Virgin Media

30 brands with excellent social media strategies

Okay, it’s probably disingenuous to pretend that social media is still something nascent and unproven for brands.

Even with a tricky attribution problem to solve, most brand marketers and advertisers agree it just makes sense to target these large, active and known audiences.

Having said that, some brands ‘got’ social media a lot quicker than others.

Virgin Media: the paragon of brand storytelling?

The top 10 list of storytelling brands in the UK usually includes Apple, Cadbury, IKEA and Walkers.

But looking at the annual list from AESOP, it’s Virgin Media that jumps out at me as a storytelling brand that breaks the mould.

Here I round up some of its activity that falls into my nebulous understanding of storytelling.

Let me know if you agree. 

Fight Club! Sky vs Virgin Media: a user experience comparison

With BSkyB publishing its Q1 results today, and Sky’s recent rap on the knuckles after wrongly criticising Virgin Media over its traffic management policies, now seems an appropriate time to put their respective websites to the user experience test.

Similar to my previous post comparing luxury travel sites, here I’ll take a look at the respective media giants’ customer-facing websites in terms of ease of use, functionality, availability of service and how easy is it to find the TV and broadband package you’re looking for.

Sky TV and Virgin Media: how easy is it to switch loyalties?

In the past, it was quite common for people to remain loyal to the first bank they ever opened an account with, opting to stick with it through the bad times and good.

Nowadays however unwavering customer loyalty is seen as rather a quaint relic of yesteryear and we have become a far more savvy lot of consumers. More aware of where better deals lie, we grit our teeth and overcome the administrative challenges that switching any sort of service or utility provider can require.

This switching strategy now includes our once simple TV. Increasingly linked to our communications and Internet, this centrepiece of our living rooms and our Saturday evenings is something that can’t be messed with.

We decided to look at how easy it is to switch between the main providers of paid for TV services – Sky and Virgin Media and asked four customers of each to test the other’s site using whatusersdo.com

British Gas provides best online customer experience: survey

According to a survey of the customer experience of twelve utility and broadband suppliers’ websites, British Gas was the top performer, thanks to a usable website and clear product and pricing information. 

For the study from eDigital Research, 20 customers and 20 non-customers tested the websites of 12 home services suppliers for usability and customer experience. 

Here are a few highlights from the report… 

Checkout optimisation tips for Virgin Media

Yesterday I recommended Virgin Media’s broadband services to a colleague, who is moving flat and said he might leave Sky after a decade or so. He checked out Virgin Media’s combined broadband / TV / phone packages on offer and built a bundle worth more than £800 a year. Or so he thought. 

The bundle page suggested that he’d be paying £70 a month, but the following page reduced this to £31 a month. So which was it to be? In seek of an answer he continued along the purchase path, only to be blocked by a form and no indication / confirmation of fees. Perplexed and frustrated, he swiftly dropped out and insisted that I try it for myself. And sure enough, I can see why potential customers would be confused by the way that one-off costs and monthly charges are communicated. 

So here I’ll detail the various areas that are ripe for optimisation, to help Virgin Media improve the most important pages on its website.

Virgin Media’s customer service / Twitter fail

I have TV and broadband through Virgin Media, and both went down at about 6PM last night, and remained down for the next three and a half hours, though some customers are still without service this morning. 

To be fair to Virgin, this is the first major outage I’ve had in the
past two years, and I have no major issues with the service in general, but in this instance the communication to customers, both online and offline, has been woeful.

App review: Radio Times for iPhone

TV listings magazine Radio Times has recently introduced an iPhone app, which gives users access to listings for all the major TV, satellite and cable channels.

Designed by tvCompass, the Radio Times app (currently £1.79 in the App Store) is a pretty neat piece of work, providing excellent user experience and some useful extra features. In fact, it’s much easier to use than the main website.