21 July 2014

5 Things We Learned From Comcast’s Customer Service Disaster

When Ryan Block called media giant Comcast to cancel his subscription, he anticipated a quick, to-the-point conversation ending his relationship with the company. At worst, he may have imagined a few seconds of pushback. What he got was a customer service nightmare: a belligerent, condescending diatribe from a representative who was, at best, unhelpful, and at worst, unbelievable.

Then, the tables turned. Block recorded the call and posted it online, where it’s gone viral—receiving more than 4 million views in fewer than two days. If you want to hear how awful the conversation is, you can listen to eight minutes of it here.

Comcast response to Ryan Block

This is just one (very public) example of how a single front line employee can put your entire business’s reputation at risk. If customer service is an integral part of your company, you can’t afford to make this kind of mistake. These five tips can help you ensure your front line doesn’t go too far.

1. Align and Clarify Your Goals and Mission With Your Team

The best place to ensure your front line doesn’t overstep its boundaries is at the beginning: your CSRs need to how they are expected to conduct business from the first day they step foot in your company. That begins with aligning your goals: this article details the process you and your team can take to create and achieve your shared and individual goals.

In addition to creating goals, managers and owners are responsible for clearly identifying what behaviors and exchanges are and are not acceptable. Then, you must convey to your staff what they are and why your company finds them appropriate or unacceptable. By aligning and clarifying your goals and mission among your team, you won’t leave any guesswork about expectations and appropriate behavior.

Another important thing to mention: be cognizant about motivating your employees to perform well vs. pushing them to drastic means by denying compensation. If the Comcast employee in question wasn’t meeting a strict quota—and potentially not getting a paycheck—then his actions, while still very inappropriate, potentially could be out of desperation.

2. Train Your CSRs According To Your Goals

Once you’ve completed the first step, you must train, train, train. Now is the time to be proactive—and this is where we come in.

  • Use recorded calls to give reps experience with real-life examples as a part of both new employee orientation and continuing education.
  • Use call evaluation to deliver customer information after inquiry calls. When a call is not booked, a notification can go out to a sales manager quickly letting them know who called, details on what the customer was looking for, and why an appointment wasn’t secured, providing a second chance to call the customer back and make the sale.

3. Record it all so you can get the holistic view of what’s going on

Poor customer service is not a singular event. Once you’ve trained your employees, record their activity so you can monitor what’s really going on. The Comcast employee mentioned above probably didn’t count on the customer recording his call, and, unfortunately for the company, that recording illustrates what’s really going on. Having an archived recording of each call to your business also provides a legal advantage to protect your company from potential liabilities.

4. Let The Metrics Do The Dirty Work For You

No one within the organization had to tell the Comcast representative’s supervisors he made a huge mistake—the evidence did the dirty work for him. That’s how our solutions work; unlike internal quality control, our unbiased third party perspective can provide objective results that protect your entire company (not just individuals).

We offer metrics along with call recording so you can plainly see if your employee is having a bad day, or if you have reps continually risking your company’s reputation. Call recording hosted by Callcap gives your company detailed records of every sales lead, allowing you to become a fly on the wall, listening to each communication between your phone representatives and potential and current customers.

5. Make the changes you need to based on the evidence

With those recordings, you can reference specific customer calls to see exactly how your sales are being lost, and then provide the best form of training to your employees to correct the problem. The bottom line is this: when you invest in your front line, they will re-invest in you.

With proactive, thorough training you’ll be able to avoid damaging, and potentially costly, customer service embarrassments and their fallout.

To find out exactly how our lineup of solutions can help you make sure your front line doesn’t go too far, get in touch with us today.