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Using social media data to understand mobile customer experience and behavior


  • Hsu, Wenling
  • Jacobsen, Guy
  • Jin, Yu
  • Skudlark, Ann


Understanding mobile customer experience and behavior is an important task for cellular service providers to improve the satisfaction of their customers. To that end, cellular service providers regularly measure the properties of their mobile network, such as signal strength, dropped calls, call blockage, and radio interface failures (RIFs). In addition to these passive measurements collected within the network, understanding customer sentiment from direct customer feedback is also an important means of evaluating user experience. Customers have varied perceptions of mobile network quality, and also react differently to advertising, news articles, and the introduction of new equipment and services. Traditional methods used to assess customer sentiment include direct surveys and mining the transcripts of calls made to customer care centers. Along with this feedback provided directly to the service providers, the rise in social media potentially presents new opportunities to gain further insight into customers by mining public social media data as well. According to a note from one of the largest online social network (OSN) sites in the US [7], as of September 2010 there are 175 million registered users, and 95 million text messages communicated among users per day. Additionally, many OSNs provide APIs to retrieve publically available message data, which can be used to collect this data for analysis and interpretation. Our plan is to correlate different sources of measurements and user feedback to understand the social media usage patterns from mobile data users in a large nationwide cellular network. In particular, we are interested in quantifying the traffic volume, the growing trend of social media usage and how it interacts with traditional communication channels, such as voice calls, text messaging, etc. In addition, we are interested in detecting interesting network events from users' communication on OSN sites and studying the temporal aspects - how the various types of user feedback behave with respect to timing. We develop a novel approach which combines burst detection and text mining to detect emerging issues from online messages on a large OSN network. Through a case study, our method shows promising results in identifying a burst of activities using the OSN feedback, whereas customer care notes exhibit noticeable delays in detecting such an event which may lead to unnecessary operational expenses.

Suggested Citation

  • Hsu, Wenling & Jacobsen, Guy & Jin, Yu & Skudlark, Ann, 2011. "Using social media data to understand mobile customer experience and behavior," 22nd European Regional ITS Conference, Budapest 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues 52180, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52180

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    Mobile customer experience; social media; text data mining; customer feedback;

    JEL classification:

    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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