Comcast: 5,500 New Employees Won’t Fix Customer Experience

Comcast recently announced that it will add more than 5,500 customer service jobs as part of a “customer experience transformation” effort. That’s not the answer to its customer experience woes.

Comcast provides terrible customer experience. While I’m pretty sure that most people reading this post are nodding in agreement based on their personal, anecdotal experiences, we actually have data that shows that the company is truly awful in how it treats its customers. Comcast earned terrible ratings in both the 2015 Temkin Customer Service Ratings (last place out of 278 companies for the 2nd year in a row) and 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings (291st out of 293 companies).

Before I go too far in picking on Comcast, let me say that the problem is endemic across large cable providers, especially Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Time Warner Cable. As you can see in the chart below, TV services and Internet services industries are the lowest in both overall customer experience and customer service.

1506_BadCXCableWhy don’t I think that Comcast can solve this problem by hiring 5,500 service reps? Because the company’s issues have to do more with it’s culture than with the number of people that it employs. The breath of the issues demonstrate a very low level of customer experience maturity across the organization. Unless the company develops a more customer-centric culture, then adding people will at best only create superficial improvements.

So, whats the answer? Comcast (and its peers) need to focus on building all four customer experience core competencies:

  • Purposeful Leadership: Leaders operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
  • Compelling Brand Values: Brand attributes are driving decisions about how you treat customers.
  • Employee Engagement: Employees are fully committed to the goals of your organization.
  • Customer Connectedness: Customer feedback and insight is integrated throughout your organization.

Where’s a good place for Comcast execs to start? Watch this video:

The bottom line: Build a customer-centric culture, don’t just add people

TV Service Providers Deliver Very Poor Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

The average rating for the TV service providers industry dropped from 54% in 2014 to 52% in 2015—the first time in the history of the Ratings that this industry has declined. As an industry, TV service providers ranked 19th out of 20 industries.

Here are some highlights from the TV service providers’ results:

  • Cablevision Optimum earned the highest rating the TV service provider industry, with a score of 61% and an overall rank of 199th place.
  • Comcast was the lowest-rated TV service provider for the second year in a row, scoring 43% and ranking 291st out of 293 companies. Comcast also scored the furthest below the industry average for each of the three components, falling 6.7 percentage-points below the success average, 9.3 points below the effort average, and 11.6 points below average for the emotion average.
  • Of the nine TV service providers that we evaluated both last year and this year, only two of them increased their scores between 2014 and 2015. Verizon improved by three percentage-points, while AT&T improved by one point.
  • Bright House Networks—last year’s top-rated TV service provider—dropped eight percentage-points since 2014, while Cox Communications dropped seven percentage points over the last year.
  • Dish Network’s success score declined more than any other TV service provider’s, dropping by 10 percentage-points between 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Cox Communication’s effort and emotion score declined the most in the industry; its effort scored dropped by 12 points over the last year, and its emotion score dropped by 8 points over the last year.
  • Despite scoring above average for both the emotion and effort component—4.4 and 4.1 percentage-points above average respectively—DirecTV scored 3.1 points below average for the success component.

Read more of this post

Internet Service Providers Set the Lowest Bar in Customer Experience

We recently released the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 293 companies across 20 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

With a rating of 51%, Internet service providers have the lowest average score of any of the 20 industries we evaluated. The industry’s average decreased by 4.3 percentage-points over the past year, down from 56% in 2014. This is the largest decline in average rating for any industry.

Here are some highlights from the Internet service providers’ results:

  • Optimum earned the highest rating in the industry with a score of 60%, putting it in 207th place overall. Optimum is a newcomer to the Ratings, and knocked last year’s winner AOL out of the top-spot.
  • With a rating of 45%, Comcast is the lowest-scoring Internet service provider for the second year in a row. Comcast’s score dropped two percentage-points since 2014, and this year, the company ranked 289th out of 293 companies.
  • Of the eight Internet service providers that we looked at both last year and this year, not a single company’s score increased. Verizon’s rating stayed the same at 57%, while every other company’s score declined. Time Warner dropped the most, going down eight percentage-points, while Cox Communications dropped seven points, and AOL dropped six points.
  • With a rating of 45%, Comcast is the lowest-scoring Internet service provider for the second year in a row. Comcast’s score dropped two percentage-points since 2014, and this year, the company ranked 289th out of 293 companies.

Read more of this post

USAA and Capital One 360 Top 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings

We just published the 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings, the fourth year of the ratings. It uses feedback from 10,000 U.S. consumers to rate 222 organizations across 19 industries.

Download dataset for $295

USAA’s banking business took the top spot and Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct) earned the second highest rating in the 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings, which rates 222 companies across 19 industries. USAA’s insurance and credit card businesses tied for third place.Rounding out the top 13 companies in the ratings are Charles Schwab,, credit unions, TD Bank, U.S. Bank, Sheraton, Ace Hardware, eBay, and Nordstrom.

The award for delivering the worst web experience goes to Coventry Health Care, followed closely by Medicaid. Four of the bottom 14 organizations are health plans and three are TV service providers. The remaining companies in the bottom 14 of the Temkin Web Experience Ratings are Charter Communications, Comcast (TV service and Internet service), Dunkin’ Donuts, Time Warner Cable (TV service and Internet service), Jack in the Box, CareFirst, MetroPCS, Highmark, Adobe, and Wendy’s.


Here’s how the industries compare with each other:


The 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings shows that companies have made improvements in web experience between 2013 and 2014. Led by airlines, which increased by nearly 15 percentage points since last year, 17 of 19 industries improved. The two industries that earned lower ratings in 2014 are parcel delivery services and rental cars.

Nearly two-thirds of the 195 organizations that were in both the 2013 and 2014 Temkin Web Experience Ratings improved this year. On average, firms earned an increase of 3.2 percentage points. Eleven companies improved by more than 15 percentage points: Southwest Airlines, Health Net, United Airlines, PetSmart, AOL, Sony, Bright House Networks, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Edward Jones, Cablevision, and AAA.

Six companies saw their Temkin Web Experience Ratings fall by 10 points or more between 2013 and 2014: Dunkin’ Donuts, Avis, Hertz, Jack in the Box, Dollar, and Blackboard.



The data was collected from an online survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers during January 2014. Quotas were set to mirror the U.S. census data for age, income, gender, ethnicity, and geographic regions of the U.S. population.

Temkin Web Experience Ratings are based on asking consumers the following question about companies with whom they’ve had a customer service interaction during the previous 60 days: “Thinking back to your most recent interaction with the websites of these companies, how satisfied were you with the experience?” Potential responses range from 1= “very dissatisfied” to 7= “very satisfied.” Temkin Web Experience Ratings are calculated by taking the percentages of consumers who respond with a 6 or 7 and subtracting the percentage who respond with 1, 2, or 3.

Download dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website
You can view a sortable list of results from the Temkin Web Experience Ratings as well as other ratings on the Temkin Ratings website.


Bright House Networks and DirecTV Lead Terrible TV Services Industry Industry in 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings

We recently released the 2014 Temkin Experience Ratings that ranks the customer experience of 268 companies across 19 industries based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

TV service providers ended up with the lowest average score out of 19 industries in the ratings.

Bright House Networks continues its three-year reign as the highest-rated TV service provider, earning a rating of 63% and placing 160th overall out of 268 companies across 19 industries. While DirecTV has always ranked near the top of the list, this is its first year in second place, and it scored a 62% rating and placed 174th overall. At the other end of the spectrum, Comcast fell from the middle of the pack in 2013 to the very bottom of the pack in 2014, landing in 260th place overall with a rating of 47%.

Download entire dataset for $395

Here are some additional findings from the TV services industry: Read more of this post

Report: What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014

1402_WhatHappensAfterGoodBadExperiences_COVERWe just published a Temkin Group report, What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience, 2014. The report, which includes 19 data charts, examines which companies and industries provide the most bad experiences, what impact those experiences have on spending, and how the negative impacts of bad experiences can be mitigated by good service recovery. The report also examines how consumers share their good and bad experiences with companies as well as with other people. Here’s the executive summary:

To understand the effect of good and bad experiences, we asked 10,000 U.S. consumers about their recent interactions with 268 companies across 19 industries. Results show that Internet services and TV services are the industries most likely to deliver a bad experience to their customers, while grocery chains are the least likely to. At the company level, Scottrade had the smallest percentage of customers reporting a recent bad experience with the company and Time Warner Cable had the highest. More than half of the customers who encountered a bad experience at a fast food chain, credit card issuer, grocery store, or hotel either decreased their spending with the company or stopped altogether. However, our data shows that a good service recovery effort can help mitigate a bad experience. Unfortunately, many firms—especially in the banking, Internet services, and TV services sectors—aren’t very good at service recovery. In addition to the consequences of bad interactions, we also examined which channels customers use to share their good and bad experiences and how these changed across age groups. We then compared these results to survey responses from the past two years. We also uncovered a negative bias inherent in how customers provide feedback. ING Direct, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn have the most negative bias in the feedback they receive directly from customers, while Hy-Vee and Hyundai have the most negative bias on Facebook. 

Click link to see full list of industries and companies covered in this report (.pdf).

Download report for $195

One of the most interesting analyses in the report is the look at how service recovery after a bad experience affects the spending pattern of consumers. Here’s a summary of one of the charts showing just how important it is for a company to recover well after making a mistake:


Here are some other insights from the research:

  • Sixteen percent of consumers who have interacted with TV service and Internet service providers report having a bad experience over the previous six months. Next on the list are wireless carriers, with 12% of their customers reporting a bad experience. At the other end of the spectrum, only 3% of consumers report a bad experience with grocery chains and 4% report having a bad experience with fast food chains.
  • The five companies with the most customers reporting bad experiences are Time Warner Cable (25%), Motel 6 (22%), Coventry Health Care (21%), and Comcast (21%). There were 10 companies with only 1% or less of their customers reporting bad experiences: Scottrade, Chick-fil-A, H.E.B., Whole Foods, ShopRite, ING Direct, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Vanguard, and True Value.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers who have a bad experience stop spending with computer makers, car rental agencies, credit card issuers, hotel chains, and software companies. The impact of bad experiences is less costly for parcel delivery services, wireless carriers, health plans, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and grocery chains, as less than 15% of their customers with bad experience stopped spending.
  • The industries that are the best at responding to a bad experience are investment firms, major appliances, retailers, and car rental agencies. The industries that are the worst at responding to a bad experience are TV service providers, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, parcel delivery services, and health plans.
  • Thirty-two percent of consumers give feedback directly to companies after a very bad experience and 23% give feedback after a very good experience.
  • Overall, 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to share feedback about their experiences. After a good experience 57% tell a friend directly, 28% share on Facebook, and 18% put a comment or rating on a review site. After a bad experience, 60% tell a friend directly, 31% share on Facebook, and 20% write a review.

Download report for $195

The bottom line: Make sure to recover quickly after a bad experience

USAA On Top of 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings

We just released the third annual Temkin Customer Service Ratings of 235 companies across 19 industries based on a study of 10,000 U.S. consumers (see full list of firms).

Download entire dataset for $295

Company Results

Here are some company highlights:


  • USAA earned the top two spots for its insurance and banking businesses. Other companies at the top of the ratings are credit unionsAce HardwareCharles SchwabDollar TreeChick-fil-ASonic Drive-InHy-VeeCostcoTrader Joe’s, Advantage, Publix, and H.E.B.
  • TV service providers and Internet service providers earned nine out of bottom 10 spots in the ratings.
  • For the second straight year, Charter Communications took the bottom spot. The rest of the firms in the bottom five are Time Warner CableCox CommunicationsOptimum (i/o), and CareFirst.
  • The following companies earned ratings that were 15 or more points above their industry averages: USAA (insurance and banking), Alaska Airlines, credit unions, Advantage, Kaiser Permanente, TriCare, Charles Schwab, and Bright House Networks.
  • Five companies earned ratings that were 15 or more points below their industry averages: Apple Stores, US AirwaysRadioShack, HSBC, and 21st Century.
  • Twenty-three percent of companies earned “strong” or “very strong” ratings, while 37% earned “weak” or “very weak” ratings.

Temkin Group also examined year-over-year results for the 171 companies that were in both the 2012 and 2013 Temkin Customer Service Ratings and found that:

  • Forty-four percent of companies improved their ratings while 47% experienced a decline.
  • Twenty companies showed double-digit increases, led by: Citibank (banking and credit cards), U.S. Bank, Hyundai, Nissan, Old Navy, Charles Schwab, Continental Airlines, and Piggly-Wiggly.
  • Eleven companies showed double-digit decreases, led by: LG, Giant Eagle, Toshiba, Cox Communications, ING Direct, and Budget.

Industry Results

Here are some industry highlights:


  • Grocery chains, retailers, and fast food chains earned the highest average Temkin Customer Service Ratings, while TV service providers, Internet service providers, wireless carriers, and health plans earned the lowest ratings.
  • On average, credit card issuers, banks and fast food restaurants improved the most while appliance makers, TV service providers and investment firms declined the most.

Calculating the Temkin Customer Service Ratings

During January 2013, Temkin Group asked 10,000 U.S. consumers to identify the companies that they had interacted with on their websites during the previous 60 days. These consumers were asked the following question:

Thinking back to your most recent customer service interaction with these companies,
how satisfied were you with the experience?

Responses from 1= “very dissatisfied” to 7= “very satisfied”

For all companies with 100 or more consumer responses, we calculated the “net satisfaction” score. The Temkin Customer Service  Ratings are calculated by taking the percentage of consumers that selected either “6” or “7” and subtracting the percentage of consumers that selected either “1,” “2,” or “3.”

Download entire dataset for $295

Temkin Ratings website

To see all of the companies in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings as ell as all of our other Temkin Ratings and sort through the results, visit the Temkin Ratings website

The bottom line: TV service providers deliver terrible customer service

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