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Vodafone Surprise and Delight Xmas campaign to increase brand NPS

How to increase brand NPS and marketing opt-ins

Posted by emma.critchley | 10 August

Net promoter scores (NPS) are highly important in the competitive telecoms market. There are 83.8 million mobile customers (Ofcom Q1 2017) and with this increasing year on year, it’s never been more important to retain the customers you have, whilst also encouraging cross-sell across your other product lines.

NPS is measured on how likely a person is to recommend that product or service. On a scale of 0-10, people who score  0-6 are detractors, those scoring 7-8 are passives, and those scoring 9-10 are promoters. It’s a well-known fact that happier customers are ‘stickier’. They will stay with you for longer, buy more of your products and services and recommend you to their friends and family. 

It’s therefore important to have a healthier number of promoters  by moving passives and detractors up the scale. However, trying to overcome the lack of enthusiasm amongst passives and detractors can be difficult especially in an industry like telecoms where the consumer base is so vast. 


Shortly after Nick Jeffery joined as CEO of Vodafone, he set out his mission; to improve customer services and create a positive brand image for Vodafone. 

The first campaign to positively impact NPS was a surprise and delight promotion in the summer of 2017, giving customers a free Costa coffee. Going to around half of the PAYM customer base, the NPS of those who took up the offer was 172% greater than the overall increase. 

According to Dr. Gregory Berns, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University Atlanta Georgia, “The part of the brain that has always been associated with pure pleasure really cares when you get something unexpected. So if you get a present for your birthday, that’s nice, but you’ll like it a lot more if you get a present and it’s not your birthday.” This explains why surprise and delight campaigns work so well for brand NPS, however consumers quickly tire of a repetitive rewards and there is a real danger of this in telco when offering pure “data and minutes” deals. Variation is key, so when Vodafone ran their Christmas surprise and delight campaign, “Enjoy a little treat on us” they included free Costa coffee alongside a free Krispy Kreme, festive chocolate from Marks and Spencer, extra data or free international calls. 

The target was to increase NPS by 2 points and achieve an engagement rate of 10%. Scores after the promotion revealed NPS had gone up by 3.6 points, a new record for Vodafone. However, the real golden nugget in the results showed that amongst those who redeemed a reward, their NPS went up by 6 points. The number of people engaged with the promotion was also higher than targets set, with 12% of customers registering for their free gift. 

As well as outperforming the two objectives set, the Vodafone social team noticed an increase in brand sentiment as customers expressed their surprise and delight over social media. This was a welcomed shift in the usual social chatter, which is more often used by customers as a channel for complaints. Staff had the opportunity to have fun with customers and were given additional codes to give at their discretion. As a result, the campaign achieved double the positive sentiment for the December average. 

This has also had a noticeable increase in customer email opt-in for marketing. Under GDPR, Vodafone are only allowed to promote their surprise and delight campaigns to those who have opted in to receive marketing. With many customers taking to social media to express their surprise and delight; it puts a public spotlight on the benefits of being a Vodafone customer and taps into people’s fear of missing out (FOMO). As a result, more customers are wanted to receive marketing communications from Vodafone, further strengthening the relationship between the brand and its customers.


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