Lithys 2018: TalkTalk - Social Support Champion

Lithys 2018: TalkTalk - Social Support Champion

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Company: TalkTalk

Company background: TalkTalk is the UK’s leading value for money connectivity provider. We believe that simple, affordable, reliable and fair connectivity should be available to everyone.  

Since entering the market in the early 2000s, we have a proud history as an innovative challenger brand. Today, we provide landline, broadband, TV and mobile services to over four million customers.

We operate Britain’s biggest unbundled broadband network, covering 96% of the population, supplying services to consumers through the TalkTalk brand, to businesses through TalkTalk Business, and by wholesaling to resellers.

Fundamental to this is our Social Media Service Team. We provide support, engagement and general conversation with customers across our social platforms.

We’re a team of 10 with a particular set of skills, which allows us to deliver the best support. These range from customer service support to content writers, journalists, product experts and process champions. We’re available weekdays 8am-10pm and weekends 9am-5.30pm this is when our customers are most active.

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Contact: Lorraine Fleming

Title: Social Media Service Manager

Related URLs:

Lithy category: Social Support Champion

1. What were your organization’s social customer service initiatives in 2017-2018?
Our intention was to build on the solid foundations that we laid down in 2016 and become more than just a support channel. For us it wasn’t enough to just help people we wanted them to go away feeling happy and engaged so we set about building our strategy around this. To achieve this we set ourselves 4 aims:


  • Personalisation – we are real people looking after real customers. We’ll share a bit about ourselves so they feel comfortable knowing who they are talking to, this helps builds a connection and makes conversations more authentic. We share our hobbies and what we like to do in our spare time as well as our favourite movies and sports.  We’ll celebrate when we get new team members or when we have a special anniversary. Customers love it!

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  • Getting to the right place – we give our customers options when deciding how to contact us, so it’s up to us to get them in the right place. Facebook Messenger is fully integrated with Live Chat so if a customer needs to and we have automated messages in Lithium which do the same job. Right channel, happy customer!

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  • A quick approach – we know Social is fast and we’re keeping up with it. It’s not enough to answer a customer’s question; it has to be timely. We have to respond to all posts/tweets and be as fast as possible in notifying our customers of incidents and outages.  We’re improving on this all the time (currently hitting 81% SLA (within an hour)).

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  • Making things extra special –who doesn’t love being made to feel special? We have our infamous Random Acts of Kindness to achieve this. Whether they have a problem or give us a wonderful piece of feedback we may send them a little something special, just for them. Our way of saying thanks (we have also seen a 100% turnaround on customers who have received these little gifts)

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2. What was the most important customer issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform)?

What makes your approach to customer satisfaction a gold standard in the industry?
Our industry can be complicated, We operate a large-scale intricate network, so queries are often around technical issues and our support strategy is tailored as such. So taking care of customers when there is an incident or outage is where we are most proactive. The way we handle these is a great example that fits in with the aims that we set out to achieve in our strategy; personalisation, getting to the right place and a quick approach.

We work with the Community Team, Service Delivery and Incident Teams to align communications, particularly at times when a large-scale incident arises or if we’re planning essential maintenance.  We want to let people know why things aren’t working before they need to contact us.

Our Lithium platform is central to this as we have a sophisticated set of tags, which align with the Nuance tags that we use through our IVR technology.  These are automatically assigned using the Lucene scripting function within Lithium’s tagging system.  These track and monitor potential outages.  In addition we’re constantly watching our channels, ready to move when necessary. 

Here’s how we do it…

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But the information that we give out can change so quickly from time to time so we gave some considerable though to how we get the information we need updated as quickly as we can.  This is where having Lithium as our chosen partner has come into it’s own as we can flip so much easier between Community and Social. 

We have a Service Status Dashboard on our Online Community in Lithium, showing areas and platforms affected by any ongoing issues, this allows us to maintain just one version of the truth.

We tweet and pin the link, as well as posting on Down Detector to drive down volume and demonstrate to our customers that we are aware of the problem. We believe transparency is key in these scenarios.

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We know that this approach is working as on average 267,000 views a month hit on our Incident communications, therefore deflecting content from moving into our other channels.

3. Please share customer satisfaction metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as agent and response time metrics (e.g. CSAT, decreased customer complaints, call deflections, agent SLA, manual processes eliminated)

We track a number of metrics to make sure we were delivering on our aims. As a reminder we wanted our customers to leave us feeling happier and more engaged.

We use the Lithium dashboard for this and track SLA (to monitor response times), CSAT and Sentiment (to ensure our customers are happier with the way we are interacting) ,Trust Pilot scores (to monitor whether people will recommend us).


  • 81% average SLA for Twitter and Facebook (Facebook SLA has increased 22%, Twitter SLA has increased 13%)
  • 76% average CSAT score up from 69% average (February 2018). We use technology integrated into our Lithium Portal, so that customers receive a survey once their issue is resolved

Sentiment: One of our main focuses this year has been marking the sentiment of the posts we’ve received.  Lithium has an intelligent tool for picking up the mood of a customer’s post, which we have used to our advantage. By combining this automation with the manual sentiment marking of posts, we can now see the full picture of our customers’ turnaround in sentiment after speaking with the Social Media Team

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Trust Pilot is also a good barometer for us.  In terms of support the Social Team provide personalised customer support on each review to make sure we resolve issues and get people where they need to be; this has contributed to a sharp increase in Trust Pilot scores:

An increase from 2.4 in February to our most recent score of 5.5

As well as these quantative stats there are also plenty of qualitative stories too  which show our customers love our engagement.


We have fun:

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We keep our customers safe:

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But it's the thank you's that make it all worthwhile:

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