Reputation Monitoring Case Study: British Gas

There is no dearth of warnings that every company, or service provider needs to heed the demands of its customers. Fail at this, and you fail in your business. But every now and then, we hear of stories where the lesson is learnt the hard way. For our latest reputation monitoring case study, we looked at British Gas.

British Gas has to bite a rather bitter pill in the way of a massive fine amounting to £2.5 million for their failure to re-open complaints even when clients stated they were not resolved and also their failure to implement proper and effective grievance procedures.

British Gas has stated that the fine is hugely disproportionate to the issue, but the regulators hold that a disproportionate measure was needed to make them see reason.

Social media platforms are suddenly abuzz with action on British Gas. We had a look at what was happening out there. And believe me; things look pretty bleak for British Gas! And things are just happening out there in the social world as we speak now.

To check the initial reaction, we ran an analysis for 27th July as against the last week. And the findings are interesting in themselves.

The news has contributed to more negative sentiment for British Gas. The 21% of negative sentiment registered earlier has increased to 26%.

A look at trending topics reveals what exactly contributed to the change in sentiment. There has been a sudden spurt in mentions of British Gas with respect to two topics, ‘British Gas fined’, and ‘customers’. These two topics were predominantly negative, and have contributed to overall negative sentiment for the brand as a whole.

Now what would interest us more, or any social media enthusiast for that matter, would be to find out where all the most vocal and most prolific criticisers are likely to be found. Are they voicing through forums, Twitter, blogs? Which social media platform should be in our highest priority if we face with a challenge of damage control?

To find the answers we again turned to a little data crunching and see what came up…

It is obvious that Twitter is the platform of choice that most turn to when they want to quickly air their views. The percentage share of volume of mentions shot up from 44% for the week to as high as 57% on the day the news broke out.

This is now ‘damage limiting’ time for British Gas. And we now know where they should concentrate more. And we will wait to see how British Gas approaches this huge task.


Post by Matthew Vattoli

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