Comcast Needs To Trim Its Customer Experience Action Plan

A few months ago, The Consumerist leaked Comcast’s 10 point Customer Experience Action Plan.

1. Never being satisfied with good enough
2. Investing in training, tools, and technology
3. Hiring more people … Thousands of people
4. Being on time, every time
5. Get it right the first time
6. Keeping bills simple and transparent
7. Service on demand
8. Rethinking policies and fees
9. Reimagining the retail experience
10. Keeping score

My take: As you probably already know, Comcast has terrible customer experience. It’s consistently one of the worst companies in the Temkin Experience Ratings. So I have to start by applauding the leadership team for taking the problem seriously, and putting together a plan.

But the plan is flawed. I’ve already commented on Comcast’s mistaken plan to hire 5,500 new people, which is item #3. The 10 items collectively read like a laundry list of things, instead of a coherent approach and commitment to change the overall culture of the company (see the video, Driving Customer Experience Transformation, Made Simple).

The initial item “Never being satisfied with good enough” falls flat for an organization that is rarely good enough. How does that resonate with the pain that its customers regularly feel?

And the last item “keeping score” is also a red flag. Having and touting a customer experience metric is quite different from using it to drive change. We found that while more than half of the large companies describe themselves as “good” at collecting CX metrics, less than 20% are “good” at making trade-offs between financial metrics and CX metrics.

What do I recommend? Comcast should narrow its focus and make a commitment to be better at a few things that will make a huge difference for customers. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Being on time, every time
  2. Get it right the first time
  3. Keeping bills simple and transparent

If Comcast can do these things, then its customer experience will improve dramatically. As a matter of fact, if it just gets it right the first time, then I’d expect to see it jump out of the bottom of the Temkin Experience Ratings.

The bottom line: Commitment to a few things is better than a list of many

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

4 Responses to Comcast Needs To Trim Its Customer Experience Action Plan

  1. bgordy30 says:

    Here here! I too have shared my poor CX experiences with Comcast. They have not moved the needle in a positive direction yet.

    Bill Gordy

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Jeff Toister says:

    Bruce – I agree that Comcast’s plan misses the mark. And, you’re right that it should be simpler and more focused. They need a clearer and more compelling vision for what a great service experience SHOULD look like at Comcast.

    Most of their failings are attributable to policy or process. They would do well to imbue both of these with a greater dose of customer focus.

  3. Jim Bass says:

    Bruce, I agree this reads like a list of things to do. I think this list gives a false sense of security as it implies that once all those things are completed everything will be great and customer experience will be achieved. What??? This plan is missing several important “to do’s”: Create Customer-Centric Culture and Create a Listening Culture (listening to employees and customers). From an overall action plan perspective, what is the vision and mission? What is the goal?

    Even more difficult, in my opinion, is how will they know when item #1 is completed or successful?
    Item #2 – is this a “one and done”? Or is this a culture change?
    Item #3 – They probably need more people, but I would go for quality rather than quantity
    Item #4 and #5 – is this a focus on a metric or is this a change in company values and maybe a culture element?
    Item #9 – Perhaps they need to re-imagine more than retail – what about customer service in tech support and customer support? The word re-imagine seems very passive. Like we will think about it but not necessarily do anything. How about a word like “revolutionize” instead?
    Item #10 – oh no… focusing on a score as an action plan? Measuring satisfaction rather than loyalty and delight? Measuring the right things is extremely important. They should focus on measures of effectiveness instead… the rest will follow.

    And finally, is this a chronological list of things to do? is this in some order of priority or importance?

    I am disappointed.

  4. Jack Smith says:

    Hiring more people is code for systematically purging top earners/top performers in favor of cheaper labor that won’t question the regime.

    The metrics they use will always shine like gold even if reality is shining like a black hole.

    Talk to former Comcast employees to get the real story why the customer experience is terrible. It’s complicated and no amount of simplification and common sense will ever change it.

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