Bad Customer Service Spotlight: Comcast

Comcast has "won" the Consumerist's "Worst company in America" award twice now. As you can hear above, the problems are evident. The customer had one mission, he wanted to disconnect his service. He was transferred to cancellations and things took a turn for the worst. Representatives working in cancellations have one goal, customer retention. These representatives are trained to be persistent with customers trying to disconnect their service.

"Comcast 'motivates' its employees by leveraging their pay based on the number of customers they lose and how many they convince to stay."

When the amount you make is dependent on the rate of cancellations you stop, it's no wonder why the representative was as oppressive and persistent as he was. Retention agent's lose the ability to treat customers like real people. It becomes increasingly difficult to provide good customer service when goals of the agent and goals of the customer are conducive to each other. The retention agent at Comcast had one goal, to keep the customer a customer. The customer had one goal, to cancel service.

The company culture at Comcast creates a dynamic where the retention agents can't relate to customers, agents are trained to respond like this. When the end goal of making more money for the company becomes so intertwined into company culture, the service agents goals of customer retention and satisfaction will never be reached.

Customer retention and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. If a customer is satisfied they will say good things about your business. Word of mouth marketing can be one of the most important factors in the success of a business. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising. Companies should be doing everything they can to improve their service to customers.

1,000 customers can generate 500,000 conversations about a brand. In the case of Comcast, this one horrible customer service nightmare went viral, spewing negative word of mouth marketing everywhere. After watching the clip or hearing about it, people are left wondering, did I ever have a horrible experience with Comcast? Since the cable company is the nation's number one provider for TV and internet, they probably have.

Companies need to start listening to customers and give them what they need. As a small or medium business you can prevent this customer service nightmare from happening, by pinpointing where the problems may lie. Using apps like TradeOn users can provide you with feedback on your business and are encouraged to come back with rewards after each completed survey. TradeOn can help you increase your customer retention and customer satisfaction levels.

The goals should always be serving your customers better, making more money will naturally follow. Companies like Comcast should look into customer surveys and see where they are going wrong. To avoid this disaster they should've remembered what was really important, the customer.

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