Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sofa Shenanigans

We’ve made quite extensive use of social media in Virgin Media (as can be seen in the presentation I posted last week) and are doing more things in the future.
One of the successes we’ve had over the last year or so has been something that we call ‘The Sofa’, which is in essence a community we set up in order for customers to be able to give us feedback and generate ideas about our products – alongside the help & support forums we have setup to compliment our invite-only ‘Sofa’ community (customers being invited based on survey feedback they have given us).

We’ve learnt a lot from it, taken plenty of ideas back into Virgin Media and are always being challenged with interesting questions to answer.

The next step was clearly for us a really good event I was lucky to attend (along with our product, marketing, customer research and PR teams and a number of our senior management team) in our London offices last Friday - a face to face get together with some of the customers.

After a bit of a meet and greet we were able to quiz customers about what services they have from Virgin Media, what they do and don’t like and their ideas for other things we could be doing and how we can do things better – which is my day job after all!

After some lunch we went through some presentations from the product teams covering how we’re bringing together home phone and mobile services, what’s coming up in the near future for broadband (100Mb, more upstream speeds etc) and the presentation that seemed to get the most people excited, the one about TiVo.

We followed up with some ‘speed dating’ where we paired up with customers and got to dig deeper into some of their issues and ideas and I came away with oodles of great insight after a really enjoyable day interacting with customers direct – which is something I always love doing.

From speaking to those present they all seemed to get a lot out of it (both staff and customers) and I’ve included some pictures from the day below.
The voice (home phone & mobile) team 'speed dating' with customers

One of the breaks - the PR, broadband, mobile and customer research teams speaking to customers

Home Phone director Alex Perrin (far right) shares a cuppa with some customers

The marketing team 'speed dating' with customers

Talking TiVo with the TV team

With some customers even coming from as far away as Scotland for it, thanks for taking the time out to help us improve our products and services even more – it really is appreciated.

We look forward to doing more events like this in the future.


  1. There sure is some ugly people in these pics ;-)

    Interesting that you're not in any of them yourself, Mr B. I assume that was intentional? :-D

  2. Carl Waring said..There sure is some ugly people in these pics ;-)
    --------------------------------------------------see you in most of them

  3. See 'Carl wannabe VM Employee' Waring managed to get an invite, tho could be he is an employee.

  4. Invite only customers, yeah customers that in their eyes VM does nothing wrong.

    Back to the usual we want only good statistics / feedback.

  5. Not sure of the need to be anonymous but Carl isn't an employee and the session was open to users of the Sofa community who wished to and were able to attend.


  6. Nothing is anonymous on the net.

    Carl is VM's no1 fan tho and they can do no wrong. Just pulling his leg.

    I never got an invite to the sofa.

    How do you become a member of the Sofa community.

    Just seems that since Newsgroup feedback was dropped only good feedback is wanted, as replies to bad feedback started to get ignored.

  7. People who filled in one of our regular randomly selected customer surveys were used as the basis for Sofa invites.

    Lots of feedback gets used internally, but perhaps we're not as visible as we should be about it - we've done some stuff with the 'We Hear You' site (http://www.virginmediapeople.com/nps/) and I know the customer communications guys are working on updating that at the moment.

    I'll link in with them when I'm back off leave!



  8. I can honestly say that Carl is just a long term customer of V.M just like me.
    I also was there.
    Carl was nice chatty guy who seem to know what he was talking about.
    It was a good day we got the chance to tell the V.M high ranking staff our problems and rants.
    did they listen YES
    would i do it again YES
    take care

  9. We didn't just big-up virgin media, we gave them bit of an ear bashing as well.
    it wasn't as one sided as a few seem to think.
    I was there and if our ideas are taken on,most of the complaints and issue will be sorted out as fast as virgin can without to much upheaval to us customers.
    All the best

  10. @BOB. I'm in 2 of the 5 photos. That's hardly "most" by anyone's definition :-p

  11. "We didn't just big-up virgin media, we gave them bit of an ear bashing as well.
    it wasn't as one sided as a few seem to think."

    The people who think that are, not un-surprisingly, the ones seem to hate VM yet still pay them every month!

  12. Carl Waring is either a paid Virgin Media shill or a deluded fangoy, maybe even both.
    Google his name to see his blind support of VM.

  13. Um, that's a bit harsh. Can we keep it civil please?