2020 Customer Awards: O2 UK - Best-in-Class: Community

2020 Customer Awards: O2 UK - Best-in-Class: Community

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Company: O2 UK

Company background: O2 UK is a telecommunications services provider in the United Kingdom, owned by Telefónica, headquartered in Slough, England. With 34 million customers as of February 2020, O2 is the second largest UK mobile network operator.

Contact: Robert Fawkes

Title: Head of Brand and Communications, Standing on Giants

Related URLs:

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.).

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Now 8 years old, the O2 community is at the heart of our customer-led business strategy, which has seen the company ranked as the best utility and telecoms provider in the UK for customer service in 2019 by ‘Which?’. As well as providing excellent customer support, the community provides a supportive space to drive positive engagement with the brand through on and off-topic discussion, product development focus groups and ‘surprise and delight’ promotions.

We have a core group of Super Users, nurtured by our community management approach, who work with other members to provide thousands of answers annually, which in turn provide millions of solutions for our customers. 

The team is headed up by Colin Heyworth at O2, with a supporting team of 3 community managers from Standing on Giants. The Community Management team is led by Marjo Hallapera. Our Khoros team is led by Gus Navarro and Justin Bogocionkas.

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In the last year, our focus has been in two areas:

  • Continue to deliver exceptional customer support benefits through the community. 
  • Further integrate the community with the business across key areas such as crisis management, product development and customer feedback.

2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations?

Connected Car Trials

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As part of our commitment to integrate our community with other areas of the O2 business, we conducted a community trial of our new ‘Connected Car product.’ This involved significant internal education and collaboration  between the community and product teams. The trial involved three different private member groups testing features on a weekly basis.


Aura Development 

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In 2019, we launched Aura, a new voice assistant for customers. A focus group was formed from community volunteers, hosted in a private group. The product team was able to work with the community through a dedicated space to gather feedback, test scenarios and further develop the product before commercial launch.


Crisis Management 


The community is now a principal support channel to operational areas in crisis (network outage, scam messaging, launch issues) pushing wider public messages and creating landing spaces to support customers and members in understanding issues and situations without going through the standard channels.


Crisis Management is focussed in a single thread to create a central point of truth and avoid strain on multiple channels.Crisis Management is focussed in a single thread to create a central point of truth and avoid strain on multiple channels.




A fully robust set of escalation processes means that any query that comes in that can’t be handled by the members has a route to resolution through various channels that will get a response within 24hrs (in most cases)  this helps to drive customer satisfaction and is a clear influencer to NPS.




NPS is a key KPI for the O2 business so driving positive engagement with the brand is key and the community provides a platform to do this whether through care resolution, Surprise & Delight, Promotional giveaways, Competitions or just a space to engage with other users around the brand. 2019 took this to a new level giving tickets away to venues, signed rugby shirts, and started using surprise & delight with our members. 



The community isn’t just about issues we also have a regular feed of positive interactions that get feedback into the relevant business areas – this helps to increase the business engagement with the community (raising awareness) but also helps to drive that NPS score and increase our pot of promoters.

3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.


Deflection impact 


Our key business result. In 2019, the community generated £3m+ ($3.9m+) in customer support deflection costs as calculated by Khoros.


Overall Community results


  • 15,464 members 
  • 77,132 posts 
  • 11,205,417 community page views. 




  • +10% growth in replies
  • +7.5% growth in posts
  • -6.1% reduction in response time 




NPS for community visitors rose 4 points to 40% in 2019. 

Our top monthly NPS  performance was 47%.


Member Feedback


The above results significantly impact our business for the better but we wouldn’t want to ignore the amazing benefits of the unstructured feedback and connection our community provides. Our community is a place where people have made lifelong friends with people they may have never met otherwise. We have a group of advocates who know as much about our business as our own employees. This kind of brand benefit is hard to quantify with metrics, but we’d like to share a few comments from members below:

“Hi, there are so many good parts about this community. Guides, reviews, advice etc etc. Everyone is very friendly and give constructive replies to the posts too. So many forums are well, lets just say, less than helpful with replies. This community has always been very constructive, it gives great advice for everything, so much so it's always my first port of call before I would phone or use the customer service chat. I would use the forum for any advice even off topic advice as it is so helpful :)”


“@Marjo Thank you for welcoming me to O2 Community...! Why am I joining the community? Well...! First, I think everyone should, the community is a fountain of knowledge that can help everyone to answer all questions we may have regarding O2 or even more. Secondly, we may be frustrated with O2 the way they may handle our mobile problems (we all make mistakes) the community will definitely alleviate these frustrations and put smiles in our faces... Thirdly, it will be fun and enjoyable to be able to help others in return. Fourth, wait and see what happens next...

All the best to everyone”


“What is memorable about this community for me is how I was welcomed into the fold. It makes this place feel like an old favorite jumper that no matter how long has passed in between wearing it, it's always just as comfy. I can pop in here when I'm having a tough time, if I'm looking to chat or if I'm feeling helpful and see a question asked that I know the answer to, I can try to help others who are stuck. Recently when my old Dad died I got lots of support on these boards, it was both supportive and heartwarming. I'll always be grateful for that. All in all, O2 community rocks!! 🙌


O2 community is a great place to visit for peer to peer support and they really know their stuff.  Good Luck O2! 

a fantastic channel to support O2 customers