How the UK’s Airline Carriers Delivered Support During the Gatwick Drone Crisis

Feb 7, 2019

London Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the world to operate only one runway with a total passenger use 45.6 million. It is also the second-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the U.K. after Heathrow, and is the base for popular scheduled U.K. airlines; British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, low-cost carrier easyJet and charter operators such as Thomas Cook Airlines.

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How the UK’s ‘Big Four’ Supermarkets Perform for Customer Service on Twitter

May 9, 2018

The UK’s grocery market is fiercely competitive. The recently proposed merger between the UK’s largest supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Asda would create a supermarket giant that would rival the current market leader Tesco’s Plc by market share whilst competing against increasing pressure from the fast growing discounters Lidl and Aldi, and the continued global dominance and digital innovation from the mighty Amazon Inc.

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How KFC Customer Care Delivered Support During The Great British Fried Chicken Crisis

Mar 7, 2018

Shortly afterwards, a pair of lorries collided near junction one, neither driver was injured.

These three junctions are in the vicinity of Rugby, where DHL – KFC’s recently appointed logistics company and only warehouse is located. With the DHL lorries stuck in the traffic as soon as they left the depot, and no other locations to send deliveries from, the delays that would lead to the KFC chicken shortage began here.

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How the Electricity Distribution Networks Perform for Customer Service on Twitter

Feb 6, 2018

There are 14 licensed distribution network operators (DNOs) and each is responsible for a regional distribution services area. The 14 DNOs are owned by six different businesses made up of Western Power Distribution, UK Power Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Electricity Northwest, SP Energy Networks and Northern Powergrid, all of which provide real-time support to customers on social media.

During the cold British winter many people can experience unplanned and unexpected loss of power to their properties and businesses. Without properly planning or knowledge of what to do in the event of a power cut, people can be left feeling helpless and inconvenienced. While traditional forms of offline channels are available to the public to report a power cut, this can be often inaccessible, and time consuming to use whilst also costly to provide.

Now, with the increasing popularity in smartphone usage and availability of more convenient access to direct social messaging channels, more and more people are using the power of real time social messaging channels like Twitter to contact their electricity provider, report and receive updates on the status of power cuts in their area.

The Electricity Distribution Networks provide a very high standard of emergency response, customer service and community engagement across social media, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an effort to raise the profile of the great work these teams provide to their customers around the clock, we decided to take a closer look into how the electricity distribution networks provide advice and support to customers over Twitter.

Electricity Distribution Networks Customer Service Performance on Twitter

Best Overall Performers

Western Power Distribution (WPDUK) came out on top as the best overall providers of customer service on Twitter with the best aggregate score* across inbound volume, response rate, responses under 30 mins and sentiment amongst customers.

*Accounts are programmatically scored out of 100 on our performance index across four metrics. Inbound mention volumes (25%), Response Rate (25%), Responses under 30 mins (25%) and Sentiment (25%). All metrics are available and updated every hour on

1st: Western Power Distribution
2nd: UK Powernetworks
3rd: Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
4th: ElectricityNorthWest
5th: Northern Powergrid
6th: SP Energy Networks

Michael Clarke, Corporate Communications Officer from Western Power Distribution

Michael Clarke, Corporate Communications Officer, Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution prides itself on treating customers the way we would like to be treated, and our Twitter account @wpduk is a reliable source of information that provides this same world class customer service ethos. We decided quite early into our Twitter operation to provide a 24/7 service so that customers can contact us any time and know they will get a quick response to their enquiry.

We proactively deliver up-to-date power cut information and advice with updates on power cuts affecting over 500 properties, and we monitor mentions of power cuts in our area so that we can identify and respond to tweets quickly — helping customers who may not have contacted us directly. We also continue to develop our service by offering customers more ways to contact us with initiatives like a web chat facility, two-way texting and our Power Cut Reporter app.

The dedicated team of staff based at our Cardiff Contact Centre do a tremendous job responding to all initial social media customer contacts, and we’re pleased that this report recognises their hard work and reinforces the positive feedback that we receive from customers about our service.

Below is the break down on how each network provider performed for customer service on Twitter.

Response Times (First & Average Response)

Overall, the majority of the distribution networks all achieved sub 30 min response times, with Western Power Distribution the fastest to respond to customers with an 8 min first response and 6 min response on average, with only SP Energy Networks exceeding the 30 min benchmark with a 48min average response time over the month of January 2018.

1 Western Power Distribution (First & Avg Response 8min/6min)
2 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (First & Avg Response 14min/14min)
3 UK Power Networks (First & Avg Response 15min/29min)
4 Northern Power Grid (First & Avg Response 20min/28min)
5 Electricity North West (First & Avg Response 31min/28min)
6 SP Energy Networks (First & Avg Response 48min/52min)

Inbound Mention Volumes

UK Power Networks were the busiest for customer service on Twitter receiving the largest share of mentions with a total of 2,112 mentions over the last 4 weeks, with SP Energy Networks receiving the lowest amount of mentions with 331 mentions.

1 UK Power Networks (2,112)
2 Western Power Distribution (1,751)
3 Electricity North West (633)
4 Northern Power Grid (599)
5 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (594)
6 SP Energy Networks (331)

Response Rate

UK Power Networks, were most responsive responding to (68%) share of mentions to their handle on Twitter, followed by SSEN Community and Electricity NorthWest both with (66%), followed by Western Power Distribution (64%), Northern Power Grid (55% )and SP Energy Networks (48%)…

1 UK Power Networks (68%)
2 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (66%)
3 Electricity North West (66%)
4 Western Power Distribution (64%)
5 Northern Power Grid (55%)
6 SP Energy Networks (48%)

Responses under 30mins

Western Power Distribution had the highest percentage of responses under 30 mins, followed by SSEN Community, Electricity North West, UK Power Networks, Northern Power Grid, SP Energy Networks.

1 Western Power Distribution (98%)
2 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (95%)
3 Electricity North West (86%)
4 UK Power Networks (85%)
5 Northern Power Grid (84%)
6 SP Energy Networks (76%)


All companies performed well for sentiment over a busy 4 week period, with Western Power Distribution receiving the highest score for positive sentiment among customers followed by SSEN Community, UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Electricity North West and Northern Power Grid.

1 Western Power Distribution (+17)
2 Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (+15)
3 UK Power Networks (+11)
4 SP Energy Networks (+9)
5 Electricity North West (+7)
6 Northern Power Grid (+7)


Experiencing an unexpected loss of power can be a stressful experience, leaving many people feeling unprepared and helpless. By making themselves available on real-time social media channels like Twitter, the Electricity Distribution Networks are able to provide customers a rapid response, at a lower cost than more traditional service channels.

The Electricity Distribution Networks offer a world class digital social customer service to customers over Twitter and for this they rank highly on the HelpHandles™ performance index.

However, given the significant investment and efforts in digital social customer service there is still a lack of information on the availability and quality of service via social media and the service levels customers can expect from the Electricity Distribution Networks.

In light of this, there is massive opportunity for the Electricity Distribution Networks to maximise their investment in customer service over Twitter. By using HelpHandles™ public profiles and performance dashboards the Electricity Distribution Networks can effectively monitor and benchmark their performance against industry standards and best-in-class companies while also providing their customers with a real-time customer service health status via their own dedicated HelpHandles™ public profiles and additional website integrations to help manage customer expectation, increase customer satisfaction and build better reputation for customer service on Twitter.

How HMRC Customer Support Delivers Self-Assessment Tax Advice on Twitter

Feb 1, 2018

Every year millions of people across the U.K with businesses and other income face a last minute rush to complete and pay their self-assessment tax before the online filing deadline (midnight on 31st January) or otherwise face penalties of £100 for late filing during the first three months after the deadline.

For those attempting to file a tax return themselves online, without the help of an accountant, the process is not always straight forward. Filing a self-assessment online requires pre-registration and a Unique Tax Reference (UTR) which can take up to 10 working days to be confirmed by post. There are also other options to consider for individuals with unique circumstances, those living abroad for example are required to fill in special forms, together with a detailed understanding of the online form process creates a huge demand from the British public for fast and efficient access to customer support and information, which historically has been difficult and costly to service at scale via more traditional offline contact channels.

Enter Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Customer Support team, providing help with general queries to their 22.4k followers on Twitter, Monday to Friday 8am — 10pm, Saturday 8am — 10pm and Sunday 9am — 10pm.

Now the self assessment deadline has passed, and the HMRC Customer Support Team have had a well deserved rest, we thought we would take a timely look into how the HMRC Customer Support team performed leading up to and on the 31st January online filing deadline. (27th Jan to 31st Jan 2018)

Inbound Mention Volume

The HMRC Customer Support team were certainly busy over the last week, receiving over 6,000 mentions to their help handle, placing them in the Top 10% of help handles by volume on the HelpHandles™ performance index.

Response Rate

The team were working hard over this busy time ensuring that customers received responses to their tax queries. Over the last 7 days HMRC Customer Support responded to over 4,000 mentions a 65% response rate, placing them in the Top 30% best performing teams for responsiveness on HelpHandles™

Responses under 30mins

They were not only just responsive to customers, they were lightening fast too. The HMRC Customer Support Team responded to (3,618) 90% of those mentions inside 30 mins. Again performing well above the average for the Government category and placing them in the Top 30% of companies providing support on HelpHandles™…

Twitter Support Coverage

The HMRC Customer Support team were consistently busy over their serviceable hours averaging between 200-300 replies per hour throughout the week from 8am GMT and even replying out of hours to ensure people got the help they needed after 10pm GMT time right up until the 31 January deadline.

A solid performance from the team…

Popular Hashtags

The most popular hashtags over the week leading up to the online filing deadline were #selfassessment, #hmrc #tax customers went to great lengths to show their appreciation for the teams assistance even including the #helpful hashtag in their correspondence…


This was also confirmed with an overall positive sentiment score for the HMRC Customer Support team…proving that their hard work helping customers was not an effort wasted…


In today’s increasingly demanding and fast-paced world, individuals and families are constantly having to balance multiple conflicting priorities, and pressures. By making themselves available in real time on channels like Twitter, the HMRC team of experts are able to provide fast, extremely detailed, and personalised advice and support to those who need it, helping people navigate the wealth of information required to submit an online tax return on time, avoiding additional stress and financial penalties.

For this, the HMRC Customer Support team receive our respect and applause and are deservedly ranked in our top 10% of help handles on Twitter over the week leading up to and on self-assessment tax filing day.

How Amazon Help Delivers On Demand Customer Service on Twitter

Jan 30, 2018

A global consumer-tech giant, the largest Internet retailer in the world, the worlds largest provider of cloud infrastructure services, the fourth most valuable public company in the world, and the eighth largest employer in the United States.

Founded by Jeff Bezos, started life as a humble online bookstore accessed by the public over a 56k dial-up modem, on Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer 1.0 during those heady days of the mid-90’s.

Over the last two decades, Amazon has gone from strength to strength. Building on its foundations of convenience, Amazon has diversified across a broad range of innovative products and services, capitalising on mass market opportunities in consumer technology and e-commerce, experiencing massive growth as a result.

Super Saturday or Panic Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas, a major day of revenue where retailers tend to compete with each other, offering significant discounts and extended store hours in an attempt to attract customers and drive impulse buying.

Super Saturday marks the end of the shopping season in which retailers and many customers believe begins on Black Friday.

With a bold mission to be “Earth’s most customer centric company”, we decided to take a close look at how the Amazon Help team delivered customer service on Twitter over the most popular day in the calendar year for retail shopping, Saturday 23rd December 2017, most commonly known as Super Saturday.

Inbound Mention Volume

Looking at HelpHandles™ historical data, Amazon Help were significantly busier on Super Saturday, receiving a +62% (1,223) more mentions to its help handle over Black Friday.

Black Friday Inbound Mentions Amazon Help

Friday 27 November 2017 (Black Friday)

Super Saturday Inbound Mentions Amazon Help

Sat 23 December 2017 (Super Saturday)

Over a period of 24 hours, Amazon Help received a total of 3,189 mentions to their help handle placing them in the top 10% of help handles by volume on Twitter.

Response Rate

On Super Saturday, the Amazon Help support team responded to 43% (1,371) of mentions received to their help handle…

Responses under 30mins

…of which 97% (1,330) of those responses were made quickly in under 30 mins.

Twitter Support Coverage

The Amazon Help team were busy over Super Saturday, with customer service peaking at 9am GMT time responding to customers at a rate of 110 replies per hour and again at 3pm, GMT with 100 replies per hour.

Top Hashtags

Amazon customers were a demanding bunch over Super Saturday…


Many customers were left frustrated on Super Saturday with what seemed to be problems with Amazon’s estimated delivery times. Despite this the Amazon Help customer service team did a great job in reaching out and providing timely, assistance to customers offering resolutions and alternative means of correspondence where necessary.


There’s no doubt that the likes of Amazon have created a consumer culture where expectation is at an all time high, putting companies who cannot provide on demand products and services at risk to those that can.

From our analysis of Amazon Help on Twitter, providing on demand products and services is still a challenge, its certainly not plain sailing with some customers experiencing delays and issues with their orders. It’s obviously tough to deliver to such high expectations, but that doesn’t stop Amazon from relentlessly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and investing in supporting their customers on real-time channels like Twitter, providing round the clock, open communication to those who need it, outside of their own-ecosystem is just one example of Amazon’s commitment to customers.

What I admire the most about Amazon is their ability to constantly innovate, adapt and set the bar higher— failure is not an option. This is the company that is committed to commercialising rapid drone delivery, developing cashier-less stores, and bringing deliveries inside of the home, making the inaccessible, accessible and the unbelievable, believable.

So, where does that leave the rest of us? Well it would seem fitting to end this story by quoting Jeff Bezos in his April 2016 letter to Amazon shareholders…

‘Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?’

That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

‘Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.’