2021 Customer Awards: Three Ireland - Best-in-Class: Care

2021 Customer Awards: Three Ireland - Best-in-Class: Care







Company: Three Ireland

Company background:

Three is one of Ireland’s leading mobile operators with 35% market share and almost 2.4 million customers (as of December 2020).

Our network is built for data; with 99% 4G coverage, and we carry over 60% of all mobile data on our network, that is more than all other operators combined. Three has recently launched its 5G network which is available to customers in every county.

Three has to date invested close to €2 billion in building our business in Ireland. This includes a €700 million investment in upgrading and expanding our network and in Three’s digital transformation, which will deliver a cutting-edge experience for both our customers and our employees.

Annually, Three continues to invest over €100 million into our business to ensure we continue to deliver the best network, experience and service for our customers.

Customers can reach us by phone, messaging, email and through our multiple Social Media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and newly integrated Instagram.

Contact: Dearbhaile Culhane

Title: Social Media Team Lead

Related URLs: 




Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Care

1. What were your organization’s digital customer service initiatives? What channels do you support today?

At Three we strive to provide our customers with a better-connected life through meaningful products, best in class service and a connected network experience. Social Media has become integral in people’s everyday lives and our Social Media platforms provide a place for customers to discuss all things Three. No query is too big or small and regardless of why the customer needs support we want to ensure that their experience with us is positive, worthwhile and memorable. Our main aim is to provide that Best-in-Class service that wows our customers and over the last 2 years we have been making changes in the way we work within social media to ensure this is provided to customers when they contact us. Our Social Platforms span across Facebook, Twitter and more recently we were excited to include Instagram.

We also all remember March 2020 when the world hit a pandemic. This tested a lot of companies and challenged them in providing support to customers. It was no different for us in Three Ireland social media. Although Covid-19 was a challenge, we at Three saw the opportunities for improvement. It opened our eyes to better ways of working within our area and with the help of Khoro’s we were able to introduce a lot of different features that ensured we delivered on our strategy and ensured customers were heard and supported in this time of need.

2. What was the most important issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform) — and what makes your approach to that achievement unique?

A few years ago, we wanted to gain insight into customer feedback on their experience with us so we could showcase we offer that Best-In-Class Service we aim for. Customers had chosen to contact us through social media, so we wanted to ensure that we kept the survey in that space. We built new customer feedback surveys, aligning to the same structure as other care channels. We began this journey in Jan 2019 surveying customers who we supported through PM/DM. We first started out surveying as a team, but we have since evolved this space and now all CCEs on the team have their own survey links with individual CX scores.

Secondly, when Covid 19 hit in March 2020 this had a major impact on our queues. With a team of 9 CCE’s at the time we had to do something to ensure all customers were answered and we could continue offering that Best-in-Class Service. We were faced with a lot of challenges during this time, however, each presented a huge opportunity for improvement. These were:

Customer Expectation:

  • Longer customer response times due to the increase in volumes we experienced. Our daily volumes increased by 286% going from on average 89 conversations per day to 344 conversations. The highest our available queue stood at was 2500 conversations during this period.
  • Customers growing impatient with response times which led to multiple PMs/DMs before we were able to respond
  • No expectations being set when Customers came through with their initial query.

The Welcome Response bot was our life saver here. We were able to introduce an auto response that set expectations with the customers on high volumes and longer response times. This enabled us to ask the customer for validation details up front, so all information was available to the CCEs when they picked up the conversation. Some customer queries may have been urgent and needed a live response so we included a direct link to our chat team, so the option was there for the customer to use that channel if necessary. This ensured we kept the customer in our digital space.

This bot has supported greatly and still does to this day. We have enhanced the bot to alert customers to any network or other customer impacting issues that are occurring that may drive contacts into the channel. We also use this as a promotion tool for any new services we introduce, for example, we recently introduced a device support guide on our website and the current welcome response advises customers of this and provides a link for the customers to check it out and potentially resolve any device issues through this new tool. Since this has been included 246 customers have utilised this support guide, clicking on the link provided.


Volumes of Queue’s:

  • We had too many queues, 16 queues in total
  • The rules behind the queues were not fit for purpose and a lot of conversations were going into our Unknown Queue which made it very hard to filter through the queue
  • Customers were going public after coming through PM/DM and these tweets/posts were getting lost in the unknown queue.

We met with our Khoro’s partners and they worked with us to help configure our queues more efficiently.

  • We reduced from 16 queues to 3 main queues – Public Only, Private Only and Public and Private.
  • The Public and Private queue housed the conversations where a customer may have first come in PM/DM and then went publicly.
  • Rules were set up to ensure conversations went into corresponding queues

As a result of this, we were able to structure our working day more efficiently as the CCE’s could focus on one queue each and the issue around missing public queries within private queries was not a challenge anymore.



The tagging we were using within social media was not aligned to other channels tags and along with this due to the way we had our tagging set up we were not able to report on top trending tags easily. It made it difficult for us to report against other channels on what our top queries were. During Covid it was important to be able to report on top trending tags daily and this was a major issue we had to tackle.

We met with one of the Khoro’s support teams through a Product Coaching session to upskill on Khoro’s tagging and find out how we can make the tagging more efficient and easier to report. What came out of that session was very insightful and a god send to reporting within our channel.

  • We were able to set up different categories, parent and child tags to align our tags with all other care channels in the business.
  • Set up the “Tags” widget to be able to report on top trending tags in real time

As a result of this we now can report more efficiently on our top trending tags and our weekly customer sentiment packs now provide rich meaningful data. Feedback from the management team has been very positive. Any time we have a network issue, or any customer impacting  issue sentiment packs are also created and volumes reported back as this greatly helps the business understand the impact this issue may have had.

3. What 1-3 metrics best describe your success? (e.g. CSAT, call deflection, cost reduction, agent efficiency, response speed, resolution rate, etc.)).

Customer Feedback Results: Since surveys started in January 2019, we have had great uptake from customers and great results both in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 we received an NPS score of 54.8 and 88% RFT, the highest results among all our care channels within the business. For 2020, we received an impressive NPS score of 39.8 and 84.4% for RFT even with the pandemic going on and volumes at our highest. This was the highest RFT result among all our care channels within the business. We also ask the customer if they would use social media again for queries and in 2019 98% said they would along with 95% saying yes in 2020.


Customer Expectation

Prior to introducing the welcome response bot we were averaging at 3 responses per conversations. After introducing the welcome response bot we reduced to 2 responses per conversation. This would have been due to us being able to send this welcome response bot asking the customer for validation details. This reduction freed up a lot of the time for CCEs to be able to handle more conversations. They handled and closed 32902 conversations in the height of Covid. In total handling and closing 55104 conversations in 2020.


Volume of Queue’s

During the height of Covid we were hitting a Public Service Level of 39% weekly on average. Post the change to the queue configuration we increased this to an average of 77% versus our target of 70%. This was an increase of 38% and brought us from not meeting to exceeding our target.


Our story demonstrates how not even Covid-19 could stop us, it spurred us on to make improvements to ensure our customers receive a better connected life through our Best in Class service at Three.

<Supporting visuals: Please include any supporting visuals/graphics into your above answers. Insert them into your text copy, so we’re clear on desired positioning of the graphics. We will accept videos for this entry. All videos must be submitted as publicly viewable links on YouTube or Vimeo.>