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Research crowns Vodafone king of social media responsiveness

Finger pointing on smartphone, social network concept

Findings from a social media measurement campaign have determined Vodafone to have the most responsive customer experience team on Twitter.

Social Intelligence company Brandwatch has launched a report analysing the volume of mentions for each of the top six mobile operators in the UK, including MVNOs, and directly compared this with the response times to each customer query. It also broke down the type of query it received into different categories, such as signal issues, charging, data queries or general comments on customer service.

While EE has received multiple accolades from independent network performance third parties for its network coverage and speed; it was the least responsive operator analysed in the survey. According to Brandwatch, it had the lowest proportion of complaints into social media channels surrounding signal issues (38%), which was the most commonly complained-about service for all operators. Although its average response time was the slowest of all the operators with 4 hours and 48 minutes per response, it did serve up a glowing minimum response time of 28 seconds. It also held a maximum response time of 3 days and 12 hours.

O2, meanwhile, had the highest maximum response time of 5 days, 12 hours and 43 minutes; though its average response time bettered EE’s by nearly half an hour – 4 hours and 19 minutes per response.

“Because of the immediacy of social media and the expectation of a quick response, it is important that even if a brand isn’t able to directly resolve a query via Twitter, they must respond to let the customer know they’ve been heard,” the report stated. “With pricing becoming increasingly competitive between suppliers, customer service is an increasingly important factor in customers deciding to switch networks. If companies offer social media as a means of contact, they must be prepared to put the required resource behind it to manage their channels.

Of all operators analysed, Vodafone shone through with its responsiveness. The report said Vodafone’s average response time was down at 1 hour 55 minutes, faster than its competitors by some distance. Its ability to impress on social media contrasts with its reputation with Ofcom, however. The regulator has publicly stated the operator has a case to answer regarding recent billing malpractice, in response to which Vodafone stated its network and billing woes came down to a “highly ambitious” network upgrade implementation. Today’s announcement form Brandwatch will give the UK-based operator something to smile about, however, at a time when its broader CEM strategy has been coming under fire from multiple angles.


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