘Virgin Media’ and encourage customers to tweet us
  • Average growth now approx 30-50 new follows per day Jumped by around 200 in one day when Stephen Fry reported a service problem (as it resulted in other people recognising we were on Twitter)
  • Average 48 tweets per day (tpd) since launch
  • @vfestival - News and exclusive content, even help on where to find the loos! @vmondemand / @vmmovies - Showcasing our video on demand service @VMediaShorts / @vmpioneers - Promoting short film competition and entrepreneurship scheme we sponsor. @vmbusiness - Primarily a PR feed (promoting products, blogs etc) but also service recovery
  • Reactive: Important to take conversation ‘offline’ (as usually an account specific enquiry) – team mailbox (twitter@virginmedia.co.uk) Most issues resolved same day, all within 5 days E-mails responded to within the hour (business hours) Keeping customer updated at every step of way Empowered to do what is needed internally to resolve Proactive: The source of many of our biggest ‘wow’ reactions from customers.
  • NPS Scores of ’10’ in a complaints function – unusual with a customer already unhappy Cost to serve – lower goodwill credits Own words – blogs, media stories, NPS feedback (which we widely use to promote the Tweam internally)
  • The conversation: Taking part means you can get the facts out there and help people who need it Case management: A named person empowered to resolve problems gets the results and wows the customer Staff Judgment: Your frontline team know how to deal with your customers Let them use their discretion on when/how to respond – you learn from your mistakes (and you will make some) Internal Feedback Contacts: Twitter team engage with field, faults, product, marketing, PR and other teams Instantaneous Feedback: Ideal ‘weathervane’ for product launches – e.g. Netbooks Fixing problems faster through immediate engagement – e.g. network issue to Facebook
  • Where do we take social media from here: How to tackle Facebook customer service Scaling the Twitter operation Further integration with other channels Tighter integration of forums with main website
  • How Virgin Media is using social media for customer service

    1. 1. Virgin Media and Social Media How we’re using it for customer service and what we’ve learnt Alex Brown - September 21, 2010
    2. 2. Who we are
    3. 3. What we’re doing in Social Media <ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Promoter Community </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul>The Virgin Media Twitter Tweam: Pete (PM), Billy (BMc) and Sam (ST)
    4. 4. Help & Support Forums
    5. 5. Promoter Community – ‘The Sofa’
    6. 6. Facebook
    7. 7. Twitter - @virginmedia
    8. 8. Engagement <ul><li>Launched @virginmedia twitter feed in Dec ‘08 </li></ul><ul><li>One of the first UK ISPs to engage with customers via Twitter – customers were already talking about us </li></ul><ul><li>Followers increasing steadily with no signs of slowdown </li></ul><ul><li>Growing organically and through pro-active engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated customer care resource support customers </li></ul>
    9. 9. @virginmedia engagement <ul><li>Follower growth currently linear </li></ul>
    10. 10. @virginmedia engagement <ul><li>Over 25,000 posts since launch, with exponential growth </li></ul>Dedicated resource launched 2,310 tweets – 92 per day
    11. 11. Other Virgin Media feeds <ul><li>V Festival (@ vfestival) </li></ul><ul><li>On Demand (@vmondemand) and Movies (@vmmovies) </li></ul><ul><li>Shorts (@VMediaShorts) & Pioneers (@vmpioneers) </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin Media Business (@vmbusiness) </li></ul><ul><li>Retired Feeds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Portal news & editorial engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special offers </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. @virginmedia Wordcloud Source: www.wordle.net
    13. 13. Customer Care via Twitter <ul><li>Reactive </li></ul><ul><li>Customer ‘tweets’ to @virginmedia asking for help, venting frustration etc </li></ul><ul><li>One of the Twitter ‘Tweam’ picks it up and offers help on the spot if they can. If not, they invite the customer to send details on to our dedicated team mailbox </li></ul><ul><li>Owns issue to a resolution and ‘Wows’ the customer (case management) </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds back within the business to ensure we learn from </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Tweam’ uses keyword searches on Twitter to locate customers talking about us, reaching out to offer assistance as needed. </li></ul>
    14. 14. The results <ul><li>Happy customers advocating Virgin Media </li></ul><ul><li>Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost to serve </li></ul><ul><li>In customers’ own words </li></ul>I picked 10 because there isn't an 11. Sam in the Twitter team was really really helpful and a pleasure to deal with!
    15. 15. In customers’ own words …
    16. 16. Fostering Advocacy
    17. 17. Making it all worthwhile… Virgin Media - “Top Twittering ISP” (July 2009) http://www.top10-broadband.co.uk/news/2009/07/twitter_tweet_for_better_broadband/
    18. 18. Stephen Fry - Influencer Just a handful of tweets – each time Stephen Fry mentioned 50Mb he reached over 500,000 followers (now has 1.7m+). One high profile installation has the power to create immense word of mouth
    19. 19. Rob Brydon – Halo effect Each time Rob Brydon mentioned Virgin/50Mb he reached over 50,000 followers (now has ~200K). Another high profile installation generating significant word of mouth, and significant influence
    20. 20. What we’ve learnt <ul><li>The conversation is happening about you, whether you join in or not </li></ul><ul><li>If your products don’t work, social media customer service won’t fix them </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be daunted – get stuck in and do it now </li></ul><ul><li>The power of case management </li></ul><ul><li>Trust your staff’s judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of internal feedback contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Instantaneous feedback channel </li></ul>
    21. 21. What’s next <ul><li>Where do we take social media customer service from here? </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion of social media channels </li></ul><ul><li>Promotional use of social media </li></ul><ul><li>New opportunities (e.g. TiVo integration) </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><ul><li>Alex Brown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Manager, Customer Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virgin Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@alexbrown1972 on Twitter </li></ul></ul>Dilbert! Source: www.dilbert.com

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