How Vodafone leverage the communtiy

September 16th, 2008

I have discussed somewhat about building a community to enhance customer engagement (amongst many other benefits).

Given recent conversations I’ve had there appears to be a bit of a stigma around the labour investment in building a community.

So I wanted to highlight a recent example from Vodafone New Zealand.

They launched an online forum at August 1st 2008.

Investment was:

  • $150 for forum license
  • 3 people engaged over a month, checking in every now and again to keep an eye on it
  • Link under Help on Vodafone website and a mention on Geekzone


  • 250,000 visits with an average time of just under 4 minutes.
  • That’s a whooping 1 million minutes/ month.  Or the equivalent of 697 days (back to back) of attention.
  • 356 registered members and ~3000 posts (till Sept 17th)

From other forum’s Vodafone has run, they have found only 1 out of 5 questions requires an official response.

Over time the forum will build a repository of information that will provide answers to users without ANY extra work by Vodafone.

Isn’t this brilliant? What a fantastic way to help your customers.  I hope this makes others stand up and give it another look.

Oh and….

If your trying to figure the ROI on that.  Compare the attention time on the forum vs the equivalent cost of having them dealing with front line staff OR cost of getting that amount of attention OR measure impact on brand loyalty OR measure the value of the feedback you receive.

You can see your return comes in many forms.  Measure what is important.

Great to see Vodafone trying new methods to help their customers, keep up the good work!

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2 Responses to “How Vodafone leverage the communtiy”

  1. On building communities of interest at Says:

    […] was interesting to read this post by Ben (another Ben) who details the rise and rise of Vodafone’s community forum […]

  2. Stephen Knightly Says:

    Thanks for a very useful example with specific numbers.

    Especially that only 1 in 5 questions require an official response. That’s the beauty of the community – it saves effort and can often be faster, as well as sometimes truly coming from the customers’ point of view.

    Not everyone may be willing to take the calculated risk that Vodafone have. I have used other semi-open customer service tools (like which direct queries to the appropriate employee and build up a knowledge base over time. They worked well while still providing some corporate control. However, they can lose the ‘discussion culture’ of an online forum – you have to wait for a reply and it is a Q+A format, rather than a discussion with multiple points of view.

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