Company: Virgin Media
Entry submitted by: James Woods (Community Lead)
Community: Virgin Media Community
Lithy category: Total Community All Star
Since the invention of the internet, digital technology has had an increasing impact on the way we live. As the UK’s first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services, it’s not just the technology that interests us – what matters is how it can improve the lives and prospects of everyone.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 24 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.
Our road to Lithium
At Virgin Media, we believe in digital technology that makes good things happen for people, communities and businesses. We do everything we can to ensure technology is a force for good. This is why we’re committed to providing the best guidance, support and services – and working with Lithium has helped us to make this a reality.
We’ve been prominent on social media for around eight years now, and a Lithium-hosted community was established in 2009, and brought into the growing eService team in 2012. As these channels developed into popular care and support destinations, it became increasingly vital for us to be able to manage these conversations within an efficient, easy to use, reliable, configurable and data-rich environment.
After trying and testing every response tool, it was quickly clear that Lithium Social Web was the best match for our demanding requirements. We started using it towards the end of 2013 on the big three – Twitter, Facebook and Community – and haven’t looked back. Targeted queues, comment threading, publishing tools, advanced analytics and tagging – these are just some of the standard LSW features that we’ve now come to rely on as part of our day-to-day operation.
After one year of LSW we were already working 30% more efficiently. We no longer miss posts, delay responding to priority queries, and we can offer an individually tailored customer experience with true case ownership and empowerment for our people.
The benefits of having both a community and LSW
Our priority is providing the very best eService customer care experience. We’re firm believers in finding the next best action for our customers – and we utilize every aspect of our social media platforms and tools to do just that. We encourage and evangelize across our organization to think ‘Community First’. It now sits at the heart of our social media operation – the hub of our own Total Community.
Our Twitter operation continues to go from strength to strength, Last year we became the first ISP to hit 1million tweets: 12 months on and we’ve added another half a million – all through LSW.
Our team respond to conventional care requests, as well as managing those conversations that result from marketing or brand posts. LSW’s smart tagging and work queues allow us to ensure the right conversations are handled by the right people – whether it’s prospective customers responding to hidden posts on Facebook, or having some light-hearted on-brand chat about sports on Twitter.
We understand that Twitter and Facebook aren’t always the appropriate channel for certain queries. If our teams can’t resolve the issue directly, we draw upon our YouTube help video collection, web-chat, a revamped and finely-tuned service status page, and a vast database of helpful links to make sure that we can get customers to the right place to answer their query. More and more, we’re encouraging them to visit our community.
We’re able to be more intelligent in this channel switching. We can optimise the incredible peer-to-peer power of the community, increase the visibility of curated trending topics and helpful answers, and encourage and stimulate the conversations customers need to have to get the help they need, and to bring them close to the business.
The results of placing LSW and our Lithium Community at the centre of our next best action / community first philosophy are clear.
Our primary indicator is call reduction.
We’re seeing more Helpful Answers (Accepted Solutions) and views than ever before. Answers were up 22% from 2014-2015, while views rocketed 48% in the same time period.
It’s therefore no surprise that using a combination of our own benchmarking and Lithium’s value proposition, even a conservative estimate sees the community deflecting over 10,000 calls per week in 2016.
We know that membership of the community has a great value too – 87% of members who have sought help in the past will think ‘Community first’ the next time they need assistance from Virgin Media.
Analyzing customer journeys shows that the number of tweeters we refer to the community is increasing, and our cross-site promotion initiative means that we’re seeing a 54% increase in visitor referrals from other parts of VirginMedia.com.
Our newly launched Digital Life blog is also bringing our tech-smart Twitter followers into the community, introducing them to an environment where they can ask us the kind of questions that would take far more than 140 characters to answer.
Our social media and community teams are the place to go for sentiment and verbatim on any development or project. The information we can leverage from our social toolkit, especially that from LSW and LSI, mean we can provide both high-level data and in-depth analysis – the real voice of the customer.
The internal visibility and success of the community has led to an increase in opportunities to add further value to the wider business. On our last major trial had over 5000 forum posts between the project team and the triallists as they made sure we were ready to go to market.
We’re seeing more requests than ever before to run feedback trials and host focus groups.
As a result, with every new product we launch, with every potential contact-driver, Virgin Media is seeing the benefits of embracing our Total Community, first.
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