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Posts Tagged ‘O2’

Tweet limit impacts Social CRM effectiveness – just ask O2

February 1st, 2012

The development of Social CRM has been well documented over the last few years, and we have written a number of posts on the subject, sharing Liberate Media’s experiences of Social CRM campaigns.

However, a very real issue in the development of Social CRM, at least in terms of Twitter usage, was highlighted last week by O2 who exceeded their daily limit while attempting to respond to a breaking communications crisis. O2 asked Twitter for an extension on the amount of tweets it could send, (Twitter’s daily limit is 250 direct messages a day, and 1,000 tweets) but this was refused.

O2′s PR and social media campaigns manager, James Paterson, confirmed the issue at last week’s 1-2-1 Digital Strategy Summit, run by Marketing Week. In fact, he confirmed that O2 actually accrued the same amount of ‘mentions’ in one day as it does in a normal week.

If you are not familiar with the issue, O2 was attempting to respond to the news that user’s mobile phone numbers were being leaked to websites that they visited.

In the Marketing Week piece, Paterson said it was important that O2 did “not stay quietly in [its] shell” as news circulated about the data leaks and that the company employed a strategy immediately to respond to user questions and communicate that it was investigating the issue.

The mobile operator did utilise other tactics as part of its Social CRM response, i.e. preparing a “Q&A” blog post to explain the technical reasons behind the data leak and to apologise for the concern caused.

Paterson said: “We wanted to respond to as many people as possible with fair answers. In the past we may have just given a Q&A to the well-known media outlets, but our people understand that if you answer queries and communicate to people on social media straight away, problems tend to be resolved more quickly.”

However, although O2 followed a clear strategy for its response, it was hindered by Twitter’s account limit.

Twitter has commented on the limit issue: “Limits alleviate some of the strain on the behind-the-scenes part of Twitter, and reduce downtime and error pages. For the sake of reliability, we’ve placed some limits on account actions like following, API requests, direct messages, and updates.”

“The daily update limit is further broken down into smaller limits for semi-hourly intervals. Retweets are counted as updates.”

These rules obviously reduce the effectiveness of Social CRM response mechanisms for large brands, although in fairness Twitter was not designed as a CRM channel, therefore it has no responsibility to look out for such problems.

However, as Twitter continually looks towards brands to bolster its revenue strategy, it’s likely that it will not only expand this function, but also charge for it, a charge that i’m sure the majority of brands would be willing to pay.

In this instance O2 responded to a breaking issue well, and tried to be open by answering as many of its customer tweets as possible, but this was quickly curtailed when Twitter would not allow any further tweets that day.

This issue, and the others that are sure to follow, further highlight a real flaw in many social CRM strategies, while also drawing attention to a revenue opportunity for Twitter. If Twitter is not already working on a paid response they are likely to be jumping on it rapidly in the near future.

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Mobile, LTE and the UK network bottleneck

November 30th, 2010

LTE – three initials that give UK mobile enthusiasts a “desire-on”. We want this more than we want secure mobile shopping, more than next-gen Tablets and more than Wi-Max.
The exotically-named answer to our fast mobile needs, Long Term Evolution (LTE), is a mobile standard that promises to provide downlink peak rates of at least 100 Mbit/s and an uplink of at least 50 Mbit/s with round-trip times of less than 10 ms.
Excuse me while I have a “desire moment”.
If the UK mobile network operators can deliver this, it’s a problem solved. Actually, it’s a number of problems solved and means the delivery of the network that finally enables people to connect, engage and build new forms of fluid online communication.
The beauty of LTE is that it supports scalable carrier bandwidths, from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz and supports both frequency division duplexing (FDD) and time division duplexing (TDD). (ThanksWikipedia – don’t forget to donate).
But here’s the news less good. We won’t have LTE for the next five years, minimum. John Kennedy outlines the reasons in a precise and excellent article on Silicon Republic. It’s required reading for all UK mobilists.
I think John boosts the debate and shows that consumer demand can push the UK operators’ schedule forward much more quickly. The economic reasoning currently used by Vodafone, O2, Orange, 3, T-Mobile and the virtual network operators in the UK is that LTE is, well, just too expensive.
The mobile network operators have a history of under-estimating the needs of their customers. Good to see consistency in their planning.

I think the networks will be overwhelmed by the data demands of their customers in the next year. They already work overtime to transfer the data load to any wi-fi network that can take the strain.

We need LTE here, right now. The mobile operators need it sooner.
While they dither and dodge, we can make a difference by pushing on all the sensitive pressure points to ensure that we, finally, have the mobile network we deserve.

Yep. Definitely a habit. You want positive? Ray provides:

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O2 engages with customers through Twitter

November 4th, 2008

Hats off to O2 - after years of getting its telephone customer service completely wrong, it’s finally doing a great job of engaging with disgruntled online customers.

Yesterday, in a moment of exasperation, I Tweeted the following about my mobile provider (after being on hold to O2 for 40 minutes):

“wendymcauliffe: O2 truly has the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered. Every time I need to contact them my blood pressure rockets!”

A couple of minutes later, I received the following reply:

“hellojp: @wendymcauliffe Hi there, I work for O2 and saw your tweet – anything I can help with?”

After briefing describing my predicament, I promptly received another reply:

“hellojp: @wendymcauliffe Oh no, not ideal! Definitely not what we’d be aiming for – sorry you had such a hard time! Did you get your problem fixed?”

The O2 representative then went on to give me his personal email address, so that I could email him with the details of my enquiry which he has promised to handle today.

I’m not sure who’s behind O2′s adoption of Twitter, but this is definitely a step in the right direction, and something that all public service companies should be doing. While there are still big improvements to be made with O2′s telephone customer service, it’s great to see them engaging with customers online in such a timely fashion.

It will be interesting to see how my case is dealt with today!

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Crisis management storm brewing for O2

April 17th, 2008


O2 is not faring well in the press or public eye at the moment with its blunders over 3G speeds, and PR gaffe where it called readers of The Register “techie nerds”… and I’m about to make matters worse for them!

I’m unfortunate enough to be an O2 customer. My Blackberry is my lifeline. So when my data connection went dead yesterday morning, I phoned O2 up to see what was going on.

The customer service person I spoke to knew “exactly what was going on” before I’d described the problem, which was enough to get the alarm bells ringing.

I was then informed that O2 had moved to a new billing system over the past couple of days, and that all my tariff details had been lost. There was no record of the fact that I was a Blackberry user, had a data tariff, or the number of minutes or texts I received each month. Hence the reason for my Blackberry saying “data connection refused” for the past couple of days.

I was asked to describe my tariff so that the problem could be manually corrected! I’ve been promised that my data bolt-on will be reconnected tomorrow.

In true O2 style there was no apology, no offer of compensation for the impact this might have had on my business, and no explanation.

So in true social media style, I’m breaking the story here!

The new billing system has been implemented across O2′s entire customer base, so I’m guessing if you haven’t picked up on a problem yet, you will when your next bill arrives! I’d love to hear how O2 iPhone customers have been affected.

The final irony in the tale is that when the post arrived later today, I had a letter from O2 about the new billing system, entitled “a change for the better”!

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