Comcast which has been previously known for worst customer-service is trying hard to improve its bad reputation.
There was a number of complaints from one of the biggest satellite TV and cable company’s customers for paying for the channels they don’t even watch. Moreover, every time the promotions expire, they have to renegotiate their bills.
In the recent quarter, Comcast has already lost around 125,000 customers, putting the blame on video streaming rivals and recent hurricanes. Though, Comcast has added 2.2 million more subscribers in the last 3 years. At present, 29.1 million users follow Comcast which includes one million customers in the Colorado.
Customers have been threating to leave Comcast while alternative video-streaming competitions are flourishing at full pace.
In addition, in July 2014, a Comcast’s customer service phone call went viral. When Ryan Block, a Comcast user, posted online 8 minutes long phone call in which he attempted to discontinue his service and the representative consistently demanded a reason, ignoring Block’s “That’s what we want to do.” response. Next day, Comcast executives apologized to Block publicly.
After the incident, Comcast shared its strategy to recreate customer experience, including the hiring of 5,500 employees for customer-service and to open 5 new facilities, similar to Fort Collins. Furthermore, Comcast shared to improve billing transparency and provide a better customer service on the first contact with the user. Also, it uses the Net Promoter System now. Thus, a customer will receive a service call asking, “How likely are you to recommend Xfinity from Comcast?”.
Recently, Comcast has included ‘a la carte’ option which is an add-on Xfinity Instant TV plan, at the cost of $18 for existing Internet subscribers to stream local TV channels.
As per the latest results, customers are troubleshooting and managing their accounting online. For this reason, this year, Comcast has received 11 million fewer calls. Since 2015, digital team has responded 732, 00 times to the subscribers on social media.
Comcast’s West Division Vice president for customer experience, Dana Crandell said, “(the Block’s call) really helped solidify our commitment and accelerated some of the changes we knew were necessary,”. Further, she added, “Often in transformation, those moments can be used to galvanize the organization.”
Changing a reputation
Susan Ott, a Comcast cable TV customer for 19 years, dials Comcast service number every year after promotions end to get a better price. She said, “I guess we stick with them because it’s a pain to change and we’re not sure any other company would be any better”. “I guess we’re probably getting a decent deal (at $156 a month), but it was nice paying $130 per month last year”, she added further.
In Denver area, the fees of Broadcast TV has jumped to $7.85 within three years. Comcast said on an average, the average customer bills will increase around 3.8% nationwide this year.
The vice president of sales and marketing, Sarah Murphy said, “The costs we are charged to carry popular networks continue to increase significantly — especially broadcast television and sports programming, which are the largest drivers of increases in price adjustments”.
Comcast ranks on the fourth lowest position for customer service out of 220 companies as per The American Customer Satisfaction Index. Its director, David VanAmburg said the price hike is not customer’s concern, they just don’t prefer price hike for monthly services where customers are paying more for no new or additional feature.
The words from his emails were, “This is compounded when the company, like Comcast, already has a long history of low customer satisfaction”. In addition, he said, “In other words, companies that excel in satisfying customers can more easily get away with the price increases without sapping too much customer satisfaction because they have built up a lot of goodwill with their customer base.”
“The challenge in the pay- TV industry, particularly for cable, is consumers don’t really feel they have a choice, especially long-term customers,” Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group, said. “That’s the challenge for a big provider like Comcast. They’re starting with customers whose fists are clenched. I think they’re trying as hard as they can.”
|Comcast fee changes (per month)||2014||2017||Change|
|Broadcast TV fee||$1.50||$7.85||+523%|
|Limited Basic TV (network channels)||$25.91||$29.95||+15.6%|
|Internet Plus Choice (Limited Basic, internet, HBO)||$69.95||$75.95||+8.6%|
|Performance Starter internet*||$49.95||$51.95||+4%|
|Regional Sports fee||none||$4.50|
|Economy Plus internet||$39.95||n/a|
|HD DVR Service||$19.95||$9.95||-50%|
|* Up to 6 Mbps in 2014/10 Mbps in 2017|
|Source: Comcast Xfinity Price list from Dec. 2014 and Oct. 2017|
Temkin Group ranked Comcast at 329 out of 331 companies this year. Vice President, Aimee Lucas said, “The thing is when I’m comparing my cable company or supermarket or my bank, I’m not just comparing that experience to another bank but across the industries. Regardless of what category the company is in, my expectations are shaped by the best airline or my best shopping experience”. Further adding, “I’m not comparing apples to apples. And it’s not: Comcast is better than Charter. But how does Comcast compare to Amazon? That makes it tough for companies.”
Doug Hubka, a resident in Lakewood, gave Comcast an A+ to Comcast’s customer service. As they figured out that his booster needs an improvement over a single phone call. After which, a tech visited his home to fix the problem. However, just a few hours later, Hubka gave B- to Comcast for charging him $70 for an in-home visit without informing about the home-visit fee.
While Comcast score is only 47%, Lucas gave examples of Companies like Netflix, at 74% and Amazon Prime video at 73%, setting the bar for the customer service.
Will it be a new beginning?
Comcast is hiring new recruits and training them with full enthusiasm. According to Walter Smith, Comcast University’s manager for learning and development, “The best way to learn is having an experience. That’s why we went to experiential learning to get them hands-on and involved in their role early on instead of sitting in a classroom for six weeks,”
Crandall said, “A happy employee supports a happy customer”. She added, “We are actually investing a significant amount of time with our employees today.”
For instance, during Hurricane Harvey, Minn., a St. Paul’s customer-service employee received a number of calls from unsettled customers. In a few days, Comcast allowed its customer to access television on their smartphone without following typical validation procedures.
“If they hadn’t set it up, we couldn’t detect that they were in their home. We had trouble in identifying them,” Dana Crandall said. She added, “But we were able to open up our streaming TV service to all customers without requiring them to enter a password, while at the same time protecting their information. We’ve become much more agile.”
A better Comcast’s customer service is an unpredictable future, till then for any kind of problem and to get the best service, Click Here.