As if Comcast needs another negative publicity, their recent customer service blunder just added more damage to their already damaged reputation.
It seems as if Comcast has been receiving more and more customer complaints in recent years. The latest one was reported recently by Christoper Elliot on BoardingArea.com, wherein he said that Comcast changed a customer’s name on his bill from Ricardo Brown to “Asshole” Brown.
Apparently, this happened after Ricardo’s wife, Lisa, called Comcast’s customer service to request the cancellation of the cable portion of her bill because they were experiencing financial difficulties. She said that she was never rude during the encounter but that the retention specialist could have gotten upset after she refused to accept a retention offer.
Companies have much to learn about this mishap. Here are some lessons that we got out of this incident.
Empathy is essential.
Normally, a customer comes to you because they have an issue that needs to be resolved. Some may be irate customers, while others may not be. But regardless of how customers are emotionally, customer service representatives must sincerely show that they want to help out and resolve the problem.
According to Michael Hess, in an article on CBS News, what makes for a truly exceptional customer service environment is empathy. Lisa Brown certainly did not receive this when the customer service rep immediately transferred her concerns to a retention specialist.
She only received some form of empathy after Comcast executives reached out to her to apologize but of course, the damage had already been done.
Resolve issues quickly.
According to the 2014 State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey, 41% of those surveyed said that getting their issues resolved quickly is the most important aspect of good customer service.
Lisa Brown clearly did not experience that with Comcast. After receiving the bill, she tried to have the name fixed by going as far as visiting the local Comcast office and calling higher ups in the Washington office, to no avail. In fact, it was only when Christopher Elliot contacted Comcast that the company realized what happened.
This is just an example of how customer complaints go unnoticed in a big company such as Comcast. If a lot of customers experience this, just imagine how that will affect the business in the long run.
Dissatisfied customers will complain online.
Findings from Dimensional Research states that “forty-five (45%) percent of people share negative customer experiences on social media, with 35% of people likely to post negative online reviews after a poor experience”.
In this day and age, businesses really cannot afford to have bad publicity because news travels fast online. This incident with Comcast was only reported a week ago and yet it has already been picked up by so many people around the world.
Based on the same findings from Dimensional Research, it also says that “eighty-six percent (86%) of people won’t purchase from a business which has negative online reviews.” This will no doubt have an adverse effect on Comcast’s profitability.
Consistency is key.
In providing excellent customer service, consistency is a key factor. Comcast has definitely been consistent so far but only in dissatisfying their customers.
In 2014, the American Customer Satisfaction Index released findings that says Comcast is one of the companies with the most dissatisfied customers. Their rating fell 5% to 60 in 2014. With this most recent scandal, it looks like we can’t expect their rating to get any better this year.
Keep your promises.
After Elliot published the story, he received an update from Brown that she received a call from Comcast saying that they are offering a full refund for payments made for the last two years plus another two years free. As of January 29, Brown sent another update saying that “Comcast did not give me two years free. Just the refund of two years.” This was another opportunity for excellent customer service that they missed yet again.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!