Vodafone India is the second largest mobile network operator in Indiaafter Airtel by subscriber base. It is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
With customer base of more than 160 M in India, there is bound to be customer grivence on social media. Further, Telecom brands usually have the most mentions on social media due to their business nature.
Vodafone has a stong presence on social media channels and are very aggressice in their creative campaigns like Vodafone ZooZoo which alone has 18 Million Fan base. They donot have any special social media channels for customer service, Instead they use their main brand profiles on Facebok and Twitter to address customer grievances.
Lets get into details of how they are responding to customer queries and complaints on social media.
Element 1 – Tone of Messaging
Vodafone India has a formal tone to its communication on Facebook and Twitter. They are following industry standards like having the agent’s name following the communication. For every complaints they start by asking for more details on the issue and follow up with polite conversations.
Element 2 – Are they sending canned responses, without understanding the context?
Vodafone certainly is using a standard response format with few variation on their communication. Though its difficult to predict if these messages are machine generated or human, most communication does sound authentic and has natural variation, rather than sounding robotic.
But there was one case where we discovered mis-communication between the customer representative and the customer. The customer had issue with his mobile number, hence had shared his alternative number. After few days, the customer escalated the complain, to which the customer representative reverted by saying they were unable to reach him. Instead, customer representative of Vodafone should have tried to contact in his alternative number as the one under concern is not operating.
In addition to this, Vodafone India has certain customer service program for gathering information from customer. Most of the communication starts with requesting the customer to fill in this form. This can get a bit repetitive with returning requests from the same customer. We could not find examples where the customer representative responding promptly with out the need of form fill. It would be better, if they made sure that most of there customer’s social ID is captured before hand so that they would not have to repeat this procedure every time.
Element 3 – Turnaround Time
Vodafone India doesn’t have a good response time – On Facebook their response time is 2.2 hours and on twitter their response time is close to 43 minutes (The data has been taken from replies/conversations from past three days)
It shows that Vodafone India doesn’t have a storng SLA for handling social media complaints and queries.
Element 4 – Is brand sending personalized replies?
On Facebook, most conversations include the name of the customer, whereas on Twitter it’s the Twitter handle. Most conversations are contextual to the issue and to the point. But almost every conversations looks the same, its either requesting for information or confirmation on the service. This does make the overall communication look monotonous and character less. It might be due to the strict policy which the company might have implemented to make it sound very formal and to the point.
Element 5 – Is brand following up on the complaints?
Vodafone has a feedback policy form where they request customer to provide feedback on their social customer service. But this doesn’t seem to be applied regularly to all the customer interaction. Further, on Facebook there is virtually no feedback request. There are few interactions on followup but no serious feedback process.
Vodafone should put this feedback mechanism to all the issues and make sure it goes to all customers. Further, is the feedback form could have social logins to verify users rather than using captcha methodology.
Element 6 – Is brand answering to all the queries?
Though late, Vodafone is trying to respond to every complaints and issues being raised on Facebook and Twitter. But there are certain kinds of queries and complaints which are neglected. It could be due to the policy which Vodafone has that stops customer representative from entertaining to comments with no real customer queries.
Element 7 – Is the brand present on major complaint forums?
Mouthshut.com which is one of the biggest online complaint forums has about 929 complaints about Vodafone India alone, but none of the complaints/queries have been responded, which is not at all expected from a reputed brand!
Further, they seem to have a genuine profile on consumercomplaints.in but the engagement on the site is very low. Despite regular complaints being filed on the site, there is hardly any active engagment with the customer. Further, Vodafone seems to be using the same standard response on the site which they are using on Facebook and Twitter.
Element 8 – Is brand sending duplicate replies?
Though no duplicate replies were noticed. There was one case where two separate customer representatives were responding to the same customer with similar message. Though both intimation with the customer was taken place during separate stages of the case, the time difference of 2 and 5 hours just to update the customers that the issue is under process makes less sense.