Measuring Customer Experience Online – The Role of Social Media in Telecoms

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Social media has now firmly positioned itself as a channel for customer interaction across nearly all industries, and telecoms is no exception! In fact, mobile network operators (MNOs) are investing in whole project teams and toolsets to help measure and manage the multi-channel customer experience, and reduce the ever important customer churn rate.

How are operators measuring the customer experience in online environments?

MNOs are now using a plethora of digital channels and toolsets to help measure the overall customer experience. Online methods which are now widely used include:

  • Website session analysis
  • Online customer surveys
  • User eye tracking
  • Social media
  • Live chat

What are the benefits of measuring customer experience with social media?


Near real-time visibility of the customer experience

Social media is one of the few channels which can provide operators with near real-time insights into the customer experience, whether it be a single Facebook post, or hundreds of thousands of tweets. Historically, customer experience was only measured periodically, which meant that operators were not always aware of customer issues for months at a time. With social media, they can drastically improve the time taken to become aware of issues directly affecting the customer, and hence reduce resolution times.

Rapid insights into the magnitude of network issues

The recent criticisms of O2, initiated by UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid was a prime example of the scale of social media – After tweeting “No signal @O2. Please sort it out” hundreds of other users followed suit, putting pressures on O2 to rapidly resolve current network issues. By monitoring social media, O2 were able to gauge the magnitude of the issue, asses its impact on the customer experience and resolve the problem within the next 24 hours.

Easy accessibility to a large, representative customer sample

With one in four people worldwide using social media, it is one of the easiest ways for operators to access the opinions of a large sample group. This means they can get highly representative insights to the key trends being discussed, and put relevant and timely action plans in place to directly tackle customer complaints.

What is measured?

Social media offers a challenge in the fact that it is, in essence, a feed of highly unstructured data. An intelligent data management tool with automation capabilities is needed to convert this into data sets with some element of structure, and present it in a usable way to network operators. Some of the key measures used in the new social media module of Zen Service Assurance software include volume of traffic, simple sentiments, language and specific keywords. This enables operators to easily identify both positive and negative comments and discussions, and easily visualise and rank the customer experience being delivered, in real-time.

It is clear to see the benefits of social media when it comes to measuring the customer experience. What is important to remember is that the data received needs to be managed and automated to find true value from it.