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Which UK Broadband ISP and Mobile Operator Gives Top Twitter Support

Saturday, August 10th, 2013 (7:43 am) - Score 1,471

An interesting new study from social media analyst WaveMetrix has taken a look at the United Kingdom’s biggest broadband ISPs to discover which gives the best support via Twitter. The study found that good support is about more than being the fastest to reply. Just ask Virgin Media, which wasn’t the fastest like Sky Broadband but still did well.

WaveMetrix conducted its analysis of Twitter activity over one week from July 31st – August 7th 2013 and during this period it found that Sky Broadband (@SkyHelpTeam) responded (tweeted) faster to its customers than Virgin Media (@virginmedia).

But Sky’s focus on replying within 1 hour (it tackled 59% of consumer complaints within this time) meant that some of their customers were overlooked and thus 37% were left to wait for 6 hours or more for a response. By comparison Virgin Media were slower but they did reply to 3,457 customers (76% of the week’s activity) in less than six hours.

Sadly BT’s dedicated @BTCare handle was the worst performer of the large brands covered, with the lowest percentage of replies under an hour and 72% of replies taking longer than six hours.

On the other hand both BT and TalkTalk (@TalkTalkCare) did ensure that almost all of the tweets to their Twitter support feeds were dealt with within 48 hours and thus fewer slipped through the cracks.

twitter_response_rates_for_uk_isps

Many people may still disparage social media sites like Twitter but this can often be misguided and neglects the fact that they’re useful for more than chatting about nonsense with your friends. Enhancing your options for customer support is just one of those benefits and it can be unwise to ignore it, especially when you might be able to get a faster and cheaper fix than by using a slow email or putting in an expensive phone call.

Take note that WaveMetrix only used a fairly small sample size for its study and only looked at the largest providers. But then a lot of smaller ISPs don’t even seem to bother with Twitter, which is a shame.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Avatar ant says:

    Well done to Virgin on another win 🙂

  2. Avatar netguy says:

    I don’t use Facebook or Twitter. In my business, supporting my clients, I will take queries on geographic and freephone numbers, e-mail and by SMS. I’m considering routing both geographic (03xxx) and Freephone to SIP (Voice over IP) and also considering Skype (since my mobile network offers unlimited data, Skype may be a better option for my outgoing calls rather than a costlier mobile plan (I’d prefer to call only mobiles from the minutes I’m allocated in the plan).

    There’s no way I’d consider FB or Twitter worth adding as a support mechanism. When the number of business clients goes up, I will be using a ticket system online, and any enquiries coming via other means will be entered into that system so that everything can be logged however many support staff I get over the long term. While I don’t foresee Twitter or Facebook dying in the next few years, I don’t think I’d want to use either for any business-related activity – whether marketing, competitions, or support. If some “creative” tried to suggest I go down that route I’d switch to another agency.

    PS While Sky did quite well, in the “up to 6 hours” category, Vodafone, O2, Plus.Net, TalkTalk and Virgin all did better than Sky. As this covers only a week, it could have been just an unlucky situation for BT that someone who is routinely able to respond very quickly might have had a short break from work. Such studies are perhaps only worthwhile if much more dat a is collected over a number of weeks. Perhaps collecting a few hours every few days (so every day of the week and every 4 hours during the day get collected), to allow collection without excessive boredom for researchers may be a better method 🙂

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