Comcast Goes Into Battle Against Torrent of Abominable Customer Experiences

Will the cable company be able to turn around the negative press from recent years with its new multi-year CX plan?

After an influx of negative customer service PR, broadcasting and cable company Comcast recently announced plans to turn over a new leaf.

The first step to improving the customer service was expanding its social care team to triple its current size.

The initial focus on social media was explained by Comcast Cable's Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Tom Karinshak, because "today the world looks completely different. Customers are using Twitter, Facebook and a continually growing number of social platforms for everything – it's where they go to give feedback, ask questions, and look for help."

This week the cable company announced even bigger plans to tackle the bad customer service press, as it launched a multi-year plan to reinvent the customer experience and to create a culture focused on exceeding customers' expectations' at all levels of the company.

Neil Smit, President and CEO at Comcast Cable, said: "This transformation is about shifting our mindset to be completely focused on the customer. It's about respecting their time, being more proactive, doing what's right, and never being satisfied with good enough."

The multi-year plan includes the following steps:

  • Creating more than 5,500 new customer service jobs – This includes the initially announced plan of tripling the social care team. In addition more than 2,000 of the new recruits will be based within three new customer support centres in Albuquerque, NM; Spokane, WA; and Tucson, AZ, and Comcast is hiring hundreds of additional technicians across the country to strengthen the dispatch teams and operations. Under the new promise, if a technician doesn't arrive on time for an appointment, Comcast will automatically credit the customer $20.
  • Investment in tools, technology and training – Comcast is rolling out a new, cloud-based platform that gives employees a better, holistic view of the customer's account history so they have everything they need to help customers faster. And, starting this year, all employees – from senior management to frontline representatives – will be required to participate in additional customer experience training every year. In addition, new smart network tools have been developed to proactively diagnose issues in the network and enable Comcast engineers to solve them before they reach customers.
  • Changing the in-store experience – The cable company is redesigning its stores, adding staff and new capabilities to make the customer's journey better. This includes intelligent queueing that allows customers to reserve a place 'in line' from their mobile phone, to cut wait times.
  • On-demand service – New technological advances to provide a more on-demand service include the 'My Account' app, which puts customers in the driver's seat giving them the tools to troubleshoot problems and fix issues, and 'Tech Tracker', which allows customers to track the location and arrival of their technician in real time on their smartphone and then rate the experience after the appointment.

"We'll be successful when our customers see and feel this change in every interaction with us – from the first time they order and use our products to the way we communicate with them or respond to any issues, "Charlie Herrin, EVP, Customer Experience, Comcast Cable said.

"We won't stop until we get there, and we will never be 'finished' delivering a better experience to our customers."