James Mayes

Social media failure – a @vodafoneuk example

In Personal, Social Media, Twitter on September 1, 2010 at 8:17 am

Usually I’ll focus on more recruitment-related matters here – but just recently, I attempted to talk to Vodafone via Twitter.  Give them their due, they have a team there for this, and a couple of times in the past they’ve been quite helpful. On this occasion, the experience wasn’t so great. I’ve given them the chance to investigate and respond privately, but as they’ve not done so, I figured it becomes fair game as a failure case study.

JM -> VF 13th Aug, 1207

Can you direct me to options for a data bolt-on covering France? Thx!

VF -> JM 13th Aug, 1218

If you email us here http://bit.ly/JhPl0  with WRT135 in the title, we can take a look for you. Thanks ^AW

JM – 13th Aug, 1633

@fordie Not a huge surprise… still waiting for a response to the email @vodafoneUK requested….

(Discussion with a friend of mine – mentioned @vodafoneuk to see if it sparked a reaction. Success!)

VF -> JM 13th Aug, 1642

What’s your email reference number (sent in an auto reply)? ^JH

JM -> VF 13th Aug, 1700

No auto-reply received. I trust that’s not good?

VF -> JM 13th Aug, 1709

Not necessarily, can you DM me your email address & I’ll do a quick search  ^JH

JM -> VF 13th Aug, 1813 (Via DM)

For ^JH – email address would have been xxx@xxx

VF -> JM 13th Aug, 1920 (via DM)

Sorry not received. Can you resend to xxx@vodafone.com & we’ll reply asap. This is a private address but will assure receipt  ^JH

VF -> JM 13th Aug, 1933

Whoop! Email successfully received! We’ll reply as soon as we can ^JH

At this point, I disappear on holiday without any useful data rate information.  I’m still waiting on the bill, but one suspects it won’t be cheap.  On returning, I thought it would at least be worth chasing up to see what happened.

JM -> VF 23rd Aug, 1936 (via DM)

Ref our tweets/emails 13/8/2010 – no response has yet been rec’d, despite tweet from @vodafoneuk confirming you had my email. Pls explain?

VF -> JM 24th Aug, 0905 (via DM)

Hi James. I’m sorry about this. I’ll check with the team to find out what has happened to your reply. Thanks ^IC

Well, it’s been a week now. Since there’s been no other contact, here it stands. The full summary of my recent engagement with @VodafoneUK.  One of the larger corporates out there, with a great understanding of mobile technology and the foresight to get a team onto Twitter, even using cotags to identify team members.

Responding to tweets is useless if it’s only platitudes. The lesson is this: if you want to be here, SAY SOMETHING USEFUL.

Finally – I very rarely moderate comments on my blog. The same is true here and any response from Vodafone will be published in full….

  1. Hi James

    I’m one of the advisors in the Vodafone Web Relations Team who manage our Twitter channel.

    It’s clear from your posts and reading back through your tweets that your most recent experience has not been positive.

    As you know from dealing with us in the past this is not common for our team and I’d really like to put this right for you.

    I’ve found your email that you sent but it doesn’t contain any contact details for you. I’ve sent you an email asking for a little further information so that we can get back to you and provide a full resolution and restore your faith in our service.

    Speak to you soon

    Kirsty
    Web Relations Team
    Vodafone UK

    • Hi Kirsty – many thanks for the response, I look forward to your mail. One response right here though – you suggest in your comment there’s a lack of contact details. VF have my Twitter address and can Direct Message me. You also have my email address, which I use on VF systems to access my account details. If you look up that email address on your customer system, you should therefore have no problem in identifying my mobile number, house address, etc….

    • Well, it took a little time to resolve, but I can now say with confidence Vodafone DO monitor social media and do try to fix things when they go wrong. Explanations have been given, a solution to the original problem has been proposed and I learnt a little more about the way Vodafone use social media into the bargain. It’s disappointing that things didn’t go smoothly at the outset, but there’s a silver lining to come from some of the discussions that have happened since.

      Above all else, Vodafone have taken the plunge, they’re making themselves more accessible and they’re owning up when things go wrong. Isn’t that what Social Media and transparency are all about?

      Special thanks to Kirsty for her role in the resolution – above and beyond the call of duty, helped with a few other queries too, made me a happy customer again. Someone give that lass a raise, she’s an asset to the team.

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