May 19, 2020

Seven of the best businesses on Twitter

Direct Line
3 min
Seven of the best businesses on Twitter

Twitter can be the stuff of nightmares for PR departments of large companies, but get it right and your reputation can soar. Here is a selection of the best corporate tweeters. 

7 – EasyJet (@easyJet)

One of Europe’s largest airlines, EasyJet’s twitter is brimming with updates, promotions, consumer advice for its 363,000 followers. The main account has tweeted more than 191,000 times while frequently retweeting customer images and providing important promotion to charitable organisations such as UNICEF. EasyJet is also responsive to customer queries, helping them to submit claims and even navigate particular European airports. It also holds #FlashSale competitions, pulling more Twitter users to interact with its brand.

6 – ITV (@ITV)

Home of iconic drama and hugely popular entertainment and talent shows, ITV interacts with some 1.8 million Twitter followers. Teasing potential TV viewers with GIFs and snippets of upcoming programmes, the media company is also keen to share the public’s enjoyment of its shows. The feed becomes particularly lively during X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, showing highlights of the best and worst of the auditions and live performances.

5 – Barclays (@Barclays)

Barclay’s corporate news Twitter account serves a following of 170,000 with its customer enquires feed (@BarclaysUKHelp) on hand 24 hours a day to provide assistance and support with compromising personal banking details. The company makes clever use of multiple accounts to reach as many followers as possible, retweeting and interacting through sharing news of activities in local branches and nationwide developments such as the move to Apple Pay.

4 – Facebook (@facebook)

Facebook does Twitter, and rather well too. Boasting more than 14 million followers, its feed is full of fun graphics and leads into content on its own social media platform. However, it does not purely promote Facebook via Twitter. It is also very responsive to customer enquiries and maintains a human feel by documenting the activities and whereabouts of owner Mark Zuckerberg, simply referring to him as Mark.

3 – National Grid UK (@nationalgriduk)

In a Harvard Business School study of 50 of the best and worst corporate tweeters carried out last year, the National Grid ranked as the 16th best overall. It’s 19,000 followers can expect to find updates on gas and electricity problems on the network as well as news on careers and company developments. It is serves as a pat on the back for staff, praising the hard work of its employees and promoting the work they do for the community.

2 – Next (@nextofficial)

The @nextofficial Twitter account has tweeted almost 100,000 times since joining in 2009, accumulating 218,000 followers along the way. As well as the obvious creative promotional activity, Next is keen to publicise the stories behind its latest lines of fashion by creating and tweeting content about the models in their advertising campaigns. It also, like many other successful businesses on Twitter, introduces humour in a way that doesn’t threaten to cross the line, the downfall of so many brands whose jokes backfire. 

1 – Direct Line (@DirectLine_UK)

Despite a comparitively modest following of 9,400 tweeters, Direct Line was named by Harvard Business School as the best corporate tweeter in its 2015 study of 300 of the largest FTSE, NASDAQ and NYSE companies.

To Harvard, “social media isn’t merely a place for people to chat with each other and for brands to talk at their customers. For a new generation of consumers who get their news and form their views about the world primarily on social media, it is an essential proving ground”.

Empathy is another key emotion or trait which successful corporate Twitter accounts master, and this includes a gender neutral or even slightly female tone to tweets. Direct Line’s twitter feed certainly pulls this off with a degree of charm, wit and feeling of genuine concern towards those it interacts with. Whether it’s advice on dealing with hayfever or simply announcing that they are there to help, the company’s social media team is certainly doing an effective job. 

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Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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Jun 12, 2021

Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey

Roger Beadle, Co-founder & CEO...
6 min
Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless looks at how CX can directly Influence revenue generation in streaming services

There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.

There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.

There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.

In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.

Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.

So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?

Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney

While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.

For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.

For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.

Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.

It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.

How do companies support the new customer journey?

More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.

These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.

The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?

For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.

It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.

And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.

It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.

At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.

About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.

About Limitless
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.

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