How Deutsche Telekom developed a solution for social media crisis management using real-time technology.
Name of Organization: Deutsche Telekom
Use case: Crisis management, social media monitoring
Location: Bonn, Germany
Business Opportunity or Challenge Encountered:
Social media monitoring has become a highly effective tool for telecoms to measure responses to marketing efforts in real time or to track competitors’ moves. Social media crisis management, meanwhile, entails the ability to quickly address or avert crises that may occur, such as technical or customer service issues.
But the speed and reach of social media has changed the game when it comes to crisis management. Time lost during times of crisis can damage the brand and cause financial losses.
Nowhere is this dual role more critical than the telecommunications sector – in which companies need to keep tabs on both knowns and unknowns in real time, because network disruptions can occur anywhere, at any time, for any reason. A “known” situation may be a service disruption or a product recall; and “unknown” situations would be problems not yet formally reported through customer service or network administration channels, such as spotty outages.
The ability to manage a crisis effectively is essential for a large operation such as Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies with more than 156 million mobile customers, 29 million fixed network lines, and more than 18 million broadband lines. The company needed to be able to technically track or prevent issues within its networks, as well as to be able to “listen” to social media, in real time, to be alerted to problems as they happen.
Deutsche Telekom needed a way to track known crisis situations moment by moment and be altered to emerging problems. The telecom provider also needed to be able to monitor multiple Twitter and Facebook channels to stay on top of social discussions. The firm’s managers were also looking for ways to analyze large volumes of social data at high speed in order to react quickly and effectively.
How This Business Opportunity or Challenge Was Met:
To be able to stay abreast of events as they occur across the network, and hopefully prevent such situations from spiraling out of control, the company developed a “situation room” that acts as the “intelligent alarm” of the enterprise. One of its key mandates is to provide employees the information they need to stay on top of any crisis situation in real time.
The situation room’s “social listening” technology is powered by Talkwalker’s real-time social data intelligence, which is marketed as being easy to use at all levels of a business organization. The technology is used to generate customized reports that present insights in a way that everyone can understand. The company creates reports in multiple formats to match the needs of each department. “Since the reports for different departments serve different purposes, it’s extremely important for us to able to individualize them,” said Robert Schwerdtner, former crisis manager for Deutsche Telekom.
The situation room is tasked with detecting crisis signals across millions of brand mentions online. For known issues, the situation room monitors buzz across the web, with a special focus on owned channels. The monitoring analytics helps ensure in-depth analysis of the buzz, engagement, reach, and sentiment of social discussions as well as the diffusion of social messages throughout the web.
Deutsche Telekom’s situation room employees also focus on monitoring the company’s own national and international social channels, particularly Facebook and Twitter. The company’s employees can detect any unusual activity at an early stage. Careful social media monitoring then remains in place until the issue has been fully resolved.
Situation room employees are also tasked with making these insights actionable, and spreading them throughout the enterprise. For Deutsche Telekom, the most important aspect of the social media monitoring process is not the gathering of data itself, but how this data is used. It is this fast and efficient method of spreading social insights to relevant departments that is especially important during a crisis when every department needs to have the right information at the right time to act effectively. This also helps to ensure that data doesn’t get siloed in particular departments and that critical knowledge is shared across all the departments that may find it useful.
Measurable/Quantifiable and “Soft” Benefits From This Initiative:
With its situation room, Deutsche Telekom has been able to keep a close eye on all relevant conversations and create automatic notifications for all stakeholders within the company.
Real-time monitoring has enabled the company to manage known issues more effectively and detect emerging problems before they get out of hand. Efficient reporting has helped Deutsche Telekom to save time and ensure all of its teams are on the same page.
For Deutsche Telekom, the implementation of social media intelligence has led to significant cost savings, while also minimizing corporate risk. The situation room has helped to avert crises, and managed known and unknown issues efficiently, preventing potential sales losses and reputation damage. The company also plans to extend its monitoring, adding a B2B component to its overall monitoring and analytics.
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