The dichotomy that is Comcast customer service

Comcast is one of those companies on the leading edge of leveraging social media for delivering high levels of customer service.  In fact, I recently gave them praise for quickly helping me resolve a networking problem in my house entirely through Twitter.

Sometimes, however, even companies that understand customer service fall down when it comes to the basics, as can be seen by what is taking place in my small home town of Winthrop, Massachusetts.  On Thursday afternoon my father in-law lost TV reception in his house.  We called and, after navigating through the IVR system, reached a message stating that there were known problems in our area, stay tuned.  It is now Sunday night, no TV service.  This, in isolation, is not a big deal, however, as you start to dig in, this is a major failure by Comcast, a failure that I hope is addressed both in restitution to the customers affected and also in the processes and systems where failures have occurred.  Lets dig in:

  • My father in-law has called Comcast more than a dozen times and I have called for him as well.  Each time, people have no knowledge of the past calls, that his house was added to a broader ticket.  He has had his box reset, been told it is a broad problem, been told to wait.  No information on when this problem will be fixed.
  • The IVR system forces you down a path where you enter your phone # and, if you answer the prompts correctly, are always taken to the automated response that tells you to wait.  You must answer the questions incorrectly to reach a real person.
  • As my father in-law has chatted with neighbors he has learned that many of them are dealing with their own television outages.  Some of these failures have gone on for a week or longer, each of them waiting, calling multiple times a day, no resolution.
  • One of the times I called for my father in-law I had him added to a ticket covering multiple homes, being told that Winthrop was having a large outage, ongoing, no clear time for fixing.  If I wanted to call another department I could discuss a refund.  What?!?!?!  Comcast, you are failing to deliver service, failing to deliver answers, and failing to simply reach out and take care of those customers….  This is not acceptable.

Please understand, I have nothing against Comcast or its people.  However, these failures are indicative of a lack of process, poor system integration, and a misunderstanding of how to service your customers.  Comcast:

  • Please let me know how many customers in Winthrop are down and the total # of days they have been without service.
  • What is your plan for proactively solving the problem and “making things right” with these customers?
  • Lets sit down and discuss where your system or process failures are happening.  If handled properly we can work together to fix these problems.
  • I know you want to deliver great service.  The efforts of people like Frank Eliason show me that you’re on the right track.  Lets see if we can work to make failures like this a thing of the past.

John

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Filed under: CRM, Random thoughts Tagged: CRM, Social CRM, Support Communities
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