In the wake of Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner being sunk by bad customer experience, Comcast has apparently come out with a ten-point plan for improving customer service.
The more cynical among us will recognize that when a politician says, "I have a ten-point plan," that's really code for "I will pretend to do something about this issue."
Should we be so skeptical of Comcast's own efforts? Or is it possible that the company has finally decided to get serious about improving its customer experience?
Comcast's Action Plan, as leaked to The Consumerist website, is:
- Never being satisfied with good enough
- Investing in training, tools, and technology
- Hiring more people ... Thousands of people
- Being on time, every time
- Get it right the first time
- Keeping bills simple and transparent
- Service on demand
- Rethinking policies and fees
- Reimagining the retail experience
- Keeping score
So this isn't a bad list. It's not a great list either. For example, I would have included, "Empower all employees to solve customers' problems," and, "Fix broken processes." But that's just quibbling.
The real question is: Will Comcast actually commit resources and executive support to improving customer experience on an ongoing basis?
Because it's easy to write a ten-point plan. It's also easy to spend money to hire people or buy new software. But actually changing the culture of a company takes hard work, leadership, and years of time.
Personally, I'm skeptical. As a Comcast customer I would love to see this company change its stripes. But as a Customer Experience professional, I've seen too many of these sorts of initiatives fail.
Usually what happens is that after the initial hoopla and flurry of memos, nothing actually changes. Or if the leadership is serious there may be some significant improvements for a time, but then the company declares "mission accomplished" and things go right back to the way they were.
Actual, sustained change at a company like Comcast takes sustained commitment. That's a lot harder than writing a few memos.