Comcast Customer Experience – Episode Overview
Charlie Herrin is the EVP of Customer Experience at Comcast, based out of Philadelphia. Comcast has become a big name in the CX space in recent years for some of the work they’ve done around customer growth, and I think Charlie ended up being a great guest. I’m going to outline some of the key themes of the discussion — which is very enlightening — and then encourage you to listen to the entire episode when you have some time. I think you’ll learn a ton, regardless of what level you are within CX presently.
The Big Themes Of This Episode
One of the biggest is Comcast moving from a “product focus” to a “customer experience focus.” You are seeing that with a lot of companies now, but how does it get done? If most of the pre-existing other executives are aligned to think about everything in terms of product and product silos, how do you shift the focus of an entire company to experiences?
One answer you’ll find is in Charlie’s reporting structure, which we also cover in-depth. He came to own various operations and product development. This helped with the transition from a product-driven company to an experience-driven company, as the pre-existing silos were now under one roof.
We also discuss the usefulness of automation around various technologies to free up time for more value-add tasks.
Some other major themes:
- Engaging employees as you also engage customers
- Simplifying your processes instead of heaping more and more on
- Communicating a plan and a vision to other executives, and/or changing their focal points
- Year 1 vs. Year 2 vs. Year 3 in terms of what needs to get done and be presented upwards
The overall episode is over 51 minutes long, but break it up across a few commutes if you can. It’s worth it in the CX space.
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Core Pillars Of Comcast’s Customer Experience Transformations
Data: Where is effort being wasted? Where are we not connecting with customers the ways we should? How can data better inform decisions? What framework do we need? Comcast’s framework is around programs that frame up the customer experience.
Automation: They were pretty manual when he arrived. That needed to change for value-add work.
Reliability: How are we being reliable for customers?
Employee engagement: Do employees understand their priorities, their role, and how they can rise up and contribute more?
Simplicity: I call these processes “kill a stupid rule” sometime. Are your processes making work harder to do, or easier? (Employee side.) And is the way you’re treating customers making it hard for the customers to achieve what they want to do?
- Journey mapping
- Data analysis for the team
These were the two focal points. It should be noted that pretty senior people — including the current CFO — were working on the journey maps and even reporting out on them in major meetings. They also focused on repeat calls, chronically bad calls, and other low-hanging fruit of cost-sucks.
- Make sure the organization is set
- Launch trials
- Scale some of the policies and design decisions
- Unifying customer relationship management team
- Look more at your tech stack and what you can accomplish
They ran a trial market in Portland, Oregon and some tests of SMS communication. They were kicking tires on their products and how they come together and customers interact with them. How does the control get into the customers’ hands?
- Educating customers and front-line employees on self-service
- Making sure the tech stack is tip-top
As many guests on this show have noted, Year 3 is where the “rocking and rolling” can get going. You should have people mostly set, processes mostly set, buy-in, some trials and experiments to guide decision-making, the right data, etc. This is where some of the big results can start to begin.
Why They Embraced NPS
Some good discussion throughout about Net Promoter Score (NPS) and why Comcast adopted it wholeheartedly. The major reasons were around unification of metrics for employees, customers, and how information is presented up the chain to executives. It’s pretty interesting. I’d also recommend this episode on the formulation of NPS.
The Pay It Forward Question
What do you know NOW that you wish you knew THEN?
- It can be a frustrating role, but embrace it. Many of us are making progress. Take pride in it and in what you’re delivering at a personal level for the customer.
- Customer experience should be largely about the employee, because if you forget the employees, helping the customers is going to be much harder.
- Talk to peers and colleagues. See how they embrace and approach challenges.