2 days ago now, a question was asked in SMWMumbai’s SoLoMo session along these lines – which brand in India would you love to hate most? The answer, which sounded like a practiced chorus from the bulk of the audience, was: V-O-D-A-F-O-N-E! At this stage I thought – OK, whatever this brand of global standing could have done to deserve this negative sentiment? Subsequently, a lone voice came a lady in the same audience and she expressed satisfaction that her recent complaint that was posted on Twitter was attended to promptly and resolved. Not bad, I thought, someone is happy to stand up and give props in this sea of negativity.
Coincidentally, I had applied 3 days ago now for a local number from Vodafone India, to ensure that I can be able to make calls to and be contactable by the new networks that I am building during my stay in Mumbai. I chose this mobile operator specifically because I thought their global standing comes with a high service standards. When I applied for the local number at a branch near my hotel, I was told – not once, and not by one person either – that my new number will be active within 2 hours. I was happy about that, and trusted the word I got. Well, my new number only became active 57 (I mean fifty seven) hours since my application! Is it too early to be saying now I understand why Vodafone has such a bad reputation in the Indian market?
Following up on the one brand advocate mentioned in the beginning of this post, I decided to scratch the surface about Vodafone’s tweeting behaviour using Twtrland. Here are the results:
As the pie chart above shows, clearly Vodafone does a lot of replying to tweets, which are probably queries and questions. This type of engagement behaviour indicates that Twitter is used mainly as a CRM platform by this mobile operator.
On a closing note, here are stats from Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI):
The pie chart shows that Vodafone is the second largest mobile operator in India. The bar graph indicates that Vodafone was one of the poor performers for the last 2 months. I leave you to draw your own conclusions about reasons why this might be the case.
My final analysis is that high and quick response rate is great, but this means little if underlying problems about which social netizens are posting persist.