Belgacom Combines Social Media and Workflow to Deliver Service with Character


Belgacom Combines Social Media and Workflow to Deliver Service with Character

By TMCnet Special Guest
David Clark
  |  May 15, 2013

As Belgium’s primary telecoms company, Belgacom provides a wide range of services to consumer and business customers including fixed lines, mobile, Internet, television, cloud and networking services. Founded in 1992 the company has almost 16,000 staff and revenues of €6.4bn.

One of the hallmarks and differentiators of Belgacom (News - Alert) is its customer-centric approach, represented through the friendly and well-known face of the company’s virtual character, Eva.

Eva has been successfully helping customers solve problems or queries online for years. Now with social media emerging as the new method for customers to address their concerns, Belgacom was faced with the challenge of learning how to engage these customers across several social media channels, while continuing to utilize Eva as the face of its customer service program. Maintaining the same, great customer experience was paramount.

“In the early days, we could easily manage the process of dealing with customer issues, but with the explosion in social channels it soon became much harder to find the individuals and topics we needed to react to,” explained Bram Leunis, product and services specialist for the E-Business division at Belgacom. “We needed a new tool to search the entire social environment and automate the way we dealt with the customer queries we found. We had been using individual, stand-alone tools, but this approach was rather limited and disjointed, as one piece of software would search across Twitter (News - Alert), one would search forums, etc.”

To solve this dilemma Belgacom turned to the social media monitoring tool SDL SM2 SDL SM2 scans 60 billion posts from 250 million sources, with 5-year historical data backup to deeply benchmark/analyze customer behavior. , which monitors multiple social sources, across multiple languages, including blogs, news sites, forums, and message boards.

Leunis continued: “We needed to search the social web in Dutch, French, German and English and gain an understanding of sentiment in each language -- which SM2 handles with ease. Plus, most other monitoring tools base their license agreement on the number of queries performed, but with SM2 we have an unlimited number of queries. SDL’s license works by the number of search results generated, and this is straightforward to manage.”

By using a workflow within SM2, search results are directed to the relevant customer service team who needs to deal with that issue. It will also pinpoint and flag emerging search terms (or instances of where Eva should be responding).

“Different issues are routed to the right help desk based on keywords, each with its own ticket, so we can transparently see when customer issues have been resolved,” said Leunis. “Queries can range from someone tweeting about a billing issue or asking about our broadband products on Facebook (News - Alert).”

Belgacom also monitors social activity for customers who attend Belgacom’s regular lunches it hosts for Twitter users. Consumers are invited to the company’s offices to visit its Innovation Lounge, where future products and new services are showcased, such as TV for smartphones. 

Belgacom can now follow what is being said during and after the event. Most people who attend are early adopters or web influencers and bloggers, so Belgacom values being able to examine their reactions and feedback any revelations into the overall marketing and product development process.

It’s also important to deliver this intelligence to the Belgacom senior management team, such as buzz analysis showing peaks in conversations, or reputation/sentiment analysis that shifts month-to-month. 

“SDL SM2’s search results are also the first customer reactions we receive when the company launches a new product or service, so they are invaluable in helping decide how to communicate with customers going forward. In the long-term, being able to create internal awareness of how Belgacom’s actions are influencing customer perceptions is of major strategic importance,” added Leunis.

David Clark is vice president of marketing at SDL (

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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