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Comcast says it’s upping investment in “social care”

25th Mar 2015
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Comcast’s brand image has taken a beating in the US in the last 12 months or so, following the ongoing inquisition into its call centre practices and the fallout from the customer service saga in July.

The horror stories about dubious customer service were too frequent to mention in 2014, and things seemingly reached rock-bottom when the company was ranked second worst by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for its customer service levels; only piped to the post by Time Warner, the business Comcast has spent so long trying to force a merger with.

With so much pressure to improve its customer service processes, the internet and cable TV provider hired a senior vice president of customer experience back in September, and now, seemingly after some time analysing its communication channels, is turning its attention to social media to try and improve the customer experience it delivers.

According to reports from the Huffington Post, Tom Karinshak, Comcast’s head of customer service has declared the company will be adding more people to its “social care” team and giving them more tools to help customers.

“With a much bigger team, we’ll be able to support customers across more platforms. And we’ll be able to get to them faster,” Karinshak states. “A larger team also means that we’ll be able to increase bicoastal and bilingual coverage to make sure we are available 24/7 to customers who speak either English or Spanish.”

He adds that “the social care team has access to all the same advanced tools and training as our call center agents do” such as scheduling appointments for tech visits to your home, but said little about the way it plans to deal with the increasing number of customers exposing its bad practices via Twitter and Facebook.

And with such a litany of customer service disasters in recent months, how the much-maligned ISP behemoth deals with ramping up its social media coverage will be of interest to customer service departments across the globe.

A recent study from Eptica found that across major companies in the UK, 59% of all customer service queries were left unanswered on Twitter, despite consumer expectations around the channel increasing dramatically in the last 12 months.  

And perhaps the closest business example to Comcast in the UK, BT, was lambasted for its own inability to handle customer queries on social media; having been rated as one of the slowest organisations to respond to customer service queries on Twitter, in February, despite having itself invested heavily on delivery via the channel in recent months.   

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