Nearly five years ago, Comcast had a bad year—a really bad year. One that the internet world along with a Customer eXperience (CX) consultant and author like myself capitalize on for great content and examples of what not to do. Their year was similar to the one experienced by United Airlines in 2017, Lululemon in 2013, Spirit Airlines in 2012, and the last several years for Wells Fargo.
In mid-October, my good friend and bestselling author Jay Baer invited me, along with a dozen of the top CX experts, to spend a full day at the brand new Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia. Comcast wanted to share with us what they had been up to the last five years, how they not only were recovering but emerging as the experience leader in their industry. I have to admit, I went in skeptical and came away pleasantly surprised.
I can tell if a company is truly serious about their Customer experience by the commitment of senior leadership. It is a proven fact that any big initiative, project, or revolution has to have the support of the senior leadership team; otherwise it will be considered “flavor of the month” or “management by bestseller.” Customer service has to be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It needs to be talked about at board meetings and strategic planning sessions, with leaders as well as everyone else in the company, including Customer-facing employees.
The senior leadership team has to provide the necessary resources to create long-lasting change. This is more than just increasing the budget for Customer service. Someone must be in charge of the project—a Chief eXperience Officer (CXO), who is dedicated and loses sleep at night over the Customer experience program and the results. People must be able to tell that the leadership of the company is truly committed and passionate about the Customer experience. Comcast demonstrated that commitment through the obvious investment they made, literally millions of dollars, as well as by appointing Charlie Herrin to lead the charge as their CXO.
“People must be able to tell that the leadership of the company is truly committed and passionate about the Customer experience.”
Changing the brand perception is an extremely hard task and there is no ribbon cutting ceremony. It is an endless journey, especially considering the reputation of both Comcast and the cable industry. However, it appears that Comcast has met the challenge head on, with total humility and self-awareness.
Customer Service Vision Statement
World-class Customer service companies have a strong Customer service vision statement. A service vision statement serves as a rallying point across the organization by being the one thing that all employees have in common, no matter what the individual job or title may be. You must start with a service vision before anything else can take shape in your organization. The service vision drives hiring, standards, and training, and it reflects leadership philosophies. All employees, regardless of their seniority, department, or title, need to understand how their positions and contributions impact the overall success of the company and its service vision. Comcast has such a statement and is doing an incredible job of advertising it internally; “Make Customer Experience Our Best Product.” Every Comcast executive referred to this statement as the central focal point of the company’s innovation.
2018 Customer Service Revolution Conference Audio
Whether you were at the Revolution seeing it unfold live or you were unable to get a ticket, we now have the 2018 Customer Service Revolution audio available for you to hear and share with your entire organization.
Playing The Long Game
Comcast has also focused on the lifetime value of a Customer versus maximizing revenue efficiency. They did this by being proactive and anticipating Customers’ needs, gaining a better understanding of Customers’ perspectives, and eliminating pain points. Just as importantly, they focused on being Zero Risk when inevitable problems do occur, such as crediting a Customer’s bill $20 if a technician arrives late. “Fixing Customer problems are a shortcut to Customer loyalty,” says Jay Baer.
Comcast has also gotten more physical, upping their retail presence, opening a store every 4.5 days. In 2018, Comcast opened over 80 stores in high traffic retail areas versus their traditional industrial locations of the past. They call their Customer facing employees “Friendly Experts” who are trained to execute on three behaviors:
1. Warm welcome
2. Own it
3. Show appreciation in each Customer interaction
Comcast has made incredible strides in their CX transformation, and I am excited to watch how this plays out. As I stated previously, there is no ribbon cutting ceremony to achieving world-class Customer experience status. Their CXO, Charlie Herrin said it best, “Trust must be earned from Customers everyday.”
Recommended Video Clip To Share With Your Team & Your Kids
Watch this two-minute video titled Guess Who to see how good you are at trivia about people who have shown incredible perseverance.
Get Your Masters In Customer Experience
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With the need for rapid growth of the Customer eXperience Executive in businesses today, the Customer eXperience Executive Academy uses the X Commandments Methodology, which covers all facets and responsibilities that fall under Customer eXperience.
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John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.