Sky easily outpaces Virgin Media on Twitter, showing that dedicated customer care is important on social media too

Sky easily outpaces Virgin Media on Twitter, showing that dedicated customer care is important on social media too

A comparison of how long Sky and Virgin Media take to get back to their customers on Twitter suggests that customer care issues can be handled more quickly and effectively using a dedicated account, rather than a general brand page.

WaveMetrix have shown in the past how brands can successfully utilise social media platforms not just for engagement, but as a channel to deal with customer complaints and issues. As with any offline customer helpline, a rapid response is important. With this in mind, WaveMetrix compared the average response times of Twitter help feeds for two leading UK internet providers – Virgin Media and Sky.

Our research covered two weeks of consumer interaction from June 18 - July 1 for Sky’s @SkyHelpTeam and Virgin’s @virginmedia Twitter handles. Sky's responses to consumers proved far more rapid, with more than 90% of Sky-related issue tweets dealt with in under 10 minutes. Conversely, many Virgin customers were kept waiting longer than 12 hours for a reply, with the majority of queries only answered after at least an hour. Shorter opening hours also meant Twitter users who contacted Virgin on the weekend were left out in the cold.

However, the accounts each dealt with a drastically different volume of customer issues. While Virgin responded to 6,146 consumer Tweets, Sky only generated 3,360 replies. The difference is due in part to the Twitter handles themselves. While @SkyHelpTeam is a dedicated customer help channel, @virginmedia is a more general brand account, suggesting Virgin's responsiveness may be hampered by the volume of queries it receives, and that dedicated customer support Twitter handles, separate from the brand handle, are more effective when providing customer care through Twitter.

During opening hours, Sky’s responsiveness to customer queries far outpaces Virgin Media’s:

More limited weekend opening hours means Virgin customers are left waiting:

More limited weekend opening hours means Virgin customers left waiting

NB: some extreme values excluded from graph to improve clarity

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