We’re Watching You, Comcast!

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Comcast and Time Warner have launched a PR offensive to try to convice people that it’s going to improve it’s customer service in advance of their pending merger, as evidenced by a pair of puff-pieces in USA Today and Marketwatch today.

Comcast, of course, is the company which was far behind its peers for customer service in the recent National Customer Service Survey results. Time Warner did better than Comcast, but is still below most of the others.

Speaking as a Comcast customer myself, I truly hope the company is mending its ways in customer service. But I’m also very skeptical. It takes more than good intentions and noise from the executive suite to make this kind of change: it requires changing the way thousands of individual employees interact with customers on a daily basis, it requires fixing broken processes which prevent resolution of customer issues, and most of all it requires time and hard work.

Many customer service initiatives fail because, while the leadership is willing to talk a good game, they aren’t willing to devote the effort and resources.

Fortunately, though, we won’t have to take Comcast’s word on whether their customer service is improving. We will see soon enough, through the ongoing customer feedback in the National Customer Service survey, whether they are actually making any improvements. I look forward to seeing the results over the coming months.

So Comcast, it’s great that you’re talking about improving service. But we’re watching you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peter Leppik
Peter U. Leppik is president and CEO of Vocalabs. He founded Vocal Laboratories Inc. in 2001 to apply scientific principles of data collection and analysis to the problem of improving customer service. Leppik has led efforts to measure, compare and publish customer service quality through third party, independent research. At Vocalabs, Leppik has assembled a team of professionals with deep expertise in survey methodology, data communications and data visualization to provide clients with best-in-class tools for improving customer service through real-time customer feedback.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is very timely. I have a blog forthcoming about the proposed Comcast merger: “Too Big To Fail….But Not Too Big To Suck”, based on a comment by Bill Maher.

    In addition to the service issue – and, we left Comcast because of poor service and support experiences, along with rapidly rising monthly charges – there are some other consumer-related factors that Comcast will need to address. As I state in the blog:

    “One of the key consumer concerns, especially as it may impact monthly bills, is the cost and control of content. For example, Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for an exclusive direct connection into its network. As one media analyst noted, ‘The largest cable company in the nation, on the verge of improving its power to influence broadband policy, is nurturing a class system by capitalizing on its reach as a consumer internet service provider (ISP).’ This could, it was further stated, be a ‘game changer’. Media management and control such as this has echoes of Big Brother for customers, and it is all the more reason Comcast should be paying greater attention to the evolving needs, as well as the squeeze on wallets, of its customers.

    Perhaps the principal lesson here, assuming that the FCC allows this merger to proceed and ultimately consummate, will be for Comcast to be proactive in building relationships and service delivery. There’s very little that will increase consumer trust more than ‘walking the talk’, delivering against the claims of what benefits customers will stand to receive. Conversely, there’s little that will reduce trust and loyalty faster, and more thoroughly, than underdelivery on promises.”

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