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Published August 28th 2015

Interview: How Social Intelligence Powers BT

Technology has always been at the heart of British Telecom, the world’s oldest telecommunications company.

The organization is now operating in over 170 countries, and was the first to develop a nationwide network helping to connect people within minutes, rather than hours or days.

Today, BT are building on the foundation of the digital era to create the information age. They’re connecting people nationwide, and around the world.

As technology pioneers, BT choose to work with only the best in class software and solutions. BT and Brandwatch have been working together since 2014 to help improve customer experience.

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We interviewed Ben Donkor (Social Media and Online Analyst, BT UK) and Dan Hodges (TV Major Incident Manager, BT TV & BT Sport) to understand how BT are implementing social intelligence across the organization, and what impact this has had on the business.


 

What challenges led you to seek a social intelligence platform in the first place?

 

Dan: The need for knowledge on real-time customer experience for the BT Sport services.

In IPTV Operations we use Twitter information differently to commercial teams.

We are not looking to solve individual customer issues, or to interact with angry customers. We simply use it as ‘free information’ and monitor people complaining about the BT Sport and BT TV service to see if we have a wider, undetected major incident.

 

What functionality and capabilities were most important to you?

 

Ben: While I had a fairly long list of requirements, my main worry was about having other people in BT use the platform without having to depend on a social analyst.

Ease of use was one of my concerns, but I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about that at all.

Dan: The ability to see a real-time view of the volume of tweets citing problems viewing BT Sport via TV or the digital apps.  The ability to categorise tweets based on the type of problem they relate to. Email alerting when thresholds are breached.

 

Why is Brandwatch better than other products you evaluated?

 

Ben: I’ve used so many social analytics tools, in and out of work.

So far, I’ve found Brandwatch to be the perfect fit not only for my own needs as a social analyst, but also for the needs of other stakeholders in the business who might not have the time to set up complicated dashboards or who might not define themselves as “social experts”.

It’s easy to set up, it’s reliable, and most importantly it’s extremely flexible: you can either use the wizards and recommended dashboards already built in Brandwatch, or you can shape Brandwatch to be exactly what you need.

Dan: Easy to configure, all the requirements met, best value for money.

 

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What end goal did you have in mind by using Brandwatch?

 

Dan: To drastically reduce the amount of time taken to detect a problem on one of our services and either fix it, provide a workaround, or provide a statement.

 

What specific types of information were you looking to gather?

 

Ben: The main metrics we’re keeping an eye on are sentiment, influence and engagement (we use the “impact” metric for that).

Dan: To determine if an issue is a major incident, or merely a few customers complaining about single-user issues. What platform they were having problems with (watching on iPad, watching on Sky etc.). Start and stop times for incidents.

 

Which departments and team members use Brandwatch?

 

Ben: A lot of divisions use Brandwatch in BT. Most of the usage comes from BT Consumer, the consumer-facing division of BT. We also have BT Business (the B2B division) using the tool.

While there are quite a few teams using the team across BT, the reach of Brandwatch reports and alerts is very wide.

In fact, Brandwatch reports have the widest reach (audience) out of all the reports sent by BT. The reports I create go across my team, my department, my division, all the way up to the Managing Director and CEO of BT Consumer.

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What tangible business results have you been able to deliver since using Brandwatch?

 

Dan: Damage limitation. During big football matches with hundreds of thousands of viewers, every minute saved during incident detection limits the damage to BT’s reputation and bottom-line.

 

How does the Brandwatch platform help you work better?

 

Ben: As much as I love Excel, I’ve found myself spending less time sorting and filtering data in spreadsheets, saving myself more time to actually look into insights and report on them.

Not only has Brandwatch proven to be a timesaver, but I’ve also been able to run advanced analyses, customise the tool to fit my needs, and stay in the know thanks to custom alerts.

Dan: Easy-to-use dashboards provide a quick view which will clearly highlight any problems, or give confidence that all is ok.

 

Do you have any future plans based on using the platform?

 

Ben: So many plans! First things first, we’d like to integrate the data from Brandwatch into other tools and systems, to avoid the common pitfalls of having silo solutions that don’t talk to each other.


Thanks for Ben and Dan for taking the time to talk to us.

 

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.