Group at Persuasion & Conversion and i worked with Comcast for nearly two years, helping them understand the full picture of their experience client influencers and how that community thinks about CX transformation and storytelling.
Last week, as part of that work, I joined the Comcast headquarters in Philly by a team of all-star customer experience thinkers: Chip Bell , Jeanne Bliss , Joey Coleman , Steve Curtin , John Dijulius , Matt Dixon , Moira Dorsey , Shep Hyken , Scott McKain , Adam Toporek , Bill Quiseng and Jeannie Walters .
We got together for a full day behind the scenes with the Comcast executive leadership, including the Chief Customer Experience Officer Charlie Herrin discussing the commitment the company has made to changing customer experiences that were previously suboptimal.
Implement Net Advertiser Score largest in history and attracted over a million callback customers in just the first 10 months of 2018. (Every manager in the company, regardless of role, is now required to call. reality regular customers).
The commitment made to this transformation is astounding and is bearing fruit in hundreds of ways, large and small.
For example, a customer receives $20 billed credit if a technician is late for an appointment. Customer service response times are dwindling, especially on social media, where Comcast currently has 408 full-time equivalent (FTE) social care employees. And the xFinity product line features self-healing and easy diagnostics. Comcast essentially believes that better, simpler, more intuitive products are the CX’s front-runners.
The 80,000+ employees are invited to participate in this orbital course, which is very important. In fact, Comcast has spent more, if not more, time and money on changing culture and internal CX than on customer-facing improvements. This “CX inside out” approach is absolutely a requirement for meaningful and lasting change, especially in service-oriented businesses.
As you can imagine, an orbital change of this magnitude takes years. Today, a lot of things go right. And some things are wrong. Sometimes more than a few.
But as a Comcast customer, I can personally attest that the customer experience and customer service improvements are numerous and real.
But they are also largely hidden.
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Here’s the conundrum for Comcast: how do you convince friends to change?
For example, on this CX Influencer Day, my colleagues and I received a technology briefing from Comcast Senior Vice President of Digital Home, Devices, and AI, Fraser Stirling . He introduced some cool features, many of which use the xFinity voice remote. For example, press the microphone button and name any NFL player and his stats will appear.
And more ninja tricks coming soon.
It’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work and expense to make all this sync. We asked him why Comcast was making such an investment and he said he felt it was his duty to get people to love television again. He said emotion comes first. Emotions then create customers.
It all makes sense, and the company’s commitment to iterative product improvement is commendable. But how do you create emotion if people don’t know about the fun stuff that will trigger it? I wouldn’t call myself a TV freak, but I did watch a bit, as did several other CX professionals who joined me in Philadelphia. And NONE of us knew about some of the features Fraser demonstrated, even though they’re available in our homes right now.
At one point, he said that one of the voice remote’s features was “A bit of an Easter egg.” And that got me thinking, especially since I drive a Tesla full of hidden tricks, not that the difference between an “emotional trigger” and a “easter egg” is simply How many people know about it?
For me, this is also part of the challenge that Amazon Alexa and Google Home are currently facing. The ability of those devices to add value to our lives is outpacing our ability to stay up to date with what those capabilities really are.
Discovery takes time to happen organically, and I wonder how Comcast could be more proactive in informing customers of what’s really within their fingertips or lips.
Comcast faces a similar challenge with its narrative of turning the overall customer experience around. Charlie Herrin spoke extensively to us last week that “trust has to be earned” from customers, and of course, he was correct on that point.
But HOW do you earn that trust if you are a company like Comcast? How do customers – some of them longtime and frankly, long-suffering – get the word that there’s a new CX sheriff in town?
Comcast ran some ads on the subject today, talking about their commitment, showing their technicians in action, etc. I’m not sure much of an impact here. The “trust us, we have changed” advertising is quite relevant in modern American business, and you can build a hall of fame to house the flashy, piano-filled contributions from Toyota. , Facebook, Wells Fargo and many others.
Hey 30 – Second company Pinky swears to say the right things, but there’s a reason why it’s called customer EXPERIENCE.
So if you are Comcast I think there are only two options to regain the trust of any particular customer or old customer and both are marathons, not TV Assisted Sprints .
First, you build up such a long string of uninterrupted, error-free service that customers slowly start to realize that “hey, these guys got it together.” This is the power company’s trust-building model. If I touch the switch 5,000 times in a row without incident, I begin to believe that the people responsible for lighting are pretty good at their job.
the trouble with this approach is that it is very prone to glitches in the Matrix and disturbances in the Force. This method retrieves trust of customers works like an ice tray: with each passing day, the water gets harder and harder. But one little problem – someone left the freezer door open only a crack – and you are melted. Back to Top.
For xFinity, there are many ways you can leave the door open: weather, tech issues up or down that are not their responsibility, and customer error.
Airlines have the same problem. Without even talking to you, I can tell you your favorite airline: the airline that disrupted your travel plans most recently, for any reason, even when it has nothing to do with the airline itself.
Trust and rebuild CX reputation can be built using this consistent, long-term model of excellence, but boyish is it difficult and unreliable to boot.
The second option for Comcast to solve the conundrum that is changing the story around their CX is to simply fix every problem perfectly.
There is a lot of research showing that customers who have had problems that a company has successfully fixed are not only satisfied, but buy more and are more enthusiastic advocates than customers who have never had a problem. any. We cite some of this work in my book, Hug your Haters .
Comcast’s Big Chance to Earn Trust
For me, this is an opportunity for Comcast. Because amid the growing complexity, emerging lines of products/services like home automation and mobile phones, it seems to me EVERY xFinity customer will have a problem eventually. I’m sure it does, sometimes it does.
Have you heard the saying that the measure of a person is not how she or he treats people when or then, but how they treat you when times are bad? Customer experience and customer service work the same way.
If Comcast can TALK every time a customer has any kind of problem, that’s the most direct route to gaining trust, generating real, grounded advocacy, and spreading the word about the cause. overall conversion of CX.
Comcast’s commitment to better problem solving is real, but there’s still a way to go. This is what drives the company’s enthusiasm for making every product self-healing, whenever possible. Charlie Herrin once said to me, “The best phone calls are the ones that never have to happen.”
The product-level customer experience, executed to perfection, makes customer service superfluous, in general.
The significance of this fascinated me. Customer service has always been seen as primarily a soft skill, rooted in empathy and common sense across departments. But Comcast’s approach combines a traditional service approach with a completely modern idea: What if every product To be its own customer service team?
Maybe the secret to telling the transformation story at Comcast isn’t to convince 29 million people that customer service is better. Perhaps instead, it requires the machine to tell that story through the customer experience, one problem fixed by the robot at a time.