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

ACE Rent A Car Has Highest Innovation Equity

How much is it worth to have customers willing to try your new products?

There’s a huge advantage in having customers who are looking to try your next offering versus customers who want nothing to do with your latest and greatest. That’s why we created the Temkin Innovation Equity Quotient (TIEQ).

The TIEQ is based on a simple question: “If <COMPANY> announced a new product or service, how likely would you be try it right away?” Respondents can select a response from 1 (Extremely unlikely) to 7 (Extremely likely), and we calculate the TIE Quotient as the percentage of 6s and 7s for each company.

In January of this year, we collected feedback from 10,000 consumers and ended up with at least 100 responses for 293 companies across 20 industries (see full list of companies (.pdf)). As you can see in the graphics below:

  • Firms with highest TIEQ: ACE Rent A Car, JetBlue Airlines, Virgin America, Trader Joe’s, Sony, Apple, Victoria Secret, Apple, H-E-B, and Holiday Inn.
  • Firms with lowest TIEQ: Citibank, Ace Hardware, BB&T, U.S. Bank, Frontier Communications, Cox Communications, Consolidated Edison of New York, Comcast, and Citizens Bank.

Purchase full 2015 TIEQ dataset for $195PurchaseDataButton

1507_InnovationTopBottom 1507_InnovationIndustryLeadersLaggards

Purchase full 2015 TIEQ dataset for $195PurchaseDataButtonDownload this sample excel file (.xls) to see what’s in the dataset.

The bottom line: Build up your Innovation Equity!

Report: Behavioral Guide to Customer Experience Design

1506_BehavioralGuideToExperienceDesign_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Behavioral Guide to Customer Experience Design. Here’s the executive summary:

According to recent scientific research, customers make most of their decisions using intuitive thinking instead of rational thinking. Intuitive thinking relies on unconscious heuristics and biases to make decisions efficiently, and as a result, people tend to be more affected by losses than by gains, to prefer simplicity over complexity, to be affected by their current emotional and visceral states, to be heavily influenced by those around them, to make decisions based on context, and to misjudge their past and future experiences. In this report, we identify best practices for tapping into these heuristics and biases across three areas of experience design; companies can Nudge customers in the right direction, Assist them in accomplishing their goals, and Enhance their overall experience. To incorporate intuitive thinking into experience design, companies need to follow four steps: define target customers, identify relevant heuristics and biases, select design strategies, and then test, test, test.

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Here are tactics for applying these human biases in your experience design efforts that we describe in the report:

1507_BehavioralDesignTactics

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The bottom line: Embrace your customers’ natural behaviors.

Employees Need to Feel Like They’re Contributing

How people feel about what they are doing (intrinsic motivation) is a key to sustaining their focus, energy, and commitment. One of the ways for companies to tap into this intrinsic motivation is to find ways for employees to feel as if they are contributing to the organization’s success (which is consistent with lessons from positive psychology).

As you can see in the chart below, people who believe they are contributing are:

  • More than twice as likely to help someone at work
  • Almost four times as likely to do something unexpectedly good for the company
  • More than twice as likely to make a recommendation
  • More than twice as likely to recommend that a friend apply for a job
  • 36% less likely to look for a new job
  • 30% less likely to take more than one sick day

1507_PowerOfContributing

The bottom line: When people feel like they contribute, they contribute even more.

Report: Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015

1507_StateOfEE2015_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity, 2015. Here’s the executive summary of this annual review of employee engagement activities, competencies, and maturity levels for large companies:

Engaged employees are critical assets for any customer experience effort. Our research of more than 200 large companies shows that front-line employees are the most engaged, while back office employees are often neglected in employee engagement efforts. We also found that two-thirds of companies survey their employees at least once a year, but less than half of executives consider acting on the results as a high priority. We used Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Competency & Maturity Assessment to gauge the maturity levels and efforts of these companies across our five competencies, called the Five I’s of Employee Engagement: Inform, Inspire, Instruct, Involve, and Incent. We found that less than one out of five companies have reached the top two levels of maturity, Enhancing and Maximizing. This percentage of very mature companies is about the same as in 2014, but the percentage of companies in the lowest two levels of maturity has dropped from 67% to 56% since last year. We also found that many companies face challenges when trying to make improvements. The lack of a clear employee engagement strategy remains the number one obstacle that’s been cited by respondents over the previous three years. We compared companies with above average employee engagement maturity with those with lower maturity and found that the leaders deliver better customer experience and also have better financial results than their counterparts.

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the 20 graphics:

1507_EECompetencyMaturityResults

Here are some additional highlights form the report:

  • The percentage of companies in the top two stages of employee engagement maturity has stayed the same since last year (19%), but the percentage of companies in the lower two sages has declined from 67% in 2014 to 56% on 2015.
  • Sixty-nine percent of large companies measure employee engagement at least annually, but only 45% of companies have executives that treat taking action on the results as a high priority.
  • The most common obstacle to success identified by respondents is the lack of a clear employee engagement strategy.
  • We compared companies with more mature employee engagement efforts with those that have less maturity. Seventy-two percent of the more mature companies have above average customer experience compared with 48% of the other companies.
  • Seventy-five percent of the more mature companies had better financial performance than their competitors’ compared with 50% of companies with lower employee engagement maturity.
  • Executives in companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are almost 3.5 times more likely to treat taking action on employee engagement studies as a high priority.
  • Companies with more mature employee engagement efforts are more than twice as likely to have their customer experience and HR organizations work together on their employee engagement efforts.
  • The report includes data for benchmarking your organization’s employee engagement competency and maturity levels.
  • Here’s a link to the 2014 study.

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The bottom line: Companies should invest more in employee engagement.

2015 Temkin Ratings: Benchmarking Consumer Relationships

Temkin Ratings website

We’ve been publishing the Temkin Ratings for five years. These ratings provide insights into how consumers evaluate their relationships with 100s of companies across multiple industries. In 2015, we examined 200+ companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers. You can view a sortable list of results on the Temkin Ratings website.

Here are my posts that summarize the results for all of the 2015 Temkin Ratings:

The bottom line: How do your customers rate their relationship with you?

P.S. Here’s a link to the 2014 Temkin Ratings

Positive Psychology Infuses Customer Experience

In case you missed it, here’s a recording of a recent Temkin Group webinar, Positive Psychology (PP) Infuses Customer Experience (CX). It shows how principles of PP can be used to enhance an organization’s efforts to improve CX.

We’ve been using some of the underlying principles of PP within our work for years, but never labelled it that way. Going forward, we plan to tap more into the growing body of research in the space, and also hope to provide a leading voice in areas such as organizational culture and experience design.

If you like this topic, here are some posts that you may find interesting:

The bottom line: Positive psychology + customer experience = a world of positive experiences.

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