Comcast Says Customer Service Will Soon Be Its “Best Product”

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Comcast is making a bold promise in its efforts to revamp its abysmal customer service image: If the cable guy is late, the company will pay you $20.

“We are going to reimagine our whole experience through a customer lens,” Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable, told reporters at a May 5 press-only event. The company has outlined numerous changes it will be making to its customer service model in the near future.

Certainly nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a repair technician during an already-wide window, only for him or her to be late anyway. But Comcast thinks it can reach a 100% timeliness goal for service appointments by the third quarter of 2015, which is why it’s backing up the initiative with a promised $20 credit for customers whose technicians show up outside the designated timeframe.

Additionally, the cable giant will implement an Uber-like tracking feature that will allow customers to anticipate their technicians’ arrival by tracking movements in real time and then rate their overall experiences. The system was tested last year, and will be rolled out to all customers by the end of 2015.

Improving Existing Contact Methods

Comcast’s most widely publicized customer service failings lately have had to do with their phone representatives. Several customers have recorded frustrating phone interactions (some hours long) and posted them online, and a story about how customers who canceled services had their names changed to expletives in the Comcast system by customer service representatives went viral earlier this year.

In light of that public perception, Comcast will be adding 5,500 new customer service jobs and opening several new call centers. Around 84,000 existing employees will be retrained in customer service, and employees will undergo regular hospitality brush-up education sessions.

It’s also trying a “We’ll Call You” feature that will allow customers to schedule telephone appointments, rather than waiting on hold (a smart move, given that a full 32.3% of customers think customer service departments should be answering phones with no waiting time whatsoever).

“We want to make the customer experience our number-one priority and our best product,” CEO Brian Roberts said during a keynote address at the INTX cable television conference just a few hours before the press event. “The goal is to make it incredibly easy for customers to do business with us.”

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